England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes
Boat
Maintenance
Comfort
Operations
Safety
Other



NextPrevious

South Harbour (Ineer)

Tides and tools
Overview





South Harbour is a deep inlet located on the south coast of Clear Island that is situated eight miles off the West Cork coast and is Ireland's southernmost inhabited island. The inlet offers a truly spectacular anchorage in a remote and secluded setting.

Open to the ocean, South Harbour provides a tolerable anchorage that is exposed to everything with a southerly component. It is also subject to a heavy rolling swell that makes it an unreliable anchorage. However, it does offer very good protection northwest round to northeast gales with good holding behind high ground. Daylight access is straightforward as the island and inlet are very easily located, and there is little in the way of off-lying dangers.
Please note

With nothing standing between the inlet and the southwesterly prevailing Atlantic Ocean, South Harbour should be considered a settled fair-weather day anchorage, preferably with a northerly component in the weather.




Be the first
to comment
Keyfacts for South Harbour (Ineer)
Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


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 vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
4 metres (13.12 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
March 22nd 2019

Summary* Restrictions apply

A tolerable location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


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 vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier



Position and approaches
Expand to new tab or fullscreen

Haven position

51° 26.000' N, 009° 30.150' W

In the north end of the inlet, west of centre, on the 5 metre contour.

What is the initial fix?

The following South Harbour initial fix will set up a final approach:
51° 25.413' N, 009° 30.131' W
This initial fix is half a mile to the south of the anchorage.


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.


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 South Harbour (Ineer) for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. North Harbour (Trawkieran) - 0.3 miles N
  2. White Strand - 2 miles NNE
  3. Kinish Harbour - 2.6 miles NE
  4. Castle Island (South Side) - 2.8 miles N
  5. Horseshoe Harbour - 2.8 miles ENE
  6. Long Island - 2.8 miles NNW
  7. Off Castle Ruins - 2.9 miles NE
  8. Castle Island (North Side) - 2.9 miles N
  9. Heir Island (east beach) - 3 miles NE
  10. Coney Island - 3 miles NNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. North Harbour (Trawkieran) - 0.3 miles N
  2. White Strand - 2 miles NNE
  3. Kinish Harbour - 2.6 miles NE
  4. Castle Island (South Side) - 2.8 miles N
  5. Horseshoe Harbour - 2.8 miles ENE
  6. Long Island - 2.8 miles NNW
  7. Off Castle Ruins - 2.9 miles NE
  8. Castle Island (North Side) - 2.9 miles N
  9. Heir Island (east beach) - 3 miles NE
  10. Coney Island - 3 miles NNW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search

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.

Expand to new tab or fullscreen



What's the story here?


South (Ineer) Harbour is set within the extensive and deep cove on the south side of the islands the imposing Cape Clear Island. A mile to the southwest, three miles long, in an east and west direction, and a mile wide the island is high, precipitous, and bold, especially on its southern side, where it rises abruptly from the sea to the height of 159 metres. This beautiful inlet offers a fair weather anchorage as it does not afford permanent shelter to a cruising vessel.


How to get in?


Convergance Point Cape Clear Island is readily identifiable from seaward; being the south-westernmost corner of Ireland and having Fastnet Rock located four miles to the southwest. The island is high and bold with the northerly mainland increasing in height in the backdrop. To the east of Clear Island, the shore retains its bold aspect but is less indented. The island is three miles long, in an east and west direction, and a mile wide, precipitous, and bold, especially on its southern side, where it rises abruptly from the sea to the height of 159 metres, but slopes more gradually to the north. Two wind motors will be seen on the summit of the island. The ruins of an old lighthouse, that was replaced by the Fastnet Rock lighthouse, will be seen about midway along the south side of the Island. Likewise the ruins of Dún an Óir Castle stand on the northwest side, about ¾ of a mile north-northeast of the Bill of Cape Clear, the southwest extremity. Cape Clear’s most southwest point is called Pointabullaun, and within this is the extensive and deep cove on the south side of the island that is South (Ineer) Harbour.

Approaches to South Harbour are clear; the western and southern side of the island are free of dangers all round with steep and bold-to shores having 20 to 40 metres of water 200 metres off.
Please note

Tidal eddies should, however, be allowed for off Blananarragaun, the harbour's southwest entrance.





Initial fix location From the initial fix come up north steering for the centre of the sea inlet. The entrance is about half a mile wide and with 40 metres of water. There are no outlying dangers apart from a rock that extends about 100 metres off the inlets eastern entrance point. The inlet narrows to about 300 metres wide inside but there is plenty of water all the way with depths in excess of 20 metres for the majority of the passage.
Yacht anchored in South Harbour
Image: © Peter Maher


Haven location The recommended anchorage is in 4 to 6 metres west of the centre near the head of the harbour. There is a small quay on the east side of the harbour, called Illaunfaha, where it is possible to land at the steps at high water or on a gravel beach at low tide.


Why visit here?
Cape Clear Island, that is known as Cléire and sometimes also referred to in Irish as Oileán Chléire', is Ireland's most southerly populated island. The island as a whole is covered in the primary North Harbour Trawkieran entry. Being removed from the relatively busy primary North Harbour the beautiful and unspoilt South Harbour is the epitome of the true Cape Clear experience.

