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Buttermilk Point

Tides and tools
Overview





Buttermilk Point is situated on the southeast coast of Ireland nine miles within and on the eastern shores of Waterford Harbour. It is a remote secluded river bight anchorage located one mile above the small village of Ballyhack.

The bight offers complete protection from all winds with excellent mud holding. A slight chop may develop in strong north-westerly conditions but nothing that would cause any undue hardship. The wide, unhindered and well-marked Waterford Harbour estuary provides safe access, night or day and at any stage of the tide.
Please note

Tidal streams are a prime consideration within Waterford Harbour; a strong adverse current will make for slow progress, conversely, a favourable passage current will make the estuary quickly traversable.




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Keyfacts for Buttermilk Point
Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or 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
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
May 3rd 2018

Summary

A completely protected location with safe access.

Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



HM  +353 51 301400      Ch.12
Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 15.653' N, 006° 58.968' W

In the anchorage area with approximately 3 metres depth.

What is the initial fix?

The following Waterford Harbour marked channel initial fix will set up a final approach:
52° 10.740' N, 006° 56.320' W
This waypoint is 600 metres south by southwest of the Waterford Channel Number 1. starboard-hand marker (Fl.G.2s on a bearing of 009°T). It is directly east of Creadan Head, upon the eastern side of the Waterford Channel where at night you will see the Dunmore East leading lights alternate white/green.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southeastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour Route location. Seaward approaches, along with the run up the harbour, are covered in the Port of Waterford Click to view haven entry.


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 Buttermilk Point for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Seedes Bank - 0.3 miles SSW
  2. Cheekpoint - 0.5 miles NW
  3. Ballyhack - 0.7 miles SSE
  4. Passage East - 0.8 miles SSE
  5. Arthurstown - 1 miles SE
  6. Duncannon - 1.8 miles SE
  7. Little Island - 1.9 miles WSW
  8. Port of Waterford - 2.9 miles W
  9. Dollar Bay - 2.9 miles SSE
  10. Creadan Head - 3 miles SSE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Seedes Bank - 0.3 miles SSW
  2. Cheekpoint - 0.5 miles NW
  3. Ballyhack - 0.7 miles SSE
  4. Passage East - 0.8 miles SSE
  5. Arthurstown - 1 miles SE
  6. Duncannon - 1.8 miles SE
  7. Little Island - 1.9 miles WSW
  8. Port of Waterford - 2.9 miles W
  9. Dollar Bay - 2.9 miles SSE
  10. Creadan Head - 3 miles SSE
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?


Buttermilk Point is a forested headland on the east bank of the River Suir. It is located about a 1½ miles above Ballyhack and Passage East, close west of Catherine's Bay.

Convergance Point Use the Port of Waterford Click to view haven for details of seaward approaches, entry to Waterford Harbour and the run up the estuary.


Initial fix location From the initial fix, set in the middle of the entrance, head northeast for the ‘Waterford’ port marker buoy and then pick up the No. 1 and 2 buoys of the fairway. From here follow the marked channel up to the facing villages of Passage East and Ballyhack where a regular ferry crosses.
Please note

The ferry operates within very tight margins and should not be impeded.





Above Passage East, the western or Waterford shore is precipitous, rocky, and bold-to and the eastern Wexford and Ballyhack shore is skirted by a sandy flat, which runs off into the Seedes Bank. The only danger here is a shallow ridge that extends out 450 metres from the eastern bank at a point that is about midway between Ballyhack and Buttermilk Point. Adhering to the channel as far as the ‘Seedes Bank South’ starboard mark clears this danger.



Upriver the high forested Buttermilk Point will be clearly visible at the head of the eastern shoreline. If following the western channel, it is located 400 metres east of the ‘Carters Patch South’ starboard hand channel marker Fl (2)G 4s. However, a vessel can steer directly for Buttermilk Point from the ‘Seedes Bank South’ starboard mark as upriver from this mark there is ample depth for leisure vessels. The shallowest open-water point lies 400 metres northwest of the point in the ‘Carters Patch’ mud bank that joins the eastern shore. It has from 3.3 to 5 metres of cover and between the Carters Patch bank and the pitch of Buttermilk Point, the tidal stream scours a deep 6 metres deep channel with a 14-metre hole of water close home to the Buttermilk Point rocks.
Please note

This ebb tide from Cheek Point requires some attention. It sweeps around St. Catherine’s Bay and is deflected by Buttermilk Point across the channel to the opposite shore. Vessels in calms or light winds must be ready to start their engines or keep their heads to the east. Otherwise from a position a little above Buttermilk Point they could be carried onto the rocks on the western shore.



To the north of Buttermilk Point, the east shore is covered by mud flats. The inland ruin of Dunbrody Abbey and the wreck of the French trawler the ‘Petit Sarah’ are conspicuous on rounding the Point.




Haven location A very good anchorage in 3 to 4 metres of water will be found anywhere within the bight to the north of Buttermilk Point. From the discarded wattle of an old weir, seen directly north of the head, a drying sand and mud crescent runs off the shore that extends out as far as 400 metres in Shelburne Bay; located in the northern section of the bight. A good marker of the drying area is the wreck of the French trawler the ‘Petit Sarah’ that can be seen to the northeast of the point where the two bays meet.

