England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes


Georgina’s Bay

Tides and tools

The Saltee Islands are two small islands that are situated off the southeast corner of Ireland, approximately halfway between Hook Head and Carnsore Point. This is a Great Saltee Island anchorage, the larger and southernmost of the two islands, with Georgina’s Bay being the better of two adjacent anchorages available off the island’s southern side.

Georgina’s Bay is an exposed anchorage that is only suitable for a day trip after a prolonged settled spell. Although it appears as though a vessel can tuck snuggly into the bay there is in fact little protection if there is any sea swell. The Saltee Islands require careful navigation owing to the numerous outlying rocks and strong currents. They are however very workable in settled clear conditions and highly enjoyable.
Please note

Currents can attain speeds of 3.4 knots on springs in this area. Those planning to explore these waters should have the benefit of a good plotter, or large scale charts, and a reliable engine.

Be the first
to comment
Keyfacts for Georgina’s Bay
None listed

No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

None listed

Protected sectors

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

2 stars: Careful navigation; good visibility and conditions with dangers that require careful navigation.
2 stars: Exposed; unattended vessels should be watched from the shore and a comfortable overnight stay is unlikely.

Last modified
May 29th 2020


An exposed location with careful navigation required for access.

None listed

No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

None listed

Position and approaches
Expand to new tab or fullscreen

Haven position

52° 6.788' N, 006° 37.000' W

The waypoint is in the centre of the bay where you may drop the anchor into sand at a depth of 3 metres at low water.

What is the initial fix?

The following Georgina’s Bay initial fix will set up a final approach:
52° 6.450' N, 006° 37.000' W
This waypoint is 600 metres due south of the anchorage.

What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southeastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour Route location. The Kilmore Quay Click to view haven entry provides approach directions for this haven.

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 Georgina’s Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Gilert Bay - 0.1 miles ENE
  2. Great Saltee (landing beach) - 0.3 miles NNE
  3. Little Saltee (west side) - 1 miles NNE
  4. Little Saltee (east side) - 1.2 miles NE
  5. Little Saltee (landing beach) - 1.2 miles NNE
  6. Kilmore Quay - 2.2 miles NNE
  7. Baginbun Bay - 5.3 miles WNW
  8. Bannow Bay - 5.4 miles NW
  9. Fethard On Sea - 5.6 miles WNW
  10. Slade - 6.7 miles W
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Kilmore Quay - 2.2 miles NNE
  2. Baginbun Bay - 5.3 miles WNW
  3. Bannow Bay - 5.4 miles NW
  4. Fethard On Sea - 5.6 miles WNW
  5. Slade - 6.7 miles W
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search

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?
Georgina’s Bay
Image: Burke Corbett

The Saltee Islands consisting of the Great and Little Saltee, are situated approximately 4 miles off the coast of Kilmore Quay Co.Wexford. The Islands are privately owned but have been largely unoccupied since the early 20th century. Great Saltee Island lies about 3.24 miles from Kilmore Quay, has an area of about 87ha, and is wedge-shaped. The island ascends from a low shore on its northern mainland side to 20-30 metre high cliffs on its south-eastern side. The southern summit rises to an altitude of 58 meters which is its highest point.

The Saltees are a haven for sea birds, nurturing an impressive array of birds, from Gannets and Gulls to Puffins and Manx Shearwaters. They also lie on an important migratory route and a popular stopping-off place for spring and autumn migrants. In addition to its birdlife, Great Saltee has a breeding population of Grey Seals, one of the very few in eastern Ireland. Up to 120 animals are present in autumn and up to 20 pups are produced annually. All of this combine to make it a Special Area of Conservation and very popular with both day-trippers and birdwatchers alike.

Tucked into the southwest Georgina's Bay is adjacent to the island's largest concentration of birds, of the most famous bird sanctuary in Ireland. It has a landing beach at low water but there is no accent available up its steep cliffs to the island. This is only possible at the Landing beach anchorage on the opposite side.

