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Portnocker

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Overview





Portnocker is a small bay situated on the north coast of Ireland, close east of Inishowen Head and outside the entrance to Lough Foyle. The bay offers an anchorage off the beach in rugged scenic surroundings.

Portnocker is an exposed anchorage which is best in settled conditions or light offshore winds, and a comfortable overnight stop is fairly unlikely. The location requires attentive navigation with daylight access. Tidal streams may be occasionally strong outside the bay but Portnocker is out of the run of the tide and is accessible at all states of the tide.
Please note

There are small off-lying islets close in on the south side of the anchorage that are best identified in daylight.




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Keyfacts for Portnocker
Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location 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
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
2 stars: Exposed; unattended vessels should be watched from the shore and a comfortable overnight stay is unlikely.



Last modified
July 19th 2018

Summary

An exposed location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location 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

55° 13.870' N, 006° 55.490' W

It is approximately midway between Dungaree Point and Inishowen Head, just inside the 5 metres contour off Portnocker beach.

What are the initial fixes?

The following waypoints will set up a final approach:

(i) Lough Foyle North Channel Initial Fix

55° 14.155' N, 006° 53.700' W

One mile east of Inishowen Head and 400 metres northwest of Red Tuns Light (port hand) Buoy F1. R.3s. It is set on the 222° line of bearing of the Martello tower on Magilligan Point that leads into the North Channel.

(ii) Lough Foyle South Channel Initial Fix

55° 11.760' N, 006° 57.084' W

Midway between the shore and the southern edge of the Tuns Bank in the narrowest part of the South Channel in approximately 10 metres of water.
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 the northeast Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Malin Head to Strangford Lough Route location.

  • Lough Foyle’s approaches, the run up the lough to the River Foyle and beyond are detailed in the Foyle Port Marina (Derry City) Click to view haven entry.

  • The anchorage will be found halfway between the lighthouse, on Dunagree Point, and Inishowen Head to the north of Cooladiven.


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 Portnocker for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. White Bay - 0.1 miles S
  2. Portkill - 0.4 miles NNW
  3. Cornashamma Bay - 0.9 miles SW
  4. Silver Strand - 1.2 miles SW
  5. Greencastle - 1.7 miles SW
  6. Magilligan Point - 1.8 miles SSW
  7. Kinnagoe Bay - 2 miles WNW
  8. Moville - 3 miles SW
  9. Carrickarory Pier - 3.4 miles SW
  10. Tremone Bay - 3.4 miles WNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. White Bay - 0.1 miles S
  2. Portkill - 0.4 miles NNW
  3. Cornashamma Bay - 0.9 miles SW
  4. Silver Strand - 1.2 miles SW
  5. Greencastle - 1.7 miles SW
  6. Magilligan Point - 1.8 miles SSW
  7. Kinnagoe Bay - 2 miles WNW
  8. Moville - 3 miles SW
  9. Carrickarory Pier - 3.4 miles SW
  10. Tremone Bay - 3.4 miles WNW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try our resources search

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?
Portnocker is a small secluded beach on the Inishowen Peninsula situated a quarter of a mile to the south of Inishowen Head.


Convergance Point Lough Foyle’s approaches, as detailed in the Foyle Port Marina (Derry City) Click to view haven entry, provide general approach directions to the area.



The anchorage is situated halfway between the lighthouse on Dunagree Point, and Inishowen Head. Vessels rounding Dungaree Point should keep well clear of the point as it extends to a rock beneath the surface 100 metres out. Pass White Bay, to port, until the 2.7 metres high Cooladiven Islets on the north side of White Bay are passed abeam.

Those approaching from the north should pass outside of the 1.2-metre high Gallanboy that lies between the anchorage and Inishowen Head.


Haven location Pass Cooladiven to the north and anchor according to draft in sand. Land on the beach by tender.




Why visit here?
Portnocker offers an attractive quiet beach. It is the closest anchoring location to the beautiful secluded cove of Port-a-Doris, situated a third of a mile to the north, from which its name is derived.


Port-a-Doris, meaning ‘Port of the Door’ is a deep slot at the foot of the Inishowen headland. The cove is accessible only at low tide through a natural door-like-passage in the cliff off Port-a-Doris strand, and hence the cove’s name. Once through the natural door arch, a fairytale-like secluded cove presents itself littered with Shroove pebbles. The lovely cove is a strange and enchanting place to all who visit. Climbers find Port-a-Doris’s northwest face or crag as the locations most attractive feature, and it is a very popular challenge.


From a sailing perspective, Portnocker is the most northerly anchorage around the east side of Inishowen Head outside Lough Foyle. As such it provides good passage anchorages for boats en route east or west looking for a lunch stop, or for an interesting shore visit to bridge a tide.




What facilities are available?
Portnocker has no facilities and the nearest supplies can be found in the separately covered fishing village of Greencastle or the small town of Moville. An alternative is the small village of Stroove a few miles north of the village of Greencastle off the R238.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel anchored at Portnocker.


With thanks to:
Bill McCann, Londonderry Harbour Master. Photography with thanks toAndy McInroy, Sarah Cowan, Kay Atherton and Patrick Mackie.


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Please zoom out to see the 'initial fixes' for this location.
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.