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Barloge Creek (Lough Hyne)

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Overview





Barloge Creek is located on the southwest coast of Ireland about four nautical miles to the east of Baltimore. It is a small narrow inlet that provides a cosy and secluded anchorage with a pier adjacent and providing access to the beautiful Lough Hyne.

The creek provides a good anchorage in all moderate conditions except for south to south-easterlies. There are no marks, but also no off-lying dangers in the approaches, so access is straightforward. The singular issue with this haven is to distinguish the narrow entrance from the sea, and vessels need to be close in to find it. Hence good visibility is essential and moderate conditions are preferable.



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Keyfacts for Barloge Creek (Lough Hyne)
Facilities
Slipway availableMarked 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 pierNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

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

Approaches
2 stars: Careful navigation; good visibility and conditions with dangers that require careful navigation.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
February 19th 2020

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with careful navigation required for access.

Facilities
Slipway availableMarked 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 pierNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 29.620' N, 009° 17.630' W

Between the mainland and Bullock Island off the small pier.

What is the initial fix?

The following Barloge Creek initial fix will set up a final approach:
51° 29.440' N, 009° 17.380' W
This is set on the 120° back-baring that aligns Gokane Point on the Stags Rocks. It is 200 metres outside the entrance where a course of 295°T will lead into the narrow entrance channel.


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 Barloge Creek (Lough Hyne) for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Oldcourt - 1.7 miles NNW
  2. Baltimore - 1.9 miles WSW
  3. Inane Creek - 2 miles WNW
  4. Reena Dhuna - 2 miles WNW
  5. Off Castle Ruins - 2.5 miles WSW
  6. Quarantine Island - 2.5 miles W
  7. Horseshoe Harbour - 2.6 miles WSW
  8. Turk’s Head - 2.8 miles W
  9. Kinish Harbour - 2.9 miles WSW
  10. Heir Island (East Pier) - 2.9 miles W
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Oldcourt - 1.7 miles NNW
  2. Baltimore - 1.9 miles WSW
  3. Inane Creek - 2 miles WNW
  4. Reena Dhuna - 2 miles WNW
  5. Off Castle Ruins - 2.5 miles WSW
  6. Quarantine Island - 2.5 miles W
  7. Horseshoe Harbour - 2.6 miles WSW
  8. Turk’s Head - 2.8 miles W
  9. Kinish Harbour - 2.9 miles WSW
  10. Heir Island (East Pier) - 2.9 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?
Yacht anchored in Barloge Creek with the pier in the backdrop
Image: eOceanic thanks Oisin Creagh for contributing this image


Barloge Creek, pronounced with an emphasis on the 'g', is a narrow inlet between Bullock Island and the Carrigathorna headland to the southwest. Nested between precipitous hills it makes for a cosy anchorage in settled conditions or when the wind is off the land. The creek provides a channel through which small boat may reach the picturesque Lough Hyne that lies above it.

Barloge provides deep waters and good shelter except in strong southerly and southeasterly conditions.


How to get in?
Bullock Island, Barloge Creek and Lough Hyne
Image: Tom Vaughan


Convergance Point Use southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Cork Harbour to Mizen Head Route location for seaward approaches. Barloge Creek and the entrance to Lough Hyne lies 15 miles west of Toe Head and is tucked into the mainland between precipitous hills to the northwest of Gokane Point. It can be found about midway, or 2½ miles, to the east of Kedge Island and west of The Stags. The high, rounded and pine-covered 195 metre high Knockomagh mountain, that stands a mile inland to the northeast, is a good seamark for it.


The entrance channel with the white water of the Lough Hyne rapids just showing
Image: Burke Corbett


Initial fix location From the initial fix, located 200 metres outside the entrance, steer a course of 295°T until the entrance is visible and pilot in by eye from here. The entrance lies between Carrigathorna, Lalawn Point, on the west side, and the rocks that are situated close south of the Bullock Island on the east side.

The channel is very narrow, 150 metres and decreasing at the entrance, and vessels should favour the western shore on entry to avoid the off-lying rock cluster that is situated close south off Bullock Island. The inner entrance between these rocks and the shore on the west is about 100 metres wide with at least a depth of 12 metres.

Once inside maintain a mid-channel course between the island and shore where depths at the narrowest point are 6 metres, then descending to 3 metres as the anchoring area is approached.


Tombola connecting Bullock Island to the shore
Image: eOceanic thanks Oisin Creagh for contributing this image


Do not be tempted into the attractive wider entrance that is located to the east of Bullock Island. This leads into Tranabo Cove which offers less protection. It presents what falsely appears to be a high-water channel around the back of Bullock Island, between it and the mainland, through which the moored craft in Barloge Creek can be seen. Do not cross this as there is a very shallow and drying area.

Barloge Creek as seen from its pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Anchor at the top of the entrance channel east of the small pier that will be seen on the west side of the bay. The area inside shoals quickly once a vessel is past the northwest corner of Bullock Island. Try to find a clean piece of sand avoiding fouling seaweed that the bay can be subject to. Land at the small quay on the west side of the bay.
Please note

As aforementioned; do not try to go around the back of the island and into Tranabo Cove. The whole area to the north of the island is very shallow, dries, and it is important to keep to the west of these rocks.




