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Long Island

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Overview





Located on Ireland’s southwest coast, Long Island is situated at the head of Long Island Bay, close south of the mainland and immediately outside of the entrance to Schull Harbour. The island’s anchorage lies off the island pier within Long Island Channel that is situated between the island and the mainland.

Located on Ireland’s southwest coast, Long Island is situated at the head of Long Island Bay, close south of the mainland and immediately outside of the entrance to Schull Harbour. The island’s anchorage lies off the island pier within Long Island Channel that is situated between the island and the mainland.

Set within an enclosed channel the anchorage offers good protection from all but very strong westerly or north-easterly winds. Approaches to the general area are straightforward at any stage of the tide and the approach to the channel's eastern entrance is lit.



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Keyfacts for Long Island
Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 feet).

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
November 17th 2021

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 30.052' N, 009° 33.434' W

Just off the harbour wall on Long Island

What are the initial fixes?

The following waypoints will set up a final approach:

(i) Schull initial fix

51° 29.947' N, 009° 31.682' W

This is 300 metres west of the Amelia Rock Marker and on the harbour’s 346° T in-line leading through the entrance. The anchoring area in Schull Harbour is mile a half from here.

(ii) Goat Island Little initial fix

51° 28.655' N, 009° 36.140' W

This is half a mile south of the southern extremity of Little Goat Island where a 4.9 metre high stone beacon will be seen. An approach to Long Island Channel via the west side of Goat Island, through the 'Man of War Sound', or on its eastern side, via 'Goat Island Sound', may be made from here.
Please note

Initial fixes only set up their listed targets. Do not plan to sail directly between initial fixes as a routing sequence.




What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location seaward approaches to the Long Island Channel available in the Schull Harbour Click to view haven entry.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Long Island for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Colla Harbour - 0.4 nautical miles NNW
  2. Coney Island - 0.4 nautical miles W
  3. Croagh Bay - 1 nautical miles W
  4. Schull Harbour (Skull) - 1.5 nautical miles NNE
  5. Castle Island (South Side) - 2.2 nautical miles ENE
  6. Castle Island (North Side) - 2.2 nautical miles ENE
  7. Dereenatra - 2.6 nautical miles ENE
  8. Calf Island East - 2.9 nautical miles ESE
  9. Horse Island - 3.2 nautical miles ENE
  10. Toormore Cove - 3.5 nautical miles WNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Colla Harbour - 0.4 miles NNW
  2. Coney Island - 0.4 miles W
  3. Croagh Bay - 1 miles W
  4. Schull Harbour (Skull) - 1.5 miles NNE
  5. Castle Island (South Side) - 2.2 miles ENE
  6. Castle Island (North Side) - 2.2 miles ENE
  7. Dereenatra - 2.6 miles ENE
  8. Calf Island East - 2.9 miles ESE
  9. Horse Island - 3.2 miles ENE
  10. Toormore Cove - 3.5 miles WNW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
Long Island
Image: Burke Corbett


Long Island is located off the north shore of Long Island Bay, immediately outside and west of Schull Harbour. It is a long low island that from its southwestern extremity of Duff Point, about a ½ mile east of Goat Island, from which it rises to a modest height of 29 metres near its centre where it then slopes to its low, shelving northeastern extremity of Copper or Long Island Point. The island is narrow being no more than about 400 metres wide with a small central pier on its northern shore. It is the third-largest of Carbery's Hundred Isles at 1.8 km2 (0.7 sq mi), after Sherkin Island and Clear Island, and has a permanent population of no more than 10.


Yacht anchored off Long Island
Image: Burke Corbett


The anchorage lies on the north side of the island, between Long Island and the mainland, in Long Island Channel. It is about 600 metres in width, with good holding ground and plenty of water. It provides good shelter with ample room. The location provides a much better anchorage than Schull Harbour in southerly winds where it is an ideal alternate.


How to get in?
Long Island Channel branching off to the west of the approach to Schull
Image: oli xilo via CC BY 2.0


Convergance Point Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview of Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location for seaward approaches. Vessels approaching from the south may use the Schull Harbour Click to view haven general approach directions and initial fix. This is the principal approach, the safest and it is lit.


Long Island Channel as seen from the mainland
Image: Michael Harpur


The outer shores of Long Island are generally clear to the distance of 90 metres, except near the eastern end, within 0.8 miles of Copper Point, where the always visible Carrigeenwaun Rocks extend out 200 metres. From the Schull directions, it is simply a matter of breaking off the harbour approach and turning westward to enter the Long Island Channel between Copper Point and Skull Point. This passes north of Long Island's most distinctive landmark of Copper Point lighthouse standing on the point.


Copper Point light as seen from Long Island Channel
Image: Burke Corbett


Copper Point light is a lighted white round tower, 14 metres high, erected on Long Island's eastern end to mark the entrance to Schull Harbour.

Copper Point - Lighthouse Q(3)10s 16m 8M position 51° 30.250’N 009° 32.063’W


Cush Spit buoy as seen from the north shore
Image: Michael Harpur


The path then simply follows the channel, north of Long Island and south of the mainland, to the anchorage. The principal danger to avoid whilst advancing to the anchorage is the Cush Spit which is a gravel bank located about a ½ mile to the west of Copper Point.


