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Balscadden Bay

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Overview





Balscadden Bay is situated on the east coast of Ireland to the north of Dublin Bay on the far side of the Howth peninsula that juts out into the Irish Sea. The bay lies on the southeast corner of Howth Harbour underneath the Martello tower at the beginning of the harbour's east pier. The anchorage is a good location if you have not been able to secure a berth in Howth Harbour or off its west pier.

Balscadden Bay is a good anchorage that affords protection to all conditions from the south round to west but is completely exposed to anything with an easterly component. Seaward access is straightforward but daylight navigation is required to locate the bay's fringing rocks.
Please note

In conditions with easterly or northerly components you should plan to go inside Howth Harbour which offers complete protection from all elements.




1 comment
Keyfacts for Balscadden Bay
Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty 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 vicinity

Considerations
None listed

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
July 18th 2018

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty 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 vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

53° 23.240' N, 006° 3.570' W

This is situated in on the 2 metre contour just off the strand.

What is the initial fix?

The following Balscadden Bay initial fix will set up a final approach:
53° 23.290' N, 006° 3.270' W
This waypoint is 400 metres out from the anchoring area and about 300 metres north of the bay's north facing cliffs. A course of west by southwest leads in from here.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location. Details for vessels approaching from the south are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Dublin Bay to Rosslare Harbour Route location. Use Howth Harbour's Click to view haven directions for local approaches.


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 Balscadden Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Howth - 0.3 miles NNW
  2. Carrigeen Bay - 0.7 miles NNW
  3. Malahide - 3.2 miles NW
  4. Dún Laoghaire Harbour - 3.7 miles SSW
  5. Talbot’s Bay - 3.7 miles N
  6. Dublin Port (Poolbeg Marina) - 3.9 miles WSW
  7. Seal Hole Bay - 4 miles NNE
  8. The Boat Harbour - 4 miles N
  9. Saltpan Bay - 4.2 miles NNE
  10. Dalkey Sound - 4.3 miles S
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Howth - 0.3 miles NNW
  2. Carrigeen Bay - 0.7 miles NNW
  3. Malahide - 3.2 miles NW
  4. Dún Laoghaire Harbour - 3.7 miles SSW
  5. Talbot’s Bay - 3.7 miles N
  6. Dublin Port (Poolbeg Marina) - 3.9 miles WSW
  7. Seal Hole Bay - 4 miles NNE
  8. The Boat Harbour - 4 miles N
  9. Saltpan Bay - 4.2 miles NNE
  10. Dalkey Sound - 4.3 miles S
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?


Balscadden Bay is situated beneath the cliffs to the south of Howth Harbour and on the northern side of the peninsula that forms the northern arm of Dublin Bay. The bay is readily located from all directions by following the line of Howth Harbour's East Pier and it's conspicuous overlooking Martello tower. This tower is situated on a prominent bluff to the immediate east of the bay and is known locally as ‘Tower Hill’. Once identified the approach must be from seaward to avoid the bay's fringing rocks.



Convergance Point Use the directions provided for Howth Click to view haven for approaches to Balscadden Bay.


Initial fix location From the initial fix come in slowly west by southwest towards the strand in the corner of the bay maintaining a careful watch for rocks, and sounding all the way. Keep well out of the area situated between the tower and the harbour wall as the bay’s fringing rocks reach out more than 150 metres to seaward here.
Please note

Vessels approaching from Howth Harbour should not follow the harbour's eastern pier into Balscadden Bay as this will lead over these rocks.



It is critical that these rocks are identified on the approach and before anchoring in the inner reaches of the bay. So good visibility is required and if this is not available it would be best to anchor further out. Anchoring further out places a vessel in the area where disused cables have been discarded as seen on the chart.
Please note

The official line on the cables is that they were cut off, pulled back from the swimming area on the foreshore and left in situ on the seabed. This happened many decades ago and a headland marker has ceased to be maintained for almost as long. They could present a hazard to anchoring craft as their whereabouts is now uncharted, marked or monitored. As a minimum, it is advised that a solid tripping line be deployed when anchoring in this area.



Haven location Anchor according to draft but be careful to check the holding is secure after anchoring as seaweed is prevalent in this area.


Why visit here?
Balscadden is derived from the Irish name Baile na Scadán that means the town or homeland of the herrings. The name indicates that it may have served as a fish market for landing boats.

Its next known use was in the period just after World War One when it catered for genteel society. Then the small cove was designated as the ladies beach. In accordance with the proprieties of the day, the men’s facilities were to be found further around the bay, away from the ladies. The Dalriada Tea Shop served the ladies with refreshments immediately above the beach.

William Butler Yeats spent some of his teenage years in a small long low thatched house looking north from the Balscadden Bay cliffs towards Ireland's Eye and Howth Harbour. His father, the painter John Butler Yeats, had been lent the cottage. With funds at the time very scarce he rented a studio for himself in Dublin’s York Street and brought his family to the cottage late in the autumn of 1880. Although primarily driven by a need to economise the family found deep contentment here. An unexpected consequence was a deepening of W.B.’s relationship with his father as they spent time together travelling by train from Howth into his father’s studio in the town centre. There they would have breakfast with other poets who tended to congregate in the studio reading passages from poetry and literature. Yates went on to be Ireland’s leading poet and, having been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, became one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. It is said that the happiness they found combined with the house's beautiful aspect could have had a major influence on the poet's early works. A plaque commemorating the families stay has some of Yate’s immortal lines on it. W. B. Yeats poet lived here 1880 -1883 "I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams".

Today Balscadden Bay is a lovely family beach. As with Howth Harbour, the bay serves as a good location to take a coastal walk along the Howth peninsula. A particularly good public path and steps lead from the bay up and around the Nose of Howth and onto the cliff tops.

From a boating perspective, if it is not possible to secure a berth in Howth Marina or outside the harbour, this is an excellent alternative location in which to anchor given favourable conditions. The Bay is also a tranquil escape from the busy harbour which it fringes.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities in Balscadden Bay save for a landing beach with steps and pathway up to the road above.


Any security concerns?
A vessel is most likely to be alone in Balscadden Bay, but it is uncertain how secure a dingy would be if left on the beach. Those with a fast outboard could land in the marina if it needs to be left unattended for some time.


With thanks to:
Charlie Kavanagh, ISA/RYA Yachtmaster Instructor/Examiner and Burke Corbett. Photography by Kinsie84, Jojo Nemcok, William Murphy, Daniel Dudek-Corrigan and Ana Rey.


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


















A family enjoying the beach area




A view of the bay from where Ireland's most famous poet W.B. Yeats stayed.




A taste of Yates poetry 'When You Are Old' read by Colin Farrell



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Add your review or comment:


Rodolphe Thimonier wrote this review on Jun 22nd 2016:

Good shelter from westerly and southerly winds Constant small swell in the bay Many rocks: => an entrance at low water (and by daylight) is advisable => the 2m contour line is very close to some rocks and certainly requires a short chain length => the 5m contour line has a good holding Minefield of lobster pots (at least in June) where not all pots are marked by a buoy

Average Rating: Unrated

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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.