The anchorage is well protected from south westerly winds but is increasingly exposed to other quadrants if the wind should move round. In such cases Fenit, only five miles across the bay, provides all round protection. Access is straightforward in daylight at any stage of the tide.
Please note Tralee Bay has a ledge and can be divisive in a big seaway. A vessel enduring highly adverse conditions along this coast should run for the River Shannon. With the exception of strong tides it has easy access and provides complete protection from all conditions within.
Keyfacts for Castlegregory
SummaryA good location with straightforward access.
LWS draught3 metres (9.84 feet).
Today's tide estimates
|LW 01:28||HW 07:21|
|LW 13:55||HW 19:37|
Position and approaches
Haven position52° 15.800' N, 010° 0.200' W
This is off the beach near the village of Castlegregory.
What is the initial fix?
Not what you need?
- Scraggane Bay - 3 miles NNW
- Illauntannig - 3.9 miles N
- Barrow Harbour - 5.3 miles ENE
- Fenit Harbour - 5.3 miles E
- Brandon Bay - 5.7 miles W
How to get in?
The 'Sybil Point to Loop Head' coastal description provides approach information to the suggested initial fix. Vessels approaching from the south should select the northbound sequenced description; vessels approaching from the north should select the southbound sequence; western approaches may use either description.
Either description may be used for the River Shannon where the forty three miles from the entrance to Limerick City are detailed.
Vessels approaching from the southwest may take a shortcut into the southern half of Tralee Bay via the Magharee Sound that is described in the aforementioned coastal description and for convenience also discussed here. This lies between the Magharee Islands, or Seven Hogs, and the sandy peninsula that separates Brandon and Tralee bays. Magharee Sound is narrow and intricate and has a least depth of 4.5 metres. In moderate or clear weather with a favourable tide there is no great difficulty in running through this cut that saves at least an hour from the passage whilst adding interesting sailing.
Two transits mark the Magharee Sound’s best water. Admiralty Chart 2739 presents a leading mark shown of 106°(T) of the rock islet The Rose with Fenit Castle, a ruined square tower, in line with the highest part of Church Hill, upon which stands two prominent churches. This will lead out through the eastern side of the sound. However this transit may not always be easily picked out by an unacquainted visitor. Another, possibly more easily identified lead through the sound, is to give Illauntannig a reasonable berth and then keep Gurrig Island, a flat island that looks like a pan lid almost replete with a knob, about its own breadth open to the south of the south point of Illauntannig, providing a line of bearing of 282°(T) astern.
Little Samphire – lighthouse Fl WRG 5s 17m W16M position: 52° 16. 254’N, 009° 52.909’W
The white sector will carry a vessel through the dangers on either side of the bay, the shoals off the Magharee Islands on one side and Mucklaghmore, Boat Rock, and further south the shoal water off Fenit Island on the other. Once the Castlegregory initial fix is a mile and a half to the southwest of this approach it is safe to ignore the initial fix and head directly to the anchoring location.
The Castlegregory initial fix is on the east end of the transit marked on Admiralty Chart 2739, 106°(T) of the rock islet The Rose with Fenit Castle, and to the east of Rough Point.
Drop down south for three and a half miles from the initial fix to the anchoring position. This passes the fish farms, located off the peninsula to the south by southeast of Rough Point, to starboard in the first mile and a half. Sometimes a commercial ship awaiting a berth in Fenit may be seen in the area.
The beach shelves gradually out from the shore so vessels will be a long way out. Anchor according to draught offshore where excellent holding may be had in sand and mud.
What's the story here?Castlegregory in Irish Caisleán Ghriaire derives its name a 16th century castle built by Gregory Hoare.
It is the capital of Lettragh, whose population is now a quarter of what it was before the Great Irish Famine, and it remains the only place in the area which resembles a real village.
It is very popular with locals and tourists because of its miles of blue flag beaches for enjoying bathing and water sports. Nearby Lough Gill is a breeding place for the rare, and noisy, natterjack toad.
Castlegregory is another anchoring opportunity in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
What facilities are available?Castlegregory is a village which has a permanent population of about 200 that is vastly swelled by an influx of holidaymakers attracted to its extensive blue flag beaches. To cater for this there are two small supermarkets, a post office, a doctor and a pharmacist. All resources are available in either Tralee or Dingle from which Castlegregory is about halfway between.
Any security concerns?Never an incident known to have occurred off Castlegregory.
With thanks to:Batty McCarthy, Fenit Harbour Master
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.
The first 25 seconds of this video presents fabulous views of Casstlegregory beach.
This video presents a view of Castlegregory and the surrounding bays from the hill above.
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