The best berth is to the northeast of the point. A good line of approach from deeper waters is to keep Kilmokea Jetty, off the power station on the east point of entrance to the Barrow, touching Cheek Point and anchor just outside the shellfish beds. Soft mud will be found throughout the area providing for excellent holding.

Landing is poor here, either on the sands in the bight of the bay or at Ballyhack quay a mile to the south. Those intending to venture up the Campile River will find the flow of the river is well presented on Admiralty Charts 2046. Dinghies can only go up on the top two hours of the tide, gently feeling the path of the stream all the way upriver. Plan to start from ‘Kilmokey Point’, just under a mile to the north of the anchorage, a couple of hours before high water to provide four hours of exploration time. After Dunbrody Abbey pass under the railway bridge and then a road bridge where it is best to land for the abbey. Continue upstream to find Hart’s Bar just off Campile’s main street.
Please note

The chart only covers the initial section of the river, as far as the railway bridge, the Navionics chart equally accurate, continues to the second road bridge that leads to the abbey. The pattern of the river is well presented in the Google satellite image, try our full-screen mode for a better viewing area. As is always the case the best water is on the outside of the bends as you would expect.




Why visit here?
From a boating perspective, this is a perfect place to securely anchor a boat if rough conditions are expected. Almost any storm conditions can be endured either here or on the Seedes Bank, immediately to the south. Both these locations are traditional storm bolt holes that have been used throughout the ages. They offer complete protection from all winds with excellent mud holding. Buttermilk Point is just off the run of river and is marginally better in severe conditions that would cause the river to flood and collect storm debris.

The anchorage also offers a particularly good adventure in a run up the Campile River. Snaking upriver in a dinghy for a picnic or a meal at Hart’s Pub provides a very pleasant outing on a sunny summer’s day. The river carries a tender up under the ruins of the medieval Cistercian monastery Dunbrody Abbey. The solitary grandeur of these venerable ruins, when encountered from the river as the monks would have done originally, is a truly magnificent sight and makes for a wonderful visit.

The abbey was founded by Hervey de Montmorency, who was marshal to Henry II and amongst the first Cambro-Norman lords to obtain a footing in Ireland. Hervey was related to the leader of the invasion Strongbow by marriage, being an uncle to the earl's first wife. Prudent and courageous, he was made ‘Constable of Ireland’ by the English monarch and obtained from Dermot MacMurrogh, the king of Leinster who precipitated the Norman conquest of Ireland, extensive grants of Irish land. After the conquest Strongbow found it necessary to return to England, to assuage King Henry II’s concerns about his growing power. To comply with his king he let go of his lands and appointed Hervey de Montmorency ‘Seneschal of Leinster’, also committing to his command of the Norman forces in Ireland.

Upon Strongbow's return he found Hervey had practised excellent judgment, management and held the goodwill of his army. He was, by his good disposition, becoming very powerful. Both jealous and concerned Strongbow picked a fight with Hervey perfectly designed to reduce and ridicule him. The unexpected consequence of the insult was Hervey quitted the army and restored to Strongbow all the lands allotted to him, except a small portion in the ‘Barony of Shelburne’. Part of this he distributed to lay tenants but with the rest, in about the year 1182, he founded a religious establishment upon where he settled an order of Cistercian monks. Leaving aside military politics he then became a monk and the first abbot of the abbey he had founded. The main body of the current abbey was built after his time, between 1210 – 40 when it became an independent abbey, with its abbot sitting in parliament as a spiritual lord. The last Abbot of Dunbrody was Alexander Devereux after which the monastery was dissolved by Henry VIII and taken over by the crown in 1536.

In 1545 it was then granted to Sir Osborne Etchingham, from Suffolk, in exchange for lands which he held in England. He was the fourth cousin of Queen Anne Boleyn and a high official in the court of Henry VIII, marshal of the English army in Ireland and a member of the Privy Council. It is doubtful that he ever occupied the property as he would have died soon after this time. However, it was adopted by his descendants who used parts of the building for domestic and defensive purposes. In the early 17th-century, they moved to the newly constructed Dunbrody Castle and later to Dunbrody Park in their estate village of Arthurstown.



Today the deserted ruins of Dunbrody Abbey cut a solemn image of a fall from greatness. It is nonetheless a National Monument and is regarded as one of the most impressive Cistercian monuments in Ireland. With a length of 59-meters, the church is one of the longest in Ireland and has three rib-vaulted chapels in each transept. The central tower was added in the fifteenth century, and today on the south side the walls of the rectory still stand almost to full height. Across the road, the visitor centre is run by the current Marquees of Donegall. It has tea-rooms, a small museum and one of only two full-sized hedge mazes in Ireland.


What facilities are available?
This is a secluded anchorage with no facilities.


Any security concerns?
There are no reported security issues in the area.


With thanks to:
John Carroll, Ballyhack, County Wexford, Ireland. Photographs with thanks to Michael Harpur and Burke Corbett.


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































































Cheek Point round to Buttermilk Point through the Seedes Bank, Ballyhack and Passage East




Tall Ships video was taken from the same location providing a feel for the estuary in this area



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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.