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Kilcrohane Pier

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Overview





Kilcrohane pier is situated on about the midpoint of the north shore of Dunmanus Bay inlet. It provides an anchorage off a pier and slip in a remote setting but with a small village close inland.

Kilcrohane pier is situated on about the midpoint of the north shore of Dunmanus Bay inlet. It provides an anchorage off a pier and slip in a remote setting but with a small village close inland.

The small rocky cove provides an exposed anchorage that can only be utilised with northerly component conditions. Although difficult to identify, even in daylight, access is straightforward at any stage of the tide as there are no outlying hazards.
Please note

The anchoring area off Kilcrohane’s pier is steep-to and an anchor watch would be advisable here. A good weather window would be required to visit this haven.




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Keyfacts for Kilcrohane Pier
Facilities
Top up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationBus service available 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 waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier

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
3 stars: Tolerable; in suitable conditions a vessel may be left unwatched and an overnight stay.



Last modified
November 30th 2021

Summary* Restrictions apply

A tolerable location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Top up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationBus service available 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 waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 34.470' N, 009° 41.687' W

East of the pier in about three metres.

What are the initial fixes?

The following waypoints will set up a final approach:

(i) Dunmanus Bay initial fix

51° 30.700' N, 009° 51.200' W

This initial fix positions an Atlantic approach to Dunmanus Bay and is set midway between Sheep's Head and Mizen Head.

(ii) Kilcrohane Pier initial fix

51° 34.380' N, 009° 41.250' W

This is situated to the east of Kilcrohane Point just outside the middle of the bay on the 20 metre contour. It is quarter of a mile out from the pier and a course of 290°T from here leads to the pier.
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 Mizen Head to Loop Head Route location. Details for the run up the long and narrow Dunmanus Bay are covered in the Dunbeacon Harbour Click to view haven entry.

  • Approaches are clear of hazards.

  • Do not mistake the pier for the small boat area behind the reefs in the northwest end of the bay.


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 Kilcrohane Pier for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Dooneen Pier - 1.4 nautical miles WSW
  2. Dunmanus Harbour - 2.2 nautical miles SSE
  3. Ballynatra (Trá Ruaim) Cove - 2.6 nautical miles WSW
  4. Kitchen Cove - 2.7 nautical miles ENE
  5. Toormore Cove - 3.9 nautical miles SSE
  6. Carrigmore Bay - 4 nautical miles SSE
  7. Dunbeacon Cove - 4.2 nautical miles ENE
  8. Goleen - 4.8 nautical miles S
  9. Lonehort Harbour - 5.4 nautical miles NW
  10. Dunbeacon Harbour - 5.9 nautical miles ENE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Dooneen Pier - 1.4 miles WSW
  2. Dunmanus Harbour - 2.2 miles SSE
  3. Ballynatra (Trá Ruaim) Cove - 2.6 miles WSW
  4. Kitchen Cove - 2.7 miles ENE
  5. Toormore Cove - 3.9 miles SSE
  6. Carrigmore Bay - 4 miles SSE
  7. Dunbeacon Cove - 4.2 miles ENE
  8. Goleen - 4.8 miles S
  9. Lonehort Harbour - 5.4 miles NW
  10. Dunbeacon Harbour - 5.9 miles ENE
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?
Kilcrohane Pier tucked in behind Kilcrohane Point
Image: Michael Harpur


Kilcrohane Pier is situated close northeast of Kilcrohane Point set into a bight in the northern shore. It is a small rocky southeast-facing cove. At its head is a small shingle beach and a drying pier with a pair of slips. Close west the small Kilcrohan River flows into the bay. Kilcrohane pier is a popular swimming place and there are several small boat moorings in the area. Apart from the substantial pier and the road the area is remote and sequestered.


Kilcrohan River flowing into the bay close west of the pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Kilcrohane Pier is a place for those cruising Dunmanus Bay in settled weather with a mind to discovering interesting day anchorages and short walks. For this is an exposed anchorage and one that ideally makes a lunch stop or a place to have a swim. Unfortunately, the area off of the Kilcrohane Pier is steep-to and a vessel runs the risk of 'falling off' in the event of the anchor breaking free.


Kilcrohane Pier overlooking Dunmanus Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


It would therefore be prudent to leave a competent crew member aboard at all times as anchor watch if a shore party is landed.


How to get in?
Kilcrohane Point situated 6½ miles from the entrance to Dunmanus Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use Ireland’s coastal overview for Mizen Head to Loop Head Route location for seaward approaches and the the run-up the long and narrow Dunmanus Bay is covered in the Dunbeacon Harbour Click to view haven entry. Kilcrohane Point is situated 6½ miles from the entrance to Dunmanus Bay and 1½ miles east by northeast of Dooneen Point. There are no outlying dangers and the pier may be approached directly.


Initial fix location Although typically difficult to identify the pier will be more than visible from the initial fix situated to the east of Kilcrohane Point on the 20-metre contour. The seawall to the east of the pier and the pier itself will be prominent. The seabed here is steep and expect depths to rapidly decrease as the pier is approached.