How to get in?
Great Saltee Island as seen from Kilmore Quay
Image: Michael Harpur

Convergance Point Offshore details are available in southeastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour Route location and Kilmore Quay Click to view haven entry provides approach directions for this haven. Those planning to cruise this area should study the 'Additional notes for the Saltee Islands' set out in the Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour Route location overview. A sharp lookout should always be kept for lobster pots in around the Kilmore Quay area.

Southern Approach Vessels approaching the islands from the far south should note the positions of the Coningbeg Rock, Coningmore Rocks, the Brandies and the area’s offshore shoals and shallows. Close approaches from directly south of the waypoint into Georgina’s Bay are clear.

Kilmore Quay's safe water buoy with Little Island in the backdrop
Image: Michael Harpur

Northern Approach If approaching from Kilmore Quay come out keeping the transits in-line astern to the safe water mark. From here it is possible to round either side of Great Saltee to approach its southern anchorages. The bay tends towards the west side of the island and vessels may freely round Great Saltee to the west or east to approach the anchorage. Rounding the island to the west is slightly longer but presents a more open-water approach with less off-lying dangers to contend with. The eastern Saltee Sound path is much shorter but involves some pilotage to sidestep some unmarked dangers.

Great Saltee Island as seen from the west
Image: Burke Corbett

Vessels planning to round the island to the west should strike out due west from the safe water mark to clear Murroch's Rock and Jackeen Rocks and stand well clear of the Great Saltee Island’s northwest corner as there are dangerous rocks offshore here.

Rounding Great Saltees' Seven Heads
Image: Michael Harpur

When rounding Great Saltee Island’s southwest corner, called 'Seven Heads', make particular note of Shoal Rock. It lies 300 metres offshore with depths of 10 metres between it and the mainland. Shoal Rock may, therefore, be passed on either side i.e. either well offshore or between the rock and the island.

Shoal Rock – position: 52° 06.119’N, 006° 37.805’W

Approaching the anchorage from the southwest
Image: Burke Corbett

Vessels selecting to pass around Great Saltee Island’s eastern side, through Saltee Sound and between Great Saltee and Little Saltee, should again make note of Murroch's Rock and Jackeen Rock, at the outset, plus Goose Rock and Galgee Rocks, off Little Island, when in the Sound. Likewise, the Sebbar Bridge, a ridge extending off the northeast end of Great Island, is the eastern danger of the Sound.

Saltee Sound as seen from Great Saltee Island
Image: Tourism Ireland

Murroch's Rock and Jackeen Rocks are best avoided by favouring the east side of a direct path, along the western side of Little Saltee. Keeping within the island’s 2 - 4 metres contours until the midpoint of the island is achieved clears these dangers. The unnamed Privateer Rock, clearly marked on the charts half a mile west of the centre of Little Saltee Island, has 3 metres of cover and should present no difficulty for leisure craft.
Please note

Be careful not to drift into the island as the shoreline shelves abruptly.

This course keeps a vessel well east of Murroch's Rock, awash at low water, that lies just under ¾ of a mile to the northwest of the Little Saltee Island.

Murrock’s Rock – position: 52 08.753’N, 006° 35.919’W

It also clears Jackeen Rock, with 1.5 metres of cover, situated just over a mile west by southwest of the north tip of Little Saltee Island.

Jackeen Rock – position: 52 08.438’N, 006 36.722’W

At about the midpoint of the Little Saltee Island, or when Goose Rock has been identified ahead, it is safe to come out from the island to approach the middle of Saltee Sound.

Saltee Sound has depths in the fairway from 8 to 10 metres. However, it is reduced to a width of 600 metres between the foul ground extending west from Little Saltee and the Sebber Bridge that runs off from the north end of Great Saltee. The dangers of the sound are Goose, Galgee and the aforementioned Sebbar Rocks.

