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West Cove

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Overview





West Cove is situated in the northwest corner of a rock-strewn bight on the north side of the Kenmare River in Co. Kerry on the southwest coast of Ireland. It is approximately seven miles southwest of Sneem Harbour and offers a sheltered anchorage in a particularly picturesque location.

Once inside, the anchorage provides good protection with very good holding. Access requires careful navigation through rocks and shoals that are mostly covered, but this is greatly assisted by two sets of transits supported by illuminated beacons describing a dog-legged entrance path.
Please note

With any swell running, particularly from the southwest the bay is a mass of breakers making access a challenge. Ideally, the harbour should only be approached in settled conditions with a vessel operating under power. Although the transits are lit you should not attempt this anchorage at night without extensive local knowledge.




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Keyfacts for West Cove
Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingScenic location or scenic location 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
2 metres (6.56 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
May 11th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with careful navigation required for access.

Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingScenic location or scenic location 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° 46.140' N, 010° 3.320' W

the anchorage south of the pier in two metres.

What are the initial fixes?

The following waypoints will set up a final approach:

(i) West Cove 2nd 314° transit Initial Fix

51° 45.910' N, 010° 2.710' W

This is about the location where the first 045° and second 314° transits intersect.

(ii) West Cove 1st 045° transit Initial Fix

51° 45.580' N, 010° 3.230' W

200 metres south of Grey Island on the first transit - entrance bearing 045° approximately.
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 West Cove for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Darrynane Harbour - 2.2 miles W
  2. Ballycrovane Harbour - 3.1 miles SE
  3. Sneem Harbour - 4 miles ENE
  4. Ardgroom Harbour - 4.1 miles E
  5. Ballinskellig Bay - 5.1 miles WNW
  6. Kilmakilloge Harbour - 5.2 miles E
  7. Castletownbere (Castletown Bearhaven) - 5.7 miles SE
  8. Dunboy Bay & Traillaun Harbour - 5.9 miles SSE
  9. Garnish Bay - 6 miles SSW
  10. Mill Cove - 6.1 miles SE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Darrynane Harbour - 2.2 miles W
  2. Ballycrovane Harbour - 3.1 miles SE
  3. Sneem Harbour - 4 miles ENE
  4. Ardgroom Harbour - 4.1 miles E
  5. Ballinskellig Bay - 5.1 miles WNW
  6. Kilmakilloge Harbour - 5.2 miles E
  7. Castletownbere (Castletown Bearhaven) - 5.7 miles SE
  8. Dunboy Bay & Traillaun Harbour - 5.9 miles SSE
  9. Garnish Bay - 6 miles SSW
  10. Mill Cove - 6.1 miles SE
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?
West Cove anchorage
Image: Burke Corbett


West Cove is a well sheltered shallow harbour lying in the northwest corner of a rock-strewn bight on the northwest side of the Kenmare River. The approach and entrance are both marked by leading lights and, although the entrance channel presents a narrow dog-leg, leisure craft operating under power should have no difficulty entering in good conditions.

It is, however, essential to keep to the transits and take it steady in West Cove owing to the number of sunken rocks and the tight entrance in the last section. With any swell, however, present a mass of breakers that newcomers should avoid. The final entrance is also very narrow, albeit sheltered by the rocks further out in the harbour, and there is a section of water with 1 metre LAT just after this.

Carriganglee Rock just showing with the front beacon of the second 314°
transits behind

Image: Burke Corbett


Finally, the normally covered Carriganglee Rock is directly in line with the second 314° transits, it can look very inviting for a passing vessel that is unaware of the first transit and happen to see a couple of yachts anchored in the northwest corner.


Image: eOceanic


Initial fix location From the 1st initial fix track in on the 045°. By the time Grey Island is abreast the grey beacon ahead on Burnt Island, about a mile away, they should come inline with the beacon behind higher up on the mainland to the northeast of it.
Please note

The back beacon was very grey when last reported and blends in with the rocky background, so in poor light, it will take some focus to see it, but it is there.



Next a tall stone beacon, Fl.R.3s, on Limpet Rock at the southwest side of the entrance and also a white beacon east of the house and quay at West Cove (Fl.2s). Once you see the second set of transits align to port, turn onto 314° and track into this.


Entering yacht passing the Limpet Beacon as seen from within West Cove
Image: Burke Corbett


Pass the Limpet Rock beacon to port between it and the island on the starboard. The gap between the beacon and the adjacent islet is narrow, perhaps 50 metres or less, but the inner harbour waters should be more settled and it will not present a major challenge.

When on transit West Cove Harbour Ldg Lts Front beacon will be seen in the water inside the entrance. When passing the Limpet Beacon and rocks, turn slightly to starboard and allow the post just to come to the left of the rear beacon but once clear come back on transit.

West Cove Harbour Ldg Lights Front Beacon
Image: Burke Corbett


Progressing towards the Front Beacon the harbour open out to the west, and when approximately 20 metres off the beacon turn to port.

Approaching the anchorage from the front beacon
Image: Burke Corbett


Haven location Anchor according to draft. There is a small area where 2 to 2.5 metres will be found in good sand holding. Further in it drops off to 0.4 to 0.7 metres with mostly mud to the northwest of the quay. The anchorage is not that large and it is mostly frequented by smaller yachts, although larger boats of 35ft plus do use it.

Land at the steps beyond the quay at all tides and a vessel that can take to the mud can come alongside.

The small pier at West Cove
Image: Burke Corbett



Why visit here?
West Cove is another one of those little gems along this coast that is well worth a visit to take in the naturally beauty. The scenery is spectacular in fine weather and it is a lovely spot to spend a night in settled conditions.

West Cove is near the famous 'Kerry Way' walk that is well signed but still wonderfully unspoiled, and takes you along the ridge of hills all the way from Waterville to Kenmare. It is a good anchorage from which to explore the many fascinating areas of this most scenic corner of Ireland. The surrounding countryside is ideally suited for all types of walking, ranging from gentle strolls along lovely sandy beaches to more serious hikes over craggy hills.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities in West Cove. However the main road is about three quarters of a mile away and Castlecove is one mile east along this road where a shop and petrol pump can be found.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred in West Cove.


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


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The above plots are not precise and indicative only.



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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.