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Hog Island

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Overview





Hog Island is on west coast of Ireland five miles inside the entrance and on the north bank of the River Shannon. It is an uninhabited and undeveloped island off the small mainland coastal village of Cappagh which has a commercial pier.

Hog Island is on west coast of Ireland five miles inside the entrance and on the north bank of the River Shannon. It is an uninhabited and undeveloped island off the small mainland coastal village of Cappagh which has a commercial pier.

The well-protected and enclosed river anchorage offers good protection from almost all conditions. Safe access is available, preferably by day, from the River Shannon fairway.



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Keyfacts for Hog Island
Facilities
Gas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaBus service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


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 water

Considerations
None listed

Protected sectors

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

Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
May 11th 2022

Summary

A good location with safe access.

Facilities
Gas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaBus service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


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 water

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 37.400' N, 009° 29.838' W

This is about 200 metres off the northwest side of Hog Island and on the edge of the channel where at least 2 metres will be found.

What is the initial fix?

The following Hog Island intial fix will set up a final approach:
52° 36.926' N, 009° 29.052' W
This is southwest of Aylevarroo Point and sets up an approach between the southeast corner of the island and the mainland.


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. The forty-three-mile run-up the River Shannon, from the entrance to Limerick City, are detailed in the River Shannon Overview Route location and the approaches in the Kilrush 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 Hog Island for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Kilrush - 0.6 nautical miles N
  2. Kilkee - 6.6 nautical miles WNW
  3. Doonbeg - 7.2 nautical miles N
  4. Carrigaholt Bay - 7.5 nautical miles W
  5. Seafield (Quilty) - 11.2 nautical miles N
  6. Mutton Island - 11.2 nautical miles N
  7. Kilbaha Bay - 13.7 nautical miles WSW
  8. Ross Bay - 14 nautical miles W
  9. Foynes Harbour - 14 nautical miles E
  10. Askeaton - 18.5 nautical miles E
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Kilrush - 0.6 miles N
  2. Kilkee - 6.6 miles WNW
  3. Doonbeg - 7.2 miles N
  4. Carrigaholt Bay - 7.5 miles W
  5. Seafield (Quilty) - 11.2 miles N
  6. Mutton Island - 11.2 miles N
  7. Kilbaha Bay - 13.7 miles WSW
  8. Ross Bay - 14 miles W
  9. Foynes Harbour - 14 miles E
  10. Askeaton - 18.5 miles E
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?
Cappagh Pier reaching for Hog Island with Scattery Island in the backdrop
Image: Michael Harpur


Hog Island is a small uninhabited island in the Shannon Estuary off the entrance to Kilrush and facing the picturesque village of Cappagh with its pier. The island is dominated by the outer and larger Scattery Island which has remarkable ecclesiastical ruins on its slopes including a round tower. It lies about midway between Scattery Island and the mainland, about a ¼ of a mile to the northeast, and only accounts for about 20 acres with no structures.


Local boats moored off the northwest end of Hog Island
Image: Burke Corbett


The island offers a well-protected anchorage off its northwest end outside local boat moorings with very good holding. The small village of Cappagh with its pier is directly opposite and it is possible to land in the island. A vessel will be tide-rode here as streams attain rates of up to 4½ knots forming eddies along the banks on both sides.

Shannon Pilot boat on the outer berth of Cappagh Pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Cappagh Pier is Kilrush’s deep water pier that is used by the Shannon pilots. The outer berth on the pier supports depths of 3 - 4 metres LWS, 7.9 metres at MHWS, and 6.4 metres at MHWN. But because it is in constant use by the pilot boats no berthing may take place here nor should a vessel raft up to a pilot boat.


Then middle berth on Cappagh Pier
Image: Michael Harpur


The middle berth has 2.1 metres and the inner berth dries. These may be used for short times in suitable conditions.


How to get in?
Cappagh Pier, Hog Island with Scattery Island in the backdrop
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use Ireland’s coastal overview for Mizen Head to Loop Head Route location, the River Shannon Overview Route location for the run upriver and the final approaches are as described in the Kilrush Click to view haven entry. All approaches as with the Kilrush approaches and the below description with an initial fix provides the most direct route to the anchoring area between the island and the mainland.


Hog Island
Image: Michael Harpur


Hog Island is a low drumlin like island that is no higher than 16 metres southwest end and has low western and southern extremities that are never the less well defined. Its shore is composed of low cliffs based on a stony foreshore that encircle the island and run off into extensive flats.


Aylevarroo Bay, Hog Island and the passage between
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the initial fix, approximately abreast Aylevarroo Point, steer for the narrows between Hog Island and the mainland tending to the port, western or island side, side of the channel. This is to avoid the unmarked Wolf Rock.


