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Blind Harbour

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Overview





Blind Harbour is a small sea inlet on the southwest coast of Ireland, it is approximately half a mile east of the mouth of Castlehaven and two and half nautical miles west of Glandore. It offers an anchorage in a remote and secluded location with excellent holding.

Blind Harbour is a small sea inlet on the southwest coast of Ireland, it is approximately half a mile east of the mouth of Castlehaven and two and half nautical miles west of Glandore. It offers an anchorage in a remote and secluded location with excellent holding.

The harbour provides good protection in all but southerly component conditions to which the inlet is exposed. Shoal draft vessels may, however, can find shelter here from almost all conditions by tucking into its shallower recesses. Although there are no marks, daylight access is straightforward as the inlet’s entrance has plenty of water and is clear of dangers.
Please note

It would be dangerous to be on anchor here if the wind was to suddenly turn to the south and be accompanied by a swell. If this were to happen it would be very difficult for a sailing vessel to beat out of Blind Harbour.




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Keyfacts for Blind Harbour
Facilities
Slipway available


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 waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierDANGER: Subject to conditions that could trap and destroy a vessel

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
2 metres (6.56 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
May 11th 2021

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Slipway available


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 waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierDANGER: Subject to conditions that could trap and destroy a vessel



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 31.530' N, 009° 9.340' W

This waypoint is approximately three quarters of a mile due south of the entrance on the 25 metre contour. A course of due north from here will lead into the entrance.


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 and the Castlehaven, (Castletownshend) Click to view haven directions for local approaches.


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 Blind Harbour for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Castlehaven (Castletownshend) - 0.3 miles W
  2. Squince Harbour - 0.6 miles ENE
  3. Rabbit Island Sound - 0.8 miles ENE
  4. Glandore - 1.5 miles NNE
  5. Tralong Bay - 2.4 miles ENE
  6. Mill Cove - 2.9 miles ENE
  7. Barloge Creek (Lough Hyne) - 3.4 miles WSW
  8. Rosscarbery Inlet - 3.6 miles ENE
  9. Oldcourt - 3.8 miles W
  10. Reena Dhuna - 4.9 miles W
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Castlehaven (Castletownshend) - 0.3 miles W
  2. Squince Harbour - 0.6 miles ENE
  3. Rabbit Island Sound - 0.8 miles ENE
  4. Glandore - 1.5 miles NNE
  5. Tralong Bay - 2.4 miles ENE
  6. Mill Cove - 2.9 miles ENE
  7. Barloge Creek (Lough Hyne) - 3.4 miles WSW
  8. Rosscarbery Inlet - 3.6 miles ENE
  9. Oldcourt - 3.8 miles W
  10. Reena Dhuna - 4.9 miles W
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?
Blind Harbour as seen from the west
Image: Michael Harpur


The small sea inlet of Blind Harbour opens to the south approximately a ½ mile east-northeast of the mouth of Castle Haven and 2½ miles east of Glandore. It is partially covered to the southeast by a ragged cluster of rocks called Low and High Islands a distance of 1 mile off the entrance. Blind Harbour has 2 metres LAT or slightly more at the centre of its head a little over 1.1 metres in around its neck.

The entrance channel provides a measure of southerly protection, and vessels that can take to more shallow waters may progress in and around corners at the head of the inlet to find protection from almost any reasonable condition. As such, shallower draft vessels will have more freedom to optimise their position in Blind Harbour. Availing of this, and the excellent clay and sand holding will be found throughout the inlet, a shallow draft vessel could be comfortably left unattended for a few days around the corners of the bay.


The slip on the eastern recess of the inner bay
Image: Michael Harpur


This would not be the case for deeper draft vessels that would be limited to the head of the channel which is exposed to the south. On neaps, however, most cruising boats will have a lot more scope to find an ideal location to anchor around the corners.


How to get in?
High and Low Islands as seen from Squince Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use Ireland’s coastal overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location for seaward approaches and the Castlehaven, (Castletownshend) Click to view haven directions for local approaches.


High and Low Islands provide unmistakable seamarks for Blind Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the initial fix steer a course of due north toward the entrance. This course passes to the west of High and Low Islands and has no obstructions. These islands are highly visible, respectively 46 metres and 10 metres high. The island cluster’s western outliers, called the Seal Rocks that are always visible and 2 metres high, will be passed about ½ a mile to the east (starboard side) on a southerly approach from the initial fix.


Blind Harbour as seen on an approach from seaward
Image: Burke Corbett


Once the inlet entrance has been identified proceed up its ¼ mile-long neck and into the inner bay. Depths of 15 metres will be found at the entrance, decreasing to 8.8 metres, about two-thirds of the way up, and then at the top end 2.8 metres. Where the inner bay starts to open out it shelves gradually to 1.5 metres and then continues to shallow onto the north shore.


The north and western recesses of the inner harbour as seen from the centre
Image: Burke Corbett


Haven location Anchor according to draft in the inner bay. The sandy, gradually shelving bay makes it very easy for the average cruising vessel to feel around for the right depth in and around the shoulders of the inner bay.


The slip at head of the inlet
Image: Michael Harpur


Land at the small boat pier and slip at the head of the harbour or alternatively at a second slip on the eastern recess of the inner bay. The boat harbour will be seen on entry as it is directly in-line-of-sight from the entrance channel. Do not be drawn into approaching the boat harbour. There is not enough water to support a yacht on the northwest side of the inner bay but vessels that can take to the hard may, of course, proceed to come alongside there on a high tide.