Why visit here?
Barloge Creek is a beautiful secluded location in which to drop anchor for a lunch stop or an overnight stay in good conditions. Yet it is Lough Hyne, that is situated immediately behind it, that is the principal attraction of this anchorage. This unique sea-water lake was Ireland’s first Marine Nature Reserve and can be counted amongst West Cork’s most beautiful locations.


Lough Hyne as seen from Knockomagh
Image: georama


Originally Lough Hyne, in Irish Loch Oighinn, was thought to be a freshwater lake. About 4000 years ago when sea levels rose, the Atlantic Ocean was connected to it via Barloge Creek and it flooded with salty ocean water. Today the small body of water, measuring only 0.8 km by 0.6 km, retains most of its water. However, when the level of the sea exceeds or falls above or below Lough Hyne’s levels, there is a rush of water through the narrow channel that connects it with the north end of Barloge Creek and the sea. This narrow 350 metres long channel is known as The Rapids and it is only at rest when the half-tide external water is level with the lake; outside of this white-waters dominate The Rapids with currents that can attain peak speeds of 16 km per hour.


Lough Hyne in Autumn
Image: Michael Harpur


This twice-daily flush of warm oxygenated seawater sustains a huge variety of marine plants and animals that include as many as 72 species of fish. Many of these are not native to Ireland and more than 50 species are not normally found at this latitude of Europe. A wide variety of environments such as cliffs, salt marsh, beach, and areas of greatly varying water movement add to the area's biodiversity. Scientific investigation began here in 1886 when Rev. William Spottswood Green first recorded the presence of the Purple sea urchin Paracentrotus Lividus. Further studies commenced in 1923 and today University College Cork (UCC) has three laboratories around the lough. This high level of biodiversity and the lake’s outstanding beauty was the reason Lough Hyne became Ireland's first Marine Nature Reserve in 1981. At the time it was the first ever marine nature reserve to be established in Europe. The Lough Hyne Visitor Centre situated in the Skibbereen Heritage Centre hosts a permanent exhibition about the Lough. Situated 5km away, and best accessed by bus from Baltimore, it includes an audio-visual documentary on its history, formation and folklore. It also features a saltwater aquarium that houses examples of species from the Lough.

The area is likewise steeped in human history and folklore. The 1846-47 Famine devastated this part of Ireland. Work on The Rapids, narrowing them and making them more resistant to erosion, along with the seawalls around the lake, were part of a Famine Relief Work project. Above The Rapids is a promontory on which stands the ruins of the 8th Century St. Bridgit's Church. St. Bridgit (453-524AD) also known as Bridgit of Ireland, arrived in Ireland a few years after St. Patrick (390-461AD), and along with Patrick and Columba, is one of Ireland's patron saints and Ireland's most revered female saint. Moreover being the saint for animals and crops, she was highly regarded in a very agricultural community. Beside the church is an early inscribed cross plus Saint Bridgit's well, in which the imprints of her knees are thought to be visible in the rocks. During Penal times, when Catholics were barred from practising their religion, isolated secret churches like this were in regular use.

In the middle of the Lough is the distinctive Castle Island that divides Lough Hyne into north and south basins. Still visible on the north-eastern side of the island are the ancient ruins of Cloghan Castle. This O'Driscoll clan castle, dating from the 13th century, was built to protect the Lough entrance from a seaward approaching enemy. According to the children’s’ Irish folk tale, King Labhra Loinseach, who had asses ears, once lived in this castle. Although the island is in the centre of the Marine Reserve, it is not part of the protected area.


Barloge Creek
Image: Tourism Ireland


Overall of this the great wooded hill of Knockomagh, in Irish Cnoc Camtha meaning bent or crooked hill, looms dark and menacing. The small mixed woodland area, 12 hectares or 31 acres in extent, was designated a Nature Reserve in 1989. It contains wonderful Knockomagh Wood Nature Trail that provides a hiker with one of the most rewarding experiences of the area. The 2 km trail which takes about 40 minutes, zig-zags up from the north end of the lake to the summit of Knockomagh providing stunning views down into Lough Hyne, the Cork coast and all the way out to the Atlantic Ocean. At the top of the hill, 197 metres above sea-level, the panoramic view stretches from Mount Gabriel in the northwest to the islands of Roaringwater Bay, to Sherkin and Cape Clear in the west, and to Galley Head in the east.


Barloge Creek is a stepping stone to beautifull Lough Hyne above
Image: © Bill Cremin


Barloge Creek offers a beautiful and unusual anchorage, however, the star attraction of this haven is the peaceful and serene Lough Hyne, sheltered by the surrounding hills like a great amphitheatre, home to a unique ecosystem and the Knockomagh Wood Nature Trail, and steeped in local folklore.


What facilities are available?
There is nothing in Barloge Creek save for a new landing pier with road access. The slip dries at low tide but the bottom is stony and slopes very gradually. It is located between the market town of Skibbereen and the port of Baltimore. Skibbereen being the larger of the two is approximately 5km from here.


Any security concerns?
Never a security issue known to have occurred in Barloge Creek.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photos: nmtoken, Burke Corbett & eutrophication&hypoxia.


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



























Tranabo Cove, Barloge Creek, The Rapids and Lough Hyne overview



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