Approaching the alignment of the eastern point of Hog Island with Scattery light
tower

Image: Burke Corbett


Dangerous at low water Wolf Rock has 1 metre of cover LAT and is situated 200 metres off the mainland side of the channel. When Scattery light tower, on the south end of Scattery Island, aligns with the eastern point of Hog Island, Wolf Rock is abeam on the opposite mainland side. The passage on the western side has a navigable width of about 200 metres with a least charted depth of 5.2 metres in the fairway.
Please note

Tidal streams attain a spring rate of about 4.5 kn both ways in the narrows and they broadly follow the direction of the channel.




Anchor outside the local boat moorings
Image: Burke Corbett


Haven location Once through the cut the channel widens again and the anchorage is to be found within a few hundred metres off the northeast side of the island. Anchor outside the local boat moorings where excellent holding is to be had over sand and mud.
Please note

The tidal stream is said to run continuously in a south-easterly direction in this anchorage.




Cappagh Pier as seen from Hog Island
Image: Burke Corbett


Land on the shale beach on the island, or on the slips at Cappagh Pier on the mainland across the channel to the northeast of Hog Island. Owing to the strength of the currents in the channel it may be better to move the vessel over and anchor off. Temporary anchorages can be found 50 metres southeast of Cappagh Pier in a depth of 1.5 metres LAT, with good holding ground, 200 metres off the pierhead but the latter is much more exposed and the holding ground is poor. Alternatively, take an inner berth alongside the pier.


Why visit here?
It not certain how Hog Island got its name. Its Irish name, 'Inishbig' comes from the Irish word 'inis' an island or more specifically a word which also signifies 'a river meadow' and 'bec' from the modern Irish 'beag', meaning 'small'.

1836 Ordinance Survey Map showing the dwelling house
Image: Public Domain
Hog island, comprising about 20 acres of grassland, is somewhat overwhelmed by its neighbouring and highly remarkable Scattery Island. In Irish 'Inis Cathaigh, has seven churches and a round tower and is one of the most important sites of early Christian Ireland. So it very much dominates the diminutive Hog Island that is entirely undeveloped and plays host to a few horses and goats but little else. But this was not always the case and it was home to one family in the early 1800s with the homestead sited near its highest point. The island remains to this day privately owned.

The facing little village of Cappagh with its pier reaching for Hog Island has an interesting history. The name Cappagh, or Cappa is derived from the Irish word 'ceapach' which means 'a plot of ground laid out for tillage'. Understandably it appears as the name of several townlands and these words enter into the composition of many others townland names. It was near to here, just off Scattery Roads, that seven ships of the Spanish Armada came to anchor in September 1588, seeking supplies and refuge.


Cappagh Pier was pivotal in the development of the town of Kilrush in the
backdrop

Image: Michael Harpur


A two-hundred-foot pier was built by the Commissioners of Customs in 1764 and extended by 186 feet in 1829, under Alexander Nimmo design, and again by eighty-five feet between 1835 and 1839. The harbour was frequented by vessels trading in grain and other commodities and there was much local traffic back and forth from Cappagh, Kilrush Creek and Scattery Island at this time. Being a key port for vessels trading in grain and other commodities along the Clare coast and up the River Shannon as far as Limerick, Cappagh Pier was pivotal in the development of the town of Kilrush and it was the principal commercial pier for the area until Kilrush port established itself.

Passengers disembarking the S.S. Shannon at Cappagh Pier
Image: National Library of Ireland on The Commons


In the 19th-century people travelled to this part of Clare by taking a boat down the River Shannon from Limerick. Many went onward to the tourist destination of Kilkee which became known as the 'Brighton of the West' at this time. Its key advantage was its access, shelter and the depth of water it supported, to enable larger vessels to come alongside. The customs house near the quay dates back to 1806 highlighting the level of steamer activity that had developed here by then. A notable passenger called Abe Grady, who was born in Ennis in the 1840s, set sail from Cappagh Pier in the 1860’ and was Mohammed Ali’s great grandfather.


Memorial to Cappagh fishermen at the foot of the pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Today Cappagh Pier projects 152 metres into Kilrush Channel and the oldest section, nearest the shore. Is the original stone from 1764. It still accommodates freighters of up to 100 metres with a 5-metre draught. On occasions, a vessel will berth here typically bringing timber to the local mill. Its primary use is however by the Shannon pilots that berth at the head of the pier. The pilot station is situated near the pier on the north side of Kilrush Channel. It is abundantly used by locals and visitors alike jumping off the pier and enjoying the sea at the Shannon estuary’s only blue flag beach immediately north of the pier, and the playground behind.

