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Darrynane Harbour

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Overview





Darrynane is a picturesque landlocked natural harbour located to the northwest of Abbey Island close north of Lamb's Head and Derrynane Bay, in Co. Kerry on the southwest coast of Ireland. The small landlocked harbour has a narrow entrance between rocks that leads into an excellent anchorage with secure moorings.

Darrynane Harbour provides complete protection in a scenic location free from swell in all conditions. Although protected from the sea the area is somewhat exposed to wind, particularly so to northerly squalls, so that a vessel sheltering from heavy weather can expect some rig noise. The harbour’s southwest entrance is extremely narrow requiring careful navigation. Beacons, transits and leading lights are provided but it is best avoided at night. In any rough conditions, especially from the southwest, the sea will break on the narrow entrance between the rocks making it dangerous if not impassable.
Please note

The anchorage has becomes popular with water skiers during high summer making for an uncomfortable wash and noise at times. Darrynane Harbour should only be accessed by a vessel that can call on auxiliary power, and not at night unless supported by highly experienced local knowledge.




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Keyfacts for Darrynane Harbour
Facilities
Water available via tapSlipway availablePublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingScenic 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
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier

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
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
July 20th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A completely protected location with careful navigation required for access.

Facilities
Water available via tapSlipway availablePublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingScenic 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
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier



Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 45.650' N, 010° 8.900' W

Near the reported position of Darrynane Harbour’s three visitor moorings in the anchorage.

What is the initial fix?

The following Darrynane Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
51° 45.248' N, 010° 9.772' W
1000 metres southwest of the entrance on the leading lights.


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 Darrynane Harbour for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. West Cove - 2.2 miles E
  2. Ballinskellig Bay - 3.3 miles NW
  3. Ballycrovane Harbour - 4.8 miles ESE
  4. Garnish Bay - 5.5 miles S
  5. Dursey Sound - 5.8 miles S
  6. Sneem Harbour - 6.1 miles ENE
  7. Ardgroom Harbour - 6.2 miles E
  8. Portmagee - 6.9 miles NW
  9. Knightstown - 6.9 miles NNW
  10. Castletownbere (Castletown Bearhaven) - 7 miles SE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. West Cove - 2.2 miles E
  2. Ballinskellig Bay - 3.3 miles NW
  3. Ballycrovane Harbour - 4.8 miles ESE
  4. Garnish Bay - 5.5 miles S
  5. Dursey Sound - 5.8 miles S
  6. Sneem Harbour - 6.1 miles ENE
  7. Ardgroom Harbour - 6.2 miles E
  8. Portmagee - 6.9 miles NW
  9. Knightstown - 6.9 miles NNW
  10. Castletownbere (Castletown Bearhaven) - 7 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?
Darrynane Harbour and its offlying islands
Image: Alex Ranaldi


Darrynane Harbour is situated to the north of Lamb's Head and to the northwest of Abbey Island. It is small and landlocked harbour that has a narrow southwest facing entrance between rocks that leads into an excellent anchorage with secure moorings providing complete protection. However, it is inaccessible except in the finest weather. The outlying rocks, as well as the foul ground between Darrynane and Hog Islands, break furiously in unsettled weather.


Darrynane Harbour
Image: Niall Huggard


Southern Approach From the south you can pass on either side of Moylaun Island and head for the initial fix. Approaching from the north you should keep well offshore until the leading marks come in line as there is foul ground extending from Carrigsheehan called the Muckiv Rocks - awash at high water but always showing.

Darrynane Harbour Entrance
Image: Robert Linsdell


Initial fix location From the initial fix you will pick up the two conspicuous white leading beacons on the shore opposite to the entrance; Front - Oc W3s 10m 4M, Rear - Oc W3s 16m 4M. These provide the harbour entrances 034° leading line. You should see them clearly from the initial fix as they are both well kept and easy to see.

Line up on the transits from 1000 metres out and follow it closely in to avoid rocks close either side; the Bulligmore Rock just south of the transit and the Muckiv Rocks to the north.


Approaches to Derrynane
Image: © Bill Cremin


Once you approach the entrance it gets very narrow but is nonetheless straightforward as the transit takes you between two rocks that are always visible. The southwest most of these rocks is Middle Rock lying close to the northwest end of Lamb's Island.


