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Clifden Bay

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Overview






Please note

eOceanic has been made aware of this haven. We are looking for a sailor with first-hand experience to provide their direct personal insights so that we may complete our write up. In advance of this we have posted these preliminary research notes. Do you know this location? Please contact us or click the 'Report a Mistake or Omission' button below to help share this location with the sailing community.


Clifden Bay is a small inlet located on the west coast of Ireland approximately 50 miles northwest of Galway city. It offers moorings plus a berth alongside a drying quay about 10 minute’s walk from the town of Clifden.

Clifden Bay offers complete shelter, but the access to the bay requires attentive navigation as the bay is obstructed by a bar through which a channel leads between sandpits on each side.
Please note

It is often difficult to distinguish Clifden from its larger neighbour Mannin Bay over the peninsula to the south. There is extensive fish farming in this area, with fish cages and mussel lines, and caution is required to avoid these.




2 comments
Keyfacts for Clifden Bay
Facilities
Water available via tapGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaFuel by arrangement with bulk tanker providerSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaMarine engineering services available in the areaBus service available in the areaBicycle hire available in the areaTourist Information office available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderSailing Club baseUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: rising tide required for accessNote: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this location

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
1 metres (3.28 feet).

Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
May 30th 2017

Summary* Restrictions apply

A completely protected location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Water available via tapGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaFuel by arrangement with bulk tanker providerSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaMarine engineering services available in the areaBus service available in the areaBicycle hire available in the areaTourist Information office available


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderSailing Club baseUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: rising tide required for accessNote: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this location



Position and approaches
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Haven position

53° 29.123' N, 010° 1.784' W

at the quayside at Clifden

What is the initial fix?

The following Clifden Bay initial fix will set up a final approach:
53° 29.261' N, 010° 6.350' W
entrance to Clifden Bay between Errislannan Point and Fahy Point



Not what you need?
Try our Advanced Havens Search tool to find locations with the specific attributes you need, or click the 'Next', coastal clockwise, or 'Previous', coastal anti-clockwise, buttons to progress through neighbouring havens. Below are the ten nearest havens to Clifden Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Mannin Bay - 2.3 miles WSW
  2. Cleggan Bay - 3.2 miles NNW
  3. Ballynakill Harbour - 3.4 miles NNE
  4. Bunowen Bay - 3.5 miles SSW
  5. Roundstone - 4.1 miles SE
  6. Gorteen Bay - 4.5 miles SSE
  7. Bertraghboy Bay - 5.2 miles ESE
  8. Little Killary Bay (Salrock) - 6.1 miles NE
  9. Inishbofin - 6.2 miles NW
  10. Inishturk - 8.3 miles N
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Mannin Bay - 2.3 miles WSW
  2. Cleggan Bay - 3.2 miles NNW
  3. Ballynakill Harbour - 3.4 miles NNE
  4. Bunowen Bay - 3.5 miles SSW
  5. Roundstone - 4.1 miles SE
  6. Gorteen Bay - 4.5 miles SSE
  7. Bertraghboy Bay - 5.2 miles ESE
  8. Little Killary Bay (Salrock) - 6.1 miles NE
  9. Inishbofin - 6.2 miles NW
  10. Inishturk - 8.3 miles N
Alternatively the above can be ordered by compass direction or coastal sequence


How to get in?
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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Route location The 'Slyne Head to Erris Head' coastal description provides approach information to the suggested initial fix. Vessels approaching from the south should select the northbound Route location sequenced description; vessels approaching from the north should select the southbound Route location sequence; western approaches may use either description.

Clifden Bay was formerly better known as Ardbear Bay but since the town of Clifden has attained the position of chief town of Connemara, it has given its name to the bay, while the name Ardbear is confined to the larger southern prong of its forklike termination.

The quay is a 10 minute walk from the town of Clifden, which stands on the north bank at the eastern end of the northern inlet, where the Owenglin river enters over some picturesque falls. Moorings are available alongside the quay but be prepared to dry out at low water as the whole of the inlet is tidal and dries.

The access to Clifden Bay requires attentive navigation, as the bay is obstructed by a bar opposite Fishing Point through which a channel leads between sandpits on each side, and if required Pilots are on hand to give advice. Similar comments apply to the entrance to Ardbear Bay which is obstructed by a bar to the south of Carricknabeartragh Rock. There is extensive fish farming in both Clifden and Ardbear Bays, with fish cages and mussel lines, and caution is required to avoid these.