Cappagh Pier projecting 152 metres into Kilrush Channel
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating perspective, Hog Island is an ideal wait point for a tide to access Kilrush, as most yachts cannot enter at LWS. It also makes for an ideal evening anchorage to await a morning, daylight or working-hours entrance into the marina. But this overlooks what is a perfectly serviceable anchorage, with Cappagh just a quarter of a mile from the berth, the well-protected Hog Island is a very useful berth to come alongside or to anchor off the head.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities here except for the resources of the mainland's small village of Cappagh accessible via the pier. Almost everything a coastal cruiser requires may be obtained at Kilrush.


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


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







Cappagh Pier




Scattery Island and Hog Island area short overview


About Hog Island

It not certain how Hog Island got its name. Its Irish name, 'Inishbig' comes from the Irish word 'inis' an island or more specifically a word which also signifies 'a river meadow' and 'bec' from the modern Irish 'beag', meaning 'small'.

1836 Ordinance Survey Map showing the dwelling house
Image: Public Domain
Hog island, comprising about 20 acres of grassland, is somewhat overwhelmed by its neighbouring and highly remarkable Scattery Island. In Irish 'Inis Cathaigh, has seven churches and a round tower and is one of the most important sites of early Christian Ireland. So it very much dominates the diminutive Hog Island that is entirely undeveloped and plays host to a few horses and goats but little else. But this was not always the case and it was home to one family in the early 1800s with the homestead sited near its highest point. The island remains to this day privately owned.

The facing little village of Cappagh with its pier reaching for Hog Island has an interesting history. The name Cappagh, or Cappa is derived from the Irish word 'ceapach' which means 'a plot of ground laid out for tillage'. Understandably it appears as the name of several townlands and these words enter into the composition of many others townland names. It was near to here, just off Scattery Roads, that seven ships of the Spanish Armada came to anchor in September 1588, seeking supplies and refuge.


Cappagh Pier was pivotal in the development of the town of Kilrush in the
backdrop

Image: Michael Harpur


A two-hundred-foot pier was built by the Commissioners of Customs in 1764 and extended by 186 feet in 1829, under Alexander Nimmo design, and again by eighty-five feet between 1835 and 1839. The harbour was frequented by vessels trading in grain and other commodities and there was much local traffic back and forth from Cappagh, Kilrush Creek and Scattery Island at this time. Being a key port for vessels trading in grain and other commodities along the Clare coast and up the River Shannon as far as Limerick, Cappagh Pier was pivotal in the development of the town of Kilrush and it was the principal commercial pier for the area until Kilrush port established itself.

Passengers disembarking the S.S. Shannon at Cappagh Pier
Image: National Library of Ireland on The Commons


In the 19th-century people travelled to this part of Clare by taking a boat down the River Shannon from Limerick. Many went onward to the tourist destination of Kilkee which became known as the 'Brighton of the West' at this time. Its key advantage was its access, shelter and the depth of water it supported, to enable larger vessels to come alongside. The customs house near the quay dates back to 1806 highlighting the level of steamer activity that had developed here by then. A notable passenger called Abe Grady, who was born in Ennis in the 1840s, set sail from Cappagh Pier in the 1860’ and was Mohammed Ali’s great grandfather.


Memorial to Cappagh fishermen at the foot of the pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Today Cappagh Pier projects 152 metres into Kilrush Channel and the oldest section, nearest the shore. Is the original stone from 1764. It still accommodates freighters of up to 100 metres with a 5-metre draught. On occasions, a vessel will berth here typically bringing timber to the local mill. Its primary use is however by the Shannon pilots that berth at the head of the pier. The pilot station is situated near the pier on the north side of Kilrush Channel. It is abundantly used by locals and visitors alike jumping off the pier and enjoying the sea at the Shannon estuary’s only blue flag beach immediately north of the pier, and the playground behind.

Cappagh Pier projecting 152 metres into Kilrush Channel
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating perspective, Hog Island is an ideal wait point for a tide to access Kilrush, as most yachts cannot enter at LWS. It also makes for an ideal evening anchorage to await a morning, daylight or working-hours entrance into the marina. But this overlooks what is a perfectly serviceable anchorage, with Cappagh just a quarter of a mile from the berth, the well-protected Hog Island is a very useful berth to come alongside or to anchor off the head.

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:
Kilrush - 0.4 miles N
Carrigaholt Bay - 4.6 miles W
Kilbaha Bay - 8.5 miles WSW
Ross Bay - 8.7 miles W
Kilkee - 4.1 miles WNW
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Limerick Docks - 19.3 miles E
Askeaton - 11.5 miles E
Foynes Harbour - 8.7 miles E
Barrow Harbour - 14.8 miles SW
Fenit Harbour - 15.5 miles SSW

Navigational pictures


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




































Cappagh Pier




Scattery Island and Hog Island area short overview



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