Comming off transit to pass the beacon close east of Halftide Rock to port
Image: Graham Rabbits


When 100 metres past Middle Rock alter course off the leading line to starboard as the transit passes very close to Halftide Rock on the northwest side of the channel. Here the track turns off the transit to the northeast for a short distance to pass midway between a red-topped beacon, situated close east of Halftide Rock, to port and a black-topped beacon to starboard on Lambs Rock located close north of Lamb's Island.

The distinctive shape of the concrete beacons as seen from inside
Image: David McKelvey


This is a key turn and as you can see in the photograph below the port beacon is off the transit. It is tempting to stay on-transit but that passes too close to Halftide Island so it is essential that you turn to starboard here. The concrete beacons have a distinctive shape and you should aim to pass between the flat vertical faces.

Darrynane's inner beacons and new Quay
Image: Robert Linsdell


Once 100 metres past Lamb's Rock it is safe to turn to the southeast towards the anchorage so that you pass between Lamb's Rock beacon and to the south of the Odd Rock Beacon. This is a third beacon inside the harbour situated slightly northeast of midway between the Lamb's Rock beacon and the head of the pier.


Odd Rock beacon and the pier as seen from the anchorage
Image: Burke Corbett


Prefer the Lamb's Rock side of this pass as there is a dangerous covered rock that is well charted on the north side of this part of the harbour. It never dries and has 0.9 metres over it at LWS and you should make note of it on the chart. Head 400 metres down the harbour to the southeast taking a centre, or tending to the south side of the channel to avoid that covered rock, to the harbours three visitor moorings.


Approaching the anchoring area in the southeast corner
Image: Burke Corbett


Haven location Anchor in the southeast end of the harbour area, clear of the moorings that are often oversubscribed, where you will find excellent holding in sand. There is a small quay here to land or at the adjacent sandy beach.


Craft anchored in the souteast end of Darrynane Harbour
Image: Robert Linsdell



Darrynane Harbour moorings are provided and rated to 15 tons and are large, coloured bright yellow and labelled VISITOR.

There is a new quay below the leading lights that dries and is primarily for landing fishing catches at high tide. It is possible to come alongside at the end of the pier temporarily at high water but it would not be advisable with any swell, or to plan for a long-term stay.


Why visit here?
Darrynane (Doire Fhíonáin) ‘Fíonán's oak wood’, that is now more popularly spelt Derrynane, lies amidst some of the most spectacular scenery in Ireland. It is a popular water leisure location for sailing, water skiers or for families to enjoy a lovely fine sandy beach that shelves gently into crystal clear water.


The placid waters of Darrynane Harbour
Image: Graham Rabbits


The harbour makes for a great anchorage that is relatively easy to enter, where you can sit out a gale in flat water. There is a pub that serves food during the summer months a couple of hundred yards from the old pier and beach. There is another pub a good hours walk inland that also serves excellent food but ask for directions if you intend to spend time there.

Historically Darrynane is perhaps most famous for being the ancestral home of Daniel O'Connell who resided in Darrynane house about a 600-metre walk beyond the quay. Daniel O'Connell (6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847), known as ‘The Liberator’, or ‘The Emancipator’, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the nineteenth century. He campaigned for Catholic Emancipation - the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, denied for over 100 years - and for the Repeal of the Union between Ireland and Great Britain.

Daniel O’Connell’s house is now open to the public. Situated on 120 hectares of scenic parklands, the House displays many relics of O'Connell's life and career and is well worth a visit. Although Daniel O’Connell was buried in Dublin his family burial plot is on Abbey Island. A plaque with some information can be found surrounding the family grave.

Darrynane's white sands
Image: Tourism Ireland


More recently Damian Foxhall, who competed in nine round the world races in which he achieved four 1st places, came from here where he started his sailing. He was the first Irishman to win a 'round the world' yacht race.


What facilities are available?
There is very little in the way of facilities or supplies here. Water is reportedly available from a privately owned tap near the east quay. Basic stores were once available from Freddy O'Connell's in Caherdaniel Village, about two miles away, but it is now closed (2018). The village also has a very good restaurant. Milk can be obtained from Keating's Hotel about a ½ mile away. About some 300 metres along the road from the quay there is a friendly bar. There is no fuel available in the immediate area.


Any security concerns?
Never a problem known to have occurred at this location, but in the last few years the beach gets crowded with people particularly at the weekends, so normal security precautions are advisable. Also it is reported that there is now a sailing school there, which may interfere with a landing party.


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.



























Aerial overview




A rib exiting the harbour where it is possible to see the pass




The following video presents scenic views of the harbour area



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