Why visit here?
Blind Harbour, in Irish an Chuain Chaoich 'The Blind Sea', is one of many that hold the name in Ireland. Most likely it got its name because the inner harbour, recessed up its long neck, is virtually impossible to see from seaward. Especially when hidden behind High and Low Island that serve today to provide perfect seamarks for its location.


Boat over the eastern slip at dusk
Image: Michael Harpur


The history of inhabitation of the area goes back to prehistoric times as the harbour would have made an ideal point to beach boats. A circular Ring Fort (about 19 metres wide), located on the high ground on the west side of Blind Harbour, would have provided its denizens with extensive coastal views of the area. In medieval times it was a trading base and the Iomhair, 'Ivor', sept of the Donnell Clan lived partly from ancestral 'customs, royalties, dues and privileges' from Squince, Conkeogh (Chuain Chaoich 'Blind Harbour') and Castlehaven. They controlled these ports from a tower house that can be seen in the profile of a hill above Union Hall.


The eastern recess at low water
Image: Michael Harpur


Although the name 'blind harbour' is the reserve of havens that are so difficult to locate that they cause wrecks, Blind Harbour's most notable wreck was caused by 'force of weather'. During a February 1874 storm the Italian barque, the 'Pulcinello' was shipwrecked here. Driven ashore by the storm the Captain must have thought to give up the fight and let her run-up in the harbour as a last-ditch chance to save all those aboard. When the ship first struck in the entrance a vast wave washed over the ship's deck carrying away a young Italian boy who could not hold against it. The wave flung him to the shore of Blind Harbour and before a succeeding wave could pull him back he managed to scramble beyond its full reach by grasping to the shorelines grass and ferns. He was discovered the next morning in an exhausted state, most likely hyperthermic. Fortunately, he was quickly restored by the kindness of the local people of the bay. By chance of faith, he was the sole survivor of the wreck.


The small beach at the head of the western recess
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating point of view, Blind Harbour is an excellent anchoring location and very pretty. It does not have a perfect white sand beach as its shores are comprised of a mixture of sand and clay making its strand dark. Apart from that, it is truly a lovely location and very much off the beaten path.

For vessels on a passage, it offers quick access along with solid holding in that sand and clay base. This makes it an ideal location to drop into for a lunch break or a quiet night of solitude in a lovely secluded bay.


What facilities are available?
There is nothing in Blind Harbour except for a small boat pier and slip to land a dinghy against, and similar comments apply to the further slip in the eastern recess of the inner bay.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel on anchor in Blind Harbour.


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



About Blind Harbour

Blind Harbour, in Irish an Chuain Chaoich 'The Blind Sea', is one of many that hold the name in Ireland. Most likely it got its name because the inner harbour, recessed up its long neck, is virtually impossible to see from seaward. Especially when hidden behind High and Low Island that serve today to provide perfect seamarks for its location.


Boat over the eastern slip at dusk
Image: Michael Harpur


The history of inhabitation of the area goes back to prehistoric times as the harbour would have made an ideal point to beach boats. A circular Ring Fort (about 19 metres wide), located on the high ground on the west side of Blind Harbour, would have provided its denizens with extensive coastal views of the area. In medieval times it was a trading base and the Iomhair, 'Ivor', sept of the Donnell Clan lived partly from ancestral 'customs, royalties, dues and privileges' from Squince, Conkeogh (Chuain Chaoich 'Blind Harbour') and Castlehaven. They controlled these ports from a tower house that can be seen in the profile of a hill above Union Hall.


The eastern recess at low water
Image: Michael Harpur


Although the name 'blind harbour' is the reserve of havens that are so difficult to locate that they cause wrecks, Blind Harbour's most notable wreck was caused by 'force of weather'. During a February 1874 storm the Italian barque, the 'Pulcinello' was shipwrecked here. Driven ashore by the storm the Captain must have thought to give up the fight and let her run-up in the harbour as a last-ditch chance to save all those aboard. When the ship first struck in the entrance a vast wave washed over the ship's deck carrying away a young Italian boy who could not hold against it. The wave flung him to the shore of Blind Harbour and before a succeeding wave could pull him back he managed to scramble beyond its full reach by grasping to the shorelines grass and ferns. He was discovered the next morning in an exhausted state, most likely hyperthermic. Fortunately, he was quickly restored by the kindness of the local people of the bay. By chance of faith, he was the sole survivor of the wreck.


The small beach at the head of the western recess
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating point of view, Blind Harbour is an excellent anchoring location and very pretty. It does not have a perfect white sand beach as its shores are comprised of a mixture of sand and clay making its strand dark. Apart from that, it is truly a lovely location and very much off the beaten path.

For vessels on a passage, it offers quick access along with solid holding in that sand and clay base. This makes it an ideal location to drop into for a lunch break or a quiet night of solitude in a lovely secluded bay.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Castlehaven (Castletownshend) - 0.3 miles W
Barloge Creek (Lough Hyne) - 3.4 miles WSW
Baltimore - 5.3 miles WSW
Castle Ruins - 5.9 miles WSW
Horseshoe Harbour - 6 miles WSW
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Squince Harbour - 0.6 miles ENE
Rabbit Island Sound - 0.8 miles ENE
Glandore - 1.5 miles NNE
Tralong Bay - 2.4 miles ENE
Mill Cove - 2.9 miles ENE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Blind Harbour.

























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