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Dursey Sound

Tides and tools
Overview





Dursey Sound lies at the south-western tip of the Beara Peninsula - to the east of Dursey Island and west of the mainland, in Co. Cork on the southwest coast of Ireland. It is a narrow rock-strewn stretch of water with a tidal race that is open to the Atlantic Ocean on either end. However in very settled weather conditions, with a good anchor watch on account of the strong tidal streams, it is possible to anchor in a patch of sand off the mainland close southeast of the narrows.

Although a possibility exists to anchor in very settled conditions, Dursey Sound is of more interest to sailors for the shortcut it offers in and out of Bantry Bay. Careful navigation is required and in this context, it may also present a challenge in boisterous conditions. Exposed to the Atlantic Ocean on either side there can be a large seaway running that is further complicated by shifting and funnelling winds over the tide; it should be noted that this is not a foul weather shortcut.
Please note

Tidal streams in the sound attain rates of up to 4 kn at springs and as such it is advisable to go through with a favourable tide or at least before it reaches its maximum rate.




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Keyfacts for Dursey Sound
Facilities
Slipway available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: 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
2 stars: Exposed; unattended vessels should be watched from the shore and a comfortable overnight stay is unlikely.



Last modified
May 10th 2018

Summary

An exposed location with careful navigation required for access.

Facilities
Slipway available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 36.340' N, 010° 8.725' W

Just inside the 3 metre contour in the middle of the anchorage.

What are the initial fixes?

The following waypoints will set up a final approach:

(i) North entrance initial fix

51° 37.134' N, 010° 9.934' W

This position is approx 1,000 metres north-by-northwest of the northern entrance.

(ii) South Entrance initial fix

51° 34.822' N, 010° 10.866' W

This position is approx 1,200 metres west of the southern point of Crow Island.
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.


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 Dursey Sound for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Garnish Bay - 0.6 miles NE
  2. Dunboy Bay & Traillaun Harbour - 5.2 miles ENE
  3. Castletownbere (Castletown Bearhaven) - 5.7 miles ENE
  4. Darrynane Harbour - 5.8 miles N
  5. Ballycrovane Harbour - 5.9 miles NE
  6. West Cove - 6.4 miles NNE
  7. Mill Cove - 6.7 miles ENE
  8. Lawrence Cove - 7.5 miles E
  9. Lonehort Harbour - 8.1 miles E
  10. Ballinskellig Bay - 8.2 miles NNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. West Cove - 6.4 miles NNE
  2. Mill Cove - 6.7 miles ENE
  3. Lawrence Cove - 7.5 miles E
  4. Lonehort Harbour - 8.1 miles E
  5. Ballinskellig Bay - 8.2 miles NNW
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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How to get in?
The view from the southern approach to Dursey Sound
Image: Graham Rabbits


Navigating through Dursey Sound Route location covers the passage through Dursey Sound.

Mainland anchoring area as seen from deck level
Image: Burke Corbett


Haven location Anchor in a patch of sand off the mainland about 800 metres to the southeast of the narrows. Eight metres can be found off the quay on Dursey Island and you may be able to find a berth in settled conditions if you hunt around. There is reportedly a slip and a telephone within 50 metres.

Dursey Island Quay
Image: Burke Corbett



Why visit here?
Dursey Sound is a lovely shortcut from Bantry Bay to Kenmare bay that saves ten to twelve miles of passage or possibly more. When rounding the west side of Dursey island keep in mind the off-lying rocks of the Bull, the Cow and the Calf of which only the Bull is lit.

In fine weather, it is possible to land on the island at the boat slip in Dursey Sound. Dursey Island, Irish: Baoi Bhéarra or Oileán Baoi, is a peaceful island 3.5M long and 250 metres high, and on its highest point stands an old watchtower.

The island is connected to the mainland by Ireland's only cable car, which is reportedly the only cable car that goes over open water in Europe. The cable car is one of the islands main attractions, but the island is also well known for the nesting colonies of seabirds.

If you plan to cruise around the island you will find the shores of Dursey Island clear of dangers except for Lea rock off Dursey Head at the south-west corner. With tidal streams in the sound attaining rates of up to 4 kn, this anchoring point could provide a useful tide wait location.


What facilities are available?
None.


Any security concerns?
Not applicable as it is not advisable to leave a vessel unattended in this area due to strong tides and shifting winds.


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


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





















An overview of Dursey Island




Scenic views of Dursey Island



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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.