Cush Spit buoy as seen from an eastbound vessel
Image: Graham Rabbits


The spit stretches about 400 metres out from the island, nearly halfway across to the mainland, and has 0.6 metres of water LAT on its north edge. Its extremity is steep-to and marked by a north cardinal buoy.

Cush Spit - north cardinal Q 4M position 51° 30.304’N 009° 33.017’W

To the east and west of the Cush Spit depths decrease but there is plenty of water for the cruising vessel.


Alternate Southwestern Approachs

The western end of Long Island Channel and Goat Island
Image: Emma Cooney


Vessels approaching from the southwest during daylight hours need not take the above principal channel as the Long Island Channel may also be accessed from its western side via Goat Island Sound or Man of War Sound. We provide the initial fix for this alternate approach as a further option.

(i) Man of War Sound is the western channel that lies between Goat Island and Illaunricmonia Island. This joins Lough Buidhe to the north of Goat Island. The channel is made readily identifiable by the unlit beacon on the southern tip of Little Goat Island to the east of it.

(ii) Goat Island Sound lies between Goat Island and Long Island. This has Goat Island protruding into it from the west and the drying Sound Rock, off Long Island, from the east which is very much in the path of a vessel cutting corners. But vessels taking this course, keeping the Little Goat Island beacon to the west and steering a midway path, will have no further hazards with depths in excess of 20 metres.

Of these Man of War Sound has fewer dangers in the margins but Goat Island Sound has more regular soundings and smoother waters in any seaway. The below initial fix is set south of the Little Goat Island beacon so as to provide an assessment point where either path may be adopted as conditions present.

(iii) Barrel Sound is a narrow channel, with depths of 9.1 to 24 that has a shallower mid-channel section carrying 4.6 metres LAT over a rock. This leads in and out from the Long Island Channel between Castle Point and Duharrig, thence between the mainland, on the north side, and Drommada then Illaunricmonia Island to join Lough Buidhe to the north of Goat Island. It has a least depth of 22 metres of water in the fairway and is 300 metres wide at its narrowest between Green Isle and the Barrell Rocks.


Please note

It would be a best practice for newcomers to these sounds to operate under power.




Long Island, Goat Island and Illaunricmonia as seen from the mainland
Image: Emma Cooney


Initial fix location Vessels approaching from the west will see Goat Island to the east of Illaunricmonia Island, which has rocky shores and rises to a height of 32 metres, and which has a channel into Long Island Sound on each side of it. The island is made remarkable by a deep chasm, which almost severs its southern portion, called Little Goat Island.


Goat Island stone beacon
Image: Brian Clayton via CC BY-SA 2.0


On a hill near the seaward southern extremity of Little Goat Island, a 4.9 metre high stone beacon will be seen. This helps to positively distinguish the island and the entrances to Long Island Sound that opens up to Long Island Channel on either side.


Westbound vessel heading for the passes
Image: Burke Corbett


Although only 400 metres wide at its northern end, where it is at its narrowest, Goat Island Sound has plenty of water with at least a depth of 20.7 metres. Foul ground extends over 400 metres south of the eastern extremity of Goat Island. On the opposite side, off the southwest end of Long Island, and at the north end of Goat Island Sound where the sound is at its narrowest, there are some off-lying rocks and islets. These are the Garillaun Islands and close west to these is the straggling Sound Rock that dries to 1.5 metres very much in the way of a vessel cutting in and out of Goat Island Sound and Long Island Channel.


Coney Island and Croagh Bay as seen from eastward
Image: Michael Harpur


Exiting Goat Island Sound turn west between Gun Point and Garillaun Islands, where it leads between Long Island and mainland up to the 11.9 metres high Coney Island. Between Gun Point and Coney Island, there is a shallow inlet running up to Croagh River and an anchorage may be had in Croagh Bay Click to view haven.


Rock to the south of Coney Island showing
Image: Burke Corbett


Stand well off Coney Island as it has some detached rocks extending westward and 80 metres to the south of the Coney Island. An anchorage can be obtained to the northeast of Coney Island Click to view haven.


Long Island Channel as seen from the southwest of Coney Island
Image: Michael Harpur


From this point onward it is simply a matter of following the Long Island Channel up to the pier where ample water will be found and no off-lying dangers.


The Long Island anchorage as seen from Long Island Channel
Image: Burke Corbett


Haven location Anchor off Long Island drying pier situated northeast of the highpoint of the island. The island pier and adjacent beach will be readily apparent on approach. Land at the pier or beach.


Why visit here?
Historically called Inishfadda, from the Irish inis fada literally 'long island', the island's name is a direct translation of its historic Irish title. Presenting a low-lying, long and narrow shape, that stretches almost 5 km long and is only 0.8 km wide at its broadest, the origin of its name is readily evident in its shape. However, it may have been much longer.


