What is the route?
Why sail this route?The southern entrance into Baltimore is the preferred, best marked and most straightforward. However, the northern entrance is the more protected from strong southerly conditions and can provide an enjoyable hour of pilotage to cut out into Long Island Bay or vice versa.
Tidal overviewToday's summary tidal overview for this route as of Sunday, October 17th at 05:30. The flood stream for the River Ilen commences at Dover -0005 (Cobh +0545), the ebb Dover +0605 (Cobh -0030).
Out Going Stream
(HW Dover +0605 to -0005)
Starts in 10:30:55
(Sun 16:01 to 22:16)
In Going Stream
(HW Dover -0005 to +0605)
Starts in 04:20:55
(Sun 09:51 to 16:01)
What are the navigational notes?
The natural harbour of Baltimore lies between Sherkin, Spanish Island and Ringarogy Islands and the mainland. A popular fishing port and busy yachting centre the harbour is normally approached via its southern entrance between Beacon Point, to the east marked by a beacon, and Barrack Point on Sherkin Island, marked by a lighthouse.
The harbour may also be entered, exited or provide access to the southern half of Long Island Bay, via a The Sound, Ilen River and a passage between Hare and Sherkin Islands. This route, at times, twists and turns through narrow intricate channels passing several undistinguished islets and islands. The channels have covered and exposed obstructions in the margins and the passage is particularly challenging in the vicinity of Turk’s Head.
This all leaves zero margin for pilotage error so good visibility, conditions and a powered vessel along with a good set of charts and plotter will be essential for this cut. However, with the minimum depth for the entire route being 6 metres, there is ample water all the way and in good conditions, it offers an interesting hour of keen pilotage.
In terms of time-saving there would be little between this route and coming out the southern entrance to Baltimore harbour and using the Gascanane Sound cuts, the western pass and eastern pass , to access Long Island Bay. This route would be a much shorter passage but it is more involved than an approach through Gascanane Sound. However, if the tide is unfavourable in Gascanane Sound, this cut could be the better option.
The complete course is 3.50 miles from the waypoint 'South end of The Sound' to 'Midway between Toorane Rocks and Sherkin Island' tending in a west south westerly direction (reciprocal east north easterly).
South end of The Sound, 51° 29.355' N, 009° 23.791' W
Close east of the Narrows Ledge East Cardinal Light Buoy on the south end of The Sound situated in the north end of Baltimore Harbour between Spanish Island and Sherkin Island.
► Next waypoint: 0.44 miles, course ⇓ 312.86°T (reciprocal ⇑ 132.86°T)
Midway between Sandy and Quarantine Islands, 51° 29.656' N, 009° 24.312' W
In the north end of The Sound between Sandy and Quarantine Islands.
► Next waypoint: 0.13 miles, course ⇓ 347.23°T (reciprocal ⇑ 167.23°T)
River Ilen turning point, 51° 29.785' N, 009° 24.359' W
Entering or breaking off the River Ilen that trends northeastward to the town of Skibbereen.
► Next waypoint: 0.10 miles, course ⇓ 250.54°T (reciprocal ⇑ 70.54°T)
Passing between the mainland and Sandy Island, 51° 29.751' N, 009° 24.514' W
Be vigilant of a drying rock that extends from the northeast-most point of Sandy Island in this vicinity.
► Next waypoint: 0.15 miles, course ⇓ 234.43°T (reciprocal ⇑ 54.43°T)