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Ventry Harbour

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Overview





Ventry Harbour is a large bay situated on the southwest corner of the Dingle Peninsula, in Co. Kerry on the west coast of Ireland. Featuring a spectacular sandy beach along its western shore the picturesque southeast facing harbour provides an anchorage with a landing pier plus moorings.

Being open to the southeast, it is exposed to a swell from that direction making it a tolerable anchorage. It does provide very good shelter and holding in south through west to northeast winds but is entirely open in east to south-easterly winds. Straightforward access is provided by the mile-wide entrance and absence of obstructions within the bay, but a daylight entrance is recommended to strangers as there are no supporting lights.
Please note

Marine farming takes place in the harbour area so you should keep a watchful eye out for rafts and pot markers. In strong westerly conditions, heavy squalls come down from the surrounding high ground but only a slight swell is raised and it is nothing that would make an anchorage unsafe.




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Keyfacts for Ventry Harbour
Facilities
Waste disposal bins availableGas availableShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPost Office in the area


Nature
Anchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this location

Protected sectors

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

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
May 14th 2018

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Waste disposal bins availableGas availableShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPost Office in the area


Nature
Anchoring locationBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this location



Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 6.955' N, 010° 21.890' W

This is the pierhead to the west of Pointanskoh.

What is the initial fix?

The following Ventry Bay Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
52° 6.525' N, 010° 20.038' W
This is set outside the centre of entrance of the Ventry Harbour.


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 Ventry Harbour for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Dingle Harbour - 2.2 miles ENE
  2. Smerwick Harbour - 2.7 miles N
  3. Great Blasket Island - 3.4 miles W
  4. Cahersiveen Marina - 6.9 miles SSE
  5. Knightstown - 7.3 miles SSE
  6. Brandon Bay - 7.4 miles NE
  7. Portmagee - 8.5 miles S
  8. Castlegregory - 9.9 miles NE
  9. Scraggane Bay - 10.5 miles NE
  10. Illauntannig - 11.2 miles NE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Dingle Harbour - 2.2 miles ENE
  2. Smerwick Harbour - 2.7 miles N
  3. Great Blasket Island - 3.4 miles W
  4. Cahersiveen Marina - 6.9 miles SSE
  5. Knightstown - 7.3 miles SSE
  6. Brandon Bay - 7.4 miles NE
  7. Portmagee - 8.5 miles S
  8. Castlegregory - 9.9 miles NE
  9. Scraggane Bay - 10.5 miles NE
  10. Illauntannig - 11.2 miles NE
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?
Ventry Harbour
Image: kareem mayan CC BY-SA 2.0


Situated on the north side of Dingle Bay, Ventry Harbour is located four miles east of Slea Head. The bay’s opening is a mile wide and it is entered between Parkmore Point and the 30 meters high Paddock Point on the eastern side. Paddock Point is easily recognised upon approach as it lies 1½ miles to the west of the conspicuous Eask Tower situated upon a 195-metre high summit. The large bay provides easy access and an anchorage with good holding ground.


Eastern Approach Approaching from the east Ventry Harbour makes itself known by being located two miles to the west of the conspicuous Eask Tower. Situated a mile and a half to the east of Paddock Point, the bays eastern entry point, the Eask Tower is a primary landmark on this coast. Set upon the 188-metre high summit of Carhoo Hill it has a fingerpost that points east towards the entrance to Dingle Harbour.

Western Approach Vessels arriving from the west or southwest, however, in the first instance, will find the mouth of the harbour difficult to make out; when at a distance the scenery of the back-land blends in with Parkmore Point. However on closer approaches the two black rocks off Parkmore Point, the bays western entry point, will be seen and then the mile-wide entrance between Parkmore Point and Paddock Point becomes clear.

Initial fix location From the initial fix take a northeast course of approximately 304° T towards a conspicuous chapel visible on the western side of the harbour.

This passes Parkmore Point’s two black rocks, called Reenvare, that are always above water standing visibly on the rocky foreshore off the point. They are clear of danger and may be approached up to a distance of 200 metres. Paddock Point, at the eastern side, is situated upon the end of a long line of diminishing cliffs.

The entrance has depths of 14.6 to 21.9 metres, between Parkmore and Paddock Points, decreasing to 7.3 to 8.2 metres about a mile within the harbour. The western shore of the harbour is shallow, but otherwise clear of danger. The east shore, nearly half a mile to the north of Paddock Point, has a sunken ledge that extends about 0.3 mile offshore with 2.9 metres of water over it. The sea breaks heavily on this ledge and it should be avoided. Hence a middle to west side approach is advised and the 304° T towards a conspicuous chapel clears this shoal. A seaweed farm that is marked with Yellow beacons will be seen on the eastern side of the entry path. These have flashing lights at night.