Both of the Bays offer complete shelter and Ardbear Bay in particular is a good place to leave a yacht and take the dinghy up to the quay at Clifden. There are many recognised anchorages, south of Clifden Castle ruins where 8 visitors moorings are available, northeast of Drinnagh Point at the entrance to the fork for Ardbear Bay but beware of the ebb overfall particularly in northwest winds, and any unoccupied space in Ardbear Bay although the northwest end of the bay is rather deep and more convenient depths are found anywhere beyond Yellow Slate rock.


What's the story here?
Clifden, Irish : An Clochan, meaning “bee-hive cell” which is a small free standing stone dwelling, circular in shape, constructed of stone and corbelled until it closes at the top, usually associated with hermits and monks, is located on the Owenglen River where it flows into Clifden Bay. Clifden is the largest town in Connemara province of County Galway, and is often referred to as the capital of the province and whose area is widely regarded as the scenic jewel in Irelands crown. The safe and sheltered tidal harbour is a ten minute walk from the town centre and has the reputation of being one of Irelands most picturesque harbours, and one that sailors should make a point of dropping into on a cruise of the west coast of Ireland, particularly as Clifden Bay offers a choice of very good anchorages.

The town was founded early in the 19th century by John D'Arcy who lived at Mordor, which is now a ruin that can be seen from the Sky Road west of Clifden. The Sky Road in Clifden is one of the best tourist attractions of the Connemara region, the 11km long circular route heads west of the town along Clifden Bay and Streamstown Bay rising to more than 150m above sea level at Slyne Head with stunning views of the Atlantic, Clifden Castle, the Coastguard Station, the islands of Turbot and Inishturk, and Clifden town.

In the early 1900's Clifden gained prominence when Marconi built his first high power transatlantic long wave telegraphy station 6km south of the town to minimize the distance to its sister station in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. The first point-to-point fixed wireless service connecting Europe and North America opened for public service with a transmission in October 1907 but following serious damage during the Irish Civil War it ceased operations in July 1922. It was close to Marconi's wireless station at Derrygimlagh Bog, a natural wilderness of blanket bog, that Alcock and Brown crash landed on the 15th June 1919 after making the first transatlantic flight.

Other places of interest in the area include the striking mountain range called the Twelve Bens, or Twelve Pins (Irish : Na Beanna Beola) which are situated to the south of Clifden, and which dedicated fell runners attempt to climb all the twelve peaks in a single day. The peaks range in height from the smallest at 1700ft to the largest at 2400ft. For a more leisurely activity you can visit Connemara National Park which is situated to the north east of Clifden and was founded and opened to the public in 1980 and which features approx. 3,000 hectares of mountains, bogs, heaths, grasslands and forests which are home to a wide diversity of birds including common songbirds such as meadow pipits and skylarks etc., and occasionally birds of prey can be spotted usually kestrels, sparrowhawks, and possibly merlins and peregrine falcons, which make this location a “twitchers” paradise.

Clifden Boat Club is located at the eastern end of Clifden Bay about 1km from the town harbour and provides a great anchorage with some visitors moorings available and easy access to a slip. The welcoming clubhouse has showers and changing rooms, a bar and a restaurant. Fresh water is available 25metres from the slip, and all other provisions and services can be obtained in Clifden which is 2km from the clubhouse including fuel in jerry cans or by tanker at the town quay by arrangement. Some spares and mechanical repairs are available locally, and the town has a wide variety of interesting shops including an internet cafe together with lots of bars and restaurants which all help to make Clifden a really worthwhile destination.


With thanks to:
inyourfootsteps.com site research


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Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
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The following video may be useful to help first time visitors familiarise themselves with the Clifden area.


The following video presents The National Park of Connemara - Letterfrack which is very near Clifden. It has some views across Clifden Bay and also shows the outstanding beauty of the area.




The following video is about the history of Clifden.




The following video presents Dolphin Beach in Clifden Bay.




A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


Add your review or comment:


Paul Harrison wrote this review on Sep 14th 2015:

Mooring off Clifden Bay SC @6.50 a night in 2015. Very friendly club, bar food available. toilets and shower in club.

Average Rating: Unrated


Guy Adams wrote this review on Jun 28th 2016:

Clifden Boat Club serves great food, very helpful staff

Average Rating: Unrated

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