Yachts anchored off Long Island's pier
Image: Burke Corbett


Set in a line Long Island, Castle Island and Horse Island it is believed that these might all have been part of the original Inishfadda. Smith's 'History of Cork' noted that "In the latter end of March, A. D. 830, Hugh Domdighe, being monarch of Ireland, there happened such terrible shocks of thunder and lightning, that above 1,000 persons were destroyed by it between Corca Bascoine [as this part of this country was called then] and the sea-side. At the same time the sea broke through the bank in a most violent manner, and overflowed a considerable tract of land. The island, then called Innisfadda [Long Island], on the west coast of this county, was forced asunder, and divided into three parts. This island lies contiguous to two others—namely, Horse Island and Castle Island, which, lying in a range and being low ground, might have been very probably then rent by the ocean."

During the Middle ages the island was within the domain controlled by the O'Driscoll clan who ruled from their seat in Baltimore. In 1600 the then clan chieftain, Fineen O'Driscoll, joined with pirates to capture two Spanish ships carrying gold from the Americas. Legend has it that he was engaged to Margaret O'Sullivan at the time. But Margaret considered the ill-gotten hoard to be unlucky and refused to marry Fineen until he buried the gold on Long Island. This he did but decades later, in 1631, Fineen had a mind to put that treasure to good use and returned to dig it up. On rowing back to his seat in Baltimore he discovered his castle in flames and Baltimore under attack from North African pirates. He flung the unlucky gold overboard.

The brig Lady Harriet sunk in the Long Island Channel in 1795. The ship was carrying a cargo of oranges from Cadiz to Dublin and it issaid that the islanders prospered by selling oranges and timber throughout West Cork that year. These were the island's seninal years as during this period the island was approaching its largest population which peaked in the early part of the 1800s. The available census records show that in 1841 it had a population of 305 but after this, a melancholic picture emerges. 1911 – population 143; 1951 – population 74; 1991 – population 11; and most recently – population 7.

A trip along the island‘s short run of surfaced road, plus a further unkempt and overgrown section extending out to an old copper mine and Copper Point, bears evidence to the island's long lost inhabitants. Tumbledown houses, stores and sheds dating back to these times can be seen all along the way. The decaying building that was once an island school stands as a lonely waymark at the centre of the island’s single boreen. All around are the stonework mazes of their closely-knit fields that are gradually being reclaimed by opportunistic fauna and flora seeking to erase their memory.


The island's principal cluster of houses is above its pier
Image: Burke Corbett


Today Long Island is one of the few of Carbery's Hundred Isles and the smallest that remains inhabited. However, it only has a permanent population of about 10 people. The islanders make the short passage from the protected beach inside Long Island’s pier and across to the mainland‘s Colla Pier, about 600 metres away. A regular ferry service passes back and forth, operating 5 days a week during the summer months and three days a week during the winter months. The main area of habitation is situated just above the pier in the island's houses that date back to the early 1900s. These buildings have been entirely restored and have running water with mains electricity that is supplied from the mainland through a submarine power cable.


The island pier from the anchorage
Image: Burke Corbett


Many of the houses are holiday homes but the few remaining islanders principally draw a modest income from farming which is the only economic activity available. Their cattle fare well on this verdant island. In more leisurely days cattle were 'swam' across Long Island Channel but are now towed across off the stern of a boat.

The island is a pleasure to explore offering some fine walks along its single 'boreen' passing the ruins of its past population, shingle beaches, and wild flora and fauna. It is waisted north to south and on both sides of the waists are its best beaches. The west end has some spectacular cliffs and crystal-clear rock beaches. Walkers, bird-watchers will all be in their element here enjoying an afternoon whilst keeping an eye out for otters, seals, dolphins, whales, and even the occasional basking shark.

It is very well worth wandering all the way to the eastern extremity to where the island's most distinctive landmark of Copper Point Lighthouse stands. The 16-metre-high white tower, complete with its landing steps, serves to mark the entrance channel to Schull Harbour - which is only 10 minutes away. It was first erected in July 1864 along with the beacon on Goat Island that was completed in the September of that year. Copper Point served as an unlit beacon for 113 years until in 1977 its light was established. It was then painted black, yellow, black, and carried an east cardinal topmark. In 1981 Copper Point was designated as a lighthouse and has since retained its white colour.


The view eastward up Long Island Channel from the anchorage
Image: Burke Corbett


From a boating perspective, the berth is off the island‘s pier provides a truly lovely Long Island Channel anchorage. The location offers a wonderful sense of isolation from modern life where it is possible to kick back to enjoy some beautiful nature and scenery. Yet it has quick and easy access to Schull which is just 15 minutes away. This makes it a very good nighttime alternative to Schull Harbour. From here a vessel can benefit from the access to the seasonal buzz and pace of the holiday town, but likewise escape all the disturbance of vessels entering and exiting during the night, making it a beautiful place to awake in the morning after a quiet night's sleep. It is also the better anchorage to Schull should the wind build from the south.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities at this remote island anchorage save for the Long Island Ferry to Colla pier.
Maurice Coughlan: +353 86 172 1254 for booking/prices. A water taxi service is available at other times.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to vessel anchored off Long Island.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford.




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