The small boat area behind the reefs
Image: Burke Corbett


Be careful not to confuse the pier with the small boat mooring area situated in the northeast corner of the bay located behind its flanking reefs. A slip will be seen on the beach but there is no seawall or pier. It is essential not to mistake the two as the approach to this small boat area is foul.


The pier as seen from the anchoring area
Image: Burke Corbett


Haven location Anchor about 50 metres off the pierhead outside local mooring where 5 metres can be found, making certain the anchor is well set. It is advised that an anchor alarm is set.


Land at one of the two slips or on the shingle beach
Image: Michael Harpur


Land at the pier or its slip and if both are occupied there is also a shingle beach. The road above the pier leads to the village about 1.5 km away.


Why visit here?
Kilcrohane, in Irish 'Cill Chrócháin' the 'Church of Crochan', takes its name after St Crohan who founded a small religious settlement here.

Little is known about St Crochan except that he is believed to have lived about the time of St Patrick in the middle of the 5th-Century. Some believe he was from Caherdaniel in Kerry, where the village of Kilcrohane and two ruined churches are named after him. Whatever the case he settled in this area and built his original cell alongside the ruined medieval church he founded just outside the village in the grounds of Kilcrohane’s cemetery. The roofless church is recorded as having been in ruins as far back as 1639. Nevertheless, the churchyard is well-tended and remains an essential part of the community. It is a much-visited site that provides a peaceful retreat and rewards its visitors with wonderful views out to sea.


Bench overlooking Kilcrohane pier
Image: Michael Harpur


It is also believed that during early Christian times a monastery existed in the northeast end of the bay that overlooks Farnamanagh Strand and the Irish name 'Farnamanagh' roughly translates to 'land of the monks'. It is believed that it became a centre of refuge for Spaniards fleeing the Moorish Umayyad conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. The Basques and the Galician’s had been fishing these Irish waters during the summers for centuries and had long-established trade and religious links with the local chieftains. It would have been seen it as a safe place of refuge for their families when the smaller Spanish kingdoms were coming under intense pressure during the mid-700s AD. According to legend, two of the sons of an exiled Spanish king drowned here when one got into difficulties swimming and the other went to help him.


Farnamanagh Strand in the northwest end of the inlet
Image: Burke Corbett


The first pier was built at Kilcrohane in the 1730s to enable sailing ships to dock in relative safety and engage in coastal trade. At this time road communications did not exist as the present coast road from Durrus to Kilcrohane was built a century later as a famine relief measure. In its early days, Kilcrohane acquired a reputation for being a den of brandy smugglers. There is reputedly a well-hidden cave here that is only accessible during very low tides and it made for a perfect secret cache. The entrance is very small necessitating a person to crawl on their hands and knees which in turn leads to a large chamber that was used for the storage of the contraband. It may very well have been true as the 1842 Ordnance Survey map shows a coastguard station was established at Kilcrohane which would have been established to put pay to this activity.


Caves in the cliffs overlooking the anchorage today
Image: Michael Harpur


Later Kilcrohane became a significant port for the export of salted fish and it was recorded that 300 barrels of mackerel were exported from Kilcrohane in 1893 as was 1,017 from Dunmanus Harbour opposite. In the summers a steamship from the Limerick Steamship Company picked up the barrels of mackerel bound for Liverpool and onward export to the USA.


The turning bollard on a rock near the pier that the coasters would have used
Image: Michael Harpur


Today, Kilcrohane is a lively and vibrant seaside village whose population swells in the busy summer months. The last coastal village on the Sheep's Head Peninsula, after Durrus and Ahakista, it is also the largest. After this Sheep's Head becomes more baron and jagged as it narrows out to its lighthouse at the tip. This makes it an ideal base to access the famous Sheep's Head Way hill walking route. It is an ideal place to drop a shore party who want to take on a short but interesting Sheep's Head Way hill walk. From here it is possible to ascend to the top of the 344 metres high Seefin, from Irish Suí Finn, Fionn’s Sitting Place', which is Sheep's Head's highest mountain. Kilcrohane's central road loops around Caher Mountain reaching its highest point just 2km north of the village at a spectacular pass between the two mountains. From the pass, it is possible to walk to the top of Seefin where the views are simply spectacular.


Carbery and Furze islands as seen from the head of the pier
Image: Michael Harpur


During the season Kilcrohane has a carnival held on the third week of July that draws large crowds in good weather. The pier is a popular swimming place and there are numerous private coves dotted along the coast. The water is clear and a beautiful place for swimming and Dunmanus Bay’s abundance of pollock and mackerel attract anglers to the area.

From a boating point of view, this is very much for those fortunate to have settled weather. The village of Kilcrohane has just enough facilities to make it a viable Sheep's Head replenishment point, and it makes for a good landing site to set down a shore party to explore the outer end of the Sheep’s Head Way. Other than this it offers a good lunch stop location or in settled conditions, a night’s stop would be possible.


What facilities are available?
1.5 km from Kilcrohane pier is the village of Kilcrohane that features two pubs, a wine bar, several Bed and Breakfasts of which two have restaurants, an oldfashioned shop that strives to accommodate all needs, a post office, a garage and a summer cafe and restaurant.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel anchored off Kilcrohane Pier.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photography with thanks to Andrew Wood, Pam Brophy, Berdrisharhar, Richard Webb and Burke Corbett.




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