Goose Rock shows its head along with its southwesterly off lying portion
Image: Michael Harpur

The Goose is a half-tide rock that dries to 2.6 metres, located 200 metres from the southwest point of Little Saltee. An off lying portion which lies 15 metres to the southwest of Goose Rock just shows its head.

Goose Rock – position: 52° 08.042’N, 006° 35.546’W

Galgee Rock – position: 52° 07.869’N, 006° 35.228’W

Sunken Rock of Makeston awash
Image: Burke Corbett

When passing around the south-eastern corner of the island keep well off the corner to avoid ‘Sunken Rock of Makeston’ that lies awash 200 metres to the southwest of Makeston Rock.

Sunken Rock of Makeston – position: 52° 06.853’N, 006° 36.419’W

Pinnacle rocks fringing the eastern side of Georgina’s Bay
Image: Burke Corbett

There are many visible pinnacle rocks fringing the eastern side of Georgina’s Bay separating it from Gilert Bay. Local boatmen do pass in and between these but it is advised that strangers pass south of these.

The south facing Georgina’s Bay
Image: Michael Harpur

Initial fix location Approach the bay from the initial fix or in clear water due south of the described waypoint. The anchorage is adjacent to the highest point of the Saltees which is the 60 metres (198 feet) South Summit.

At anchor in Georgina's Bay
Image: Burke Corbett

Haven location Anchor in sand. There is plenty of swinging room and the bay accommodates up to half a dozen yachts. The head of the bay, depending on the previous month’s heavy weather conditions, may offer either a sand or shingle beach to land upon at low water.

The small landing beach at the head of the bay
Image: Michael Harpur

Why visit here?
Although becoming popular as a result of its posting here, visitors are still most likely to have this beautiful hidden gem of a bay all to themselves.

Gannet colony adjacent to the anchorage
Image: Michael Harpur

It is truly a lovely secluded place to land a dinghy and let the family loose to swim. Likewise, it is possible to let the children off in the dinghy to explore the old smuggler sea caves nearby.

A Gannet in flight is supremely graceful
Image: Michael Harpur

For those who want to take it easy, there is no better place to drop the hook, sit back in the cockpit and enjoy the wealth of hallmark Saltee birdlife on the surrounding cliffs. The calling sounds from the nesting birds make for the most spectacular soundtrack imaginable.

Guillemots on the anchorage's overlooking cliffs
Image: Michael Harpur

Puffins are directly above and, in early summer, a burgeoning Gannet colony resides just above Seven Heads immediately west of the bay. Breading seals also frequent the south side of the island particularly so in neighbouring Gilert Bay.

Great Saltee Island Puffin
Image: Velmerc via CC ASA 4.0

The single point to note about the islands southern anchorages is that the cliffs are steep here. Although it is possible to alight upon their enclosed beaches at low water it is not possible to get up to and explore the island from either of these anchorages. The main landing beach, on the north side of the island, should be used for those who wish to come ashore and explore.

What facilities are available?
There are no facilities on the Little Saltee Island. Immediately ashore Kilmore Quay has all facilities. Depending on the previous years heavy weather conditions, the beach may consist of shale or sand.

Any security concerns?
Security issues are unheard of on the Saltee Islands. In fact if anything the reverse is more likely to be encountered. Local boatmen are very welcoming and you can take it that they will by good nature be keeping an eye on the welfare of your vessel, should she drag whilst you are ashore, and be ready to assist you.

With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford. Photographs with thanks to Michael Harpur and Burke Corbett.

Georgina’s Bay, Great Saltee Island, County Wexford, Ireland
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur

Georgina’s Bay' sandy bottom
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur

The head of the bay seen from the anchoring position
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur

Guillemots on the adjacent cliffs
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur

A small cut immediately east of the head of the bay
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur

The view east from the anchoring area
Image: eOceanic thanks Burke Corbett

The view west from the anchoring area
Image: eOceanic thanks Burke Corbett

This video opens over Georgina's Bay and presents the surrounding bird life

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.