Haven location This western, or Cuan, side of the bay is more sheltered and better for longer stays. Progressing into the harbour towards the west side Pointanskoh Point will be seen with a caravan park immediately above; this entire area is referred to as Cuan locally. Cuan Pier and slipway, incorrectly spelt Coon on the charts, is situated immediately west extending northward from the south side of the bay. Anchor about 200 metres north of the slipway in three metres or closer according to requisite draft.
Please note

The sand is hard in Ventry Harbour and an effort may be required to dig the anchor in.



Cuan Pier dries out, but it has a good slipway with steps that make it a straightforward landing point. There are two visitors' moorings reported, one near Cuan pier and the other on the village side of the bay.

Ventry Harbour Cuan pier moorings – position: 52° 07.100’N, 010° 21.900’W

Ventry Harbour village moorings – position: 52° 07.700’N, 010° 21.400’W

The moorings are rated to 15 tons and are large, coloured bright yellow and labelled VISITOR.

The village of Ceann Trá, or Ventry, lies on the north side of the bay. Popular anchorages here are off the beach, west of the church, or in the northeast section of the bay, beneath the village, working the protection around prevailing wind conditions. Vessels that anchor off the village can make use of Ballymore pier and slip below Ventry village.


Why visit here?
Ventry, an Anglicisation of the Irish Ceann Trá, boasts a fine natural harbour with three miles of sandy beach. It is one of the most attractive and safest beaches on the west coast of Ireland.

The bay was once the main port on this peninsula and the surrounding area is steeped in history. Four miles west of Ventry are the dramatic ruins of Dunbeg, in Irish An Dún Beag. This is a 1200-year-old Iron Age promontory fort located on the edge of a steep cliff. It is made up of twenty-two-feet thick walls and girded by four rings of earthworks with additional beehive huts standing nearby. An elaborately constructed souterrain, or underground escape passage, testifies to the engineering sophistication of the medieval occupants of this lonely outpost.

Dún Beag
Image: Jim Linwood via CC BY-SA 2.0


The location of An Dún Beag, or Dunbeag Promontory Fort, makes it one of the most dramatic archaeological sites on the peninsula. It has been excavated and results show that it was begun in the late Bronze Age, 800 BC, and was used right through the Celtic period up to the 10th century. Even the excavation results did not reveal conclusively what the site was used for; it may have been defensive or used for ritual purposes, or it may simply have just been lived in. This small but impressive fort is located on a sheer cliff promontory which projects South into Dingle Bay at the base of Mt. Eagle.

Dunbeg is only a part of the Fahan Group that includes four hundred and fourteen clochans, nineteen souterrains, eighteen standing inscribed stones, seven earthen ring forts and two sculptured crosses. Close to Dunbeg is Kilvickadownig, home to other archaeological ruins, including examples of the beehive house and historic graves. This is something all visitors to this area should not miss, and also Rahinnane Castle in Ventry parish which was the residence of the Knight of Kerry. The castle was built on the site of an old ring fort and the Knight of Kerry lived there until Cromwellian times.

In more recent history, on October 4th, 1939, German U-Boat U-35 entered Ventry Bay on a mercy mission. It landed 28 Greek sailors off the MV Diamantis that the U-boat had torpedoed. A 2009 Ventry Historical Society headstone commemorates this today and is inscribed:

U-BOAT IN VENTRY HARBOUR 1939

    The German U-Boat U-35 landed the crew of the Greek merchant vessel Diamantis which was sunk off the coast of Cornwall, at An Dúinín in Ventry Harbour on October 4th, 1939. This magnanimous action put U-35 in considerable danger.


There are many wonderful walks in Ventry and its surrounds that are located amidst the very famous ‘Dingle Way’ drive. Several locally produced guides and other books are available describing walks in Ventry.

The bays primary use today is that of leisure; providing safe swimming, windsurfing, canoeing, diving and sunbathing and is enjoyed by people of all ages. It also provides a good anchorage for a boatman wishing to escape the bustle of Dingle town in the adjacent harbour.


What facilities are available?
At Cuan pier there is nothing but the slip to land upon. The village of Ceann Trá , or Ventry, lies on the north side of the bay at the northern end of its three km long beach. Vessels that anchor off the village can make use of another pier and slip here. The village has a Post Office that also offers some basic provisions. There are two food venues here, bar food at the pub overlooking the pier, plus a restaurant and cafe. The village does not have a petrol station, the nearest is Dingle about five miles to the east on the R559 to which there is an occasional bus service.


Any security concerns?
Never a problem known to have occurred to a vessel in Ventry Harbour.


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


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






























Round harbour view from departing vessel.




Round harbour view from the beach.



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