What is the route?
Why sail this route?This is a useful cut through the islands shortening the passage for coastal hugging boats and makes for some more interesting sailing. It also avoids turbulence that can be encountered at the northeast corner of St Patrick’s Island whilst making an outer pass.
Tidal overviewToday's summary tidal overview for this route as of Monday, June 5th at 07:24. Tidal streams in the vicinity of the Skerries Islands are irregular and subject to back eddies. The northward going tide turns in the north entrance between St Patrick's Island and Colt Island at Dover +0500 (Dublin +0430), but a ⅓ of a mile to the east of St Patrick's Island at Dover -0500 (Dublin -0530).
The southward going tide turns between St Patrick's Island and Colt Island at Dover -0100 (Dublin -0130) and at Dover HW Dublin (-0030) to the east of St Patrick's Island. Rates vary from 1 to 1½ knots. Close north, in Skerries Bay, the streams run continuously eastward.
South by Southeast Stream
(HW Dover -0100 to +0500)
Starts in 04:06:58
(Mon 11:31 to 17:31)
North by Northeast Stream
(HW Dover +0500 to -0100)
Starts in 10:06:58
(Mon 17:31 to 23:56)
What are the navigational notes?
The Skerries island group are located off the east coast of Ireland four miles to the southeast of Balbriggan and about 12 miles north of Howth Harbour. The group is made up three small islands of St Patrick’s, Colt, Shenick’s Islands, with a further Red Island that is joined to the shore and more of a headland. They vary from 15 to 18 metres in height and all have extensive rocky foreshores.
Shenick's Martello tower as seen from the shore
Photo: Public Domain
Photo: Public Domain
St Patrick’s, the outermost island, is distinguished by the ruins of a church on its southwest end, Shenick's and Red islands by Martello towers. The two latter are connected with the mainland, Shenick's at low water only, and Red Island by a causeway, which provides shelter to the drying Skerries Bay and Harbour on its north-west side. There is a passage between St Patrick’s Island and Colt Island, with a least depth of 3 metres, and it is this passage that is described here.
The complete course is 2.64 miles from the waypoint 'Skerries Harbour' to 'Shenick’s Island' tending in a east south easterly direction (reciprocal west north westerly).
Skerries Harbour, 53° 35.080' N, 006° 6.600' W
West of Skerries pierhead
► Next waypoint: 0.36 miles, course ⇓ 354.35°T (reciprocal ⇑ 174.35°T)
Perch, 53° 35.440' N, 006° 6.660' W
Northwest of perch buoy
► Next waypoint: 1.04 miles, course ⇓ 97.76°T (reciprocal ⇑ 277.76°T)
Colt, 53° 35.300' N, 006° 4.930' W
Northeast of Colt Island
► Next waypoint: 0.50 miles, course ⇓ 186.10°T (reciprocal ⇑ 6.10°T)
Bay, 53° 34.800' N, 006° 5.020' W
Transit urning point amid islands
► Next waypoint: 0.74 miles, course ⇓ 144.53°T (reciprocal ⇑ 324.53°T)