From a sailing perspective, South Harbour has the added interest of being the most southern anchorage in Ireland, and when viewed from the shore could be the countries’ most beautiful. The island records some of the highest amounts of sunshine hours in Ireland, and should an auspicious weather window open, South Harbour is a perfect sun-trap in which to enjoy a sunny day. For boats with a family, it is an ideal location to let children off in a dinghy, to swim or explore the immediate harbour area.

South Harbour is an ideal location from which to visit the old Cape Clear lighthouse and signal tower that can be seen on the middle summit of the island. A road that leads to these buildings can be found near the disused telegraph station that is situated close to the quay at the head of the inlet. Cape Clear Island lighthouse was built in 1818 but was subsequently found to be too high and often obscured by cloud and fog. This became a major concern for a key lighthouse that served as a primary landfall for many Atlantic crossing vessels. In November 1847 this height issue was to prove fatal. In a thick fog, the American sailing packet Stephen Whitney mistook the Crookhaven Lighthouse for that of Clear Island. Adjusting its course accordingly northward it very quickly ran up on Calf Island West killing 92 of its 110 passengers and crew. This provided the impetus to replace the Clear Island light with a new offshore light on Fastnet Rock.

Situated four miles to the southwest of Clear Island, Fastnet Rock is a compact 23-metre high schist rock that at low water covers an area of 110 by 55 metres. The rock goes by several names; mostly just ‘Fastnet’, which is thought to be derived from Old Norse: Hvasstann-ey meaning "sharp-tooth isle". In Irish it is called Carraig Aonair, meaning "lonely rock", but in folklore it is also known as Ireland's teardrop because it was the last part of Ireland that Ireland’s 19th century emigrants would see as they sailed out of Cork to the United States.

Construction of the first Fastnet lighthouse started in 1853, and it first produced a light in January 1854. It was made of cast iron with an inner lining of brick but this lighthouse proved to be too weak for the savage seas that it would experience off this corner of Ireland. Gales shook it to the point that the lighthouse keeper's crockery was sometimes thrown off tables. A 60 imperial gallon (273 L) cask of water lashed to the gallery 40.5 metres above high water was taken away. During a November gale in 1881 the whole of the nearby Calf tower, above its strengthening casing, was carried off. On the same day, the sea broke the glass of the Fastnet Rock lantern. Despite various efforts to strengthen the tower, including fitting a casing around the bottom section up to the second floor, and filling it with stone, it had to be replaced. Today only the first floor of the original tower remains, on the highest part of the rock, having been left when it was demolished and converted into an oil store. The iron lighthouse only lasted until 1881.




The second, and present lighthouse was made of granite, shaped in Cornwall into interlocking blocks. The stones were cut with dovetail joints in all directions to interlock and give strength to the tower. No stone can be removed unless all stones are removed top down from its eight level. This system of dovetail toggles bonds the entire structure into a monolith. The entire tower was erected in sections in its Cornwall yard then dismantled and transported to Crookhaven Harbour’s Rock Island. Here it was rigorously checked again before being transported out to the Fastnet Rock by the ‘SS Ierne’ a ship specially built to carry stones. It first showed light in 1903. This 28 metres high granite circular tower lighthouse, painted white and now with a helicopter platform standing on its south-western side, has proven itself well capable of withstanding the seas of this area. This is no small feat as in 1985, a rogue wave measuring about 48 metres, 157 feet, high struck the lighthouse.

Fastnet of course needs no introduction to the avid yachtsman. Its name has been given to the sea area used by the Shipping Forecasts on BBC's Radio 4 and is used as the midpoint of the classic RORC's Fastnet Race that has taken place every second year since 1925. The Fastnet Race is a 608 mile, or 1,126 kilometres, round trip from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, round the rock and back to Plymouth. It is a difficult contest that tests both inshore and offshore skills, boat and crew preparation, alongside speed potential. The 28th 1979 Fastnet Race, with 306 competitors, was to go down in infamy after being struck by an August storm of unusual ferocity. A deep depression passing over southwest Ireland raised unnaturally violent seas that caused 23 yachts to be lost or abandoned and the death of 19 people contestants.


What facilities are available?
Apart from the quay at Illaunfaha there are no facilities here. Half a mile away, which is 20 minutes’ walk, across the saddle from the Illaunfaha quay there is a restaurant.


Any security concerns?
Never a security issue known to have occurred to a vessel on Clear Island.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photography Chris Kealy, Ali San, Gerard Lovett, Brian Mo, Julien E, Dr Bryan Lynch, Anthony Beal, Burke Corbett and regienbb.


Expand to new tab or fullscreen
Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.


















































Original programme broadcast by Irish language (Gaelic) public television TG4, Teilifís na Gaeilge, these two videos provide a flavour of Clear Island, its people and most of all the wonderful "Ceol na nOileán", "The Music of the Island’’. Part (i)





Part (ii)



A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


Add your review or comment:

Please log in to leave a review of this haven.



Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.