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East Coast; Southbound from Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay
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What is the route?
This is a coastal description for southbound vessels planning to sail along the coast between Strangford Lough and Dublin Bay. The sequence of description is from north to south, coastal clockwise. Those taking the opposite direction, Dublin Bay to Strangford Lough, should avail of the northbound anticlockwise coastal sequence for the same area.
Why sail this route?
Many cruisers enjoy inshore coastal sailing and particularly so between closely situated locations. This coastal description strives to highlight key coastal characteristics and off-lying dangers to assist passage planning.
What are the navigational notes?STRANGFORD LOUGH to CARLINGFORD LOUGH
The 70 miles of coast between Dublin Bay and Strangford Lough has comparatively few dangers when compared to other Irish coastal stretches. Rockabill, the Skerries and Lambay are the only deep water off-lying obstructions that require any consideration.
The highly attractive sailing destination of Strangford Lough is located nearly midway between Carlingford and Belfast loughs and entered between Ballyquintin Point and Killard Point 1.2 miles to the southwest. The Narrows lead north-northwest for five miles into Strangford Lough where a host of sheltered anchorages are available for cruising vessels, at all stages of tide, in various parts of the entrance and the wider Lough itself.
On the north shore is Ballyquintin Point that marks the southern extremity of the Ards Peninsula; the thumb of land that separates Strangford Lough from the Irish Sea. It is low and shelving, but further back, the Ballywhite Hills above Portaferry, are high and conspicuous, attaining an elevation of 99 metres. Tara Hill, with a prominent old fort on its summit, stands 1.5 miles to the north of the point.
In the middle of the entrance is Angus Rock, about half a mile long and 200 metres wide, of which the greater part uncovers at low water. Upon it stands the Angus Rock Lighthouse, a white tower with a red top.
Angus Rock Lighthouse - Fl. R. 5s 15m 6M position: 54° 19.843’N, 005° 31.520’W
On the southern side of the entrance, is Killard Point located about 1.2 miles northeast of Guns Island. Surrounded by a rocky foreshore it is of moderate elevation and backed by high hills. The Craiglewey Rocks extend in a south southwest direction from it for more than 600 metres. Likewise to the north of the point, a rocky foreshore, with foul ground beyond, extends 500 metres to the north.
600 metres to the southeast of Killard Point is St. Patrick’s Rock. Steep-to all-round, it is covered at 4 hours flood, when its position is marked by a red beacon (that is unlit at night).
St. Patrick's Rocks - Red Beacon position: 54° 18.584’N, 005° 30.937’W
The Strangford Lough Marker Light Float marker is situated a mile and a half to the southeast of Ballyquintin Point.
Strangford Light Float - LFl 10s position: 54° 18.626’N, 005° 28.689’W
From Guns Island to the southwest, as far as Ardglass, the coast is a bold rocky shore, of moderate elevation. It is free from danger with depths in excess of 10 metres for 400 metres off the shoreline. Guns Island is connected with the main at low water by a gravelly bank and is well marked on its south end by a white square 7 metres high obelisk with a red can topmark. A conspicuous 24 metres high water tower stands on the mainland.
The busy fishing harbour of Ardglass, that includes the Phennick Cove marina is approximately a mile to the eastward of Ringfad Point. The promontory of Ringfad, between Killough and Ardglass, is distinguished by a conical hill surmounted by a tower, which, as well as Ardglass church steeple, serves to point out the harbour. There are several old castles in the neighbourhood, three of which are in the town. Phennick Point, on the east shore, is steep-to on its seaward side.
Just under a mile to the southwest of Ardglass, and one mile and a half to the northeast of Saint John’s Point, between Ringfad Point and Ringsallagh (or Corbet Head), is Killough Bay. The bay has many rocks and a drying harbour that is used by a handful of small open fishing vessels. The Water Rocks, in the outer part of the bay, are marked by a red mast, dry to 3 metres and only cover on last quarter of the flood. Further within the bay these are the Little and Big Plates, and the Garter reef, all dry at low water. The rocky foreshore uncovers out to a distance of 300 metres in places.
Saint John’s Point is a low promontory that makes up the east entrance point of Dundrum Bay. The prominent 40 metre high tower of St. John's Point Lighthouse stands on the southeast side of the point.
Saint John’s Point Lighthouse - Q(2) 7.5s 37m 25M position: 54° 13.605’N, 005° 39.611’W
Saint John’s Point is moderately steep-to with more than five metres 400 metres to the south of it.
Between and St. John’s Point and Mullartown Point, bearing west by south and east by north from each other, is Dundrum Bay. It is 10 miles wide and nearly 5 miles deep. There is 25 metres of water between the points of the bay that decreases to 5 to 7 metres one mile from its shores and the shoreline is shallow everywhere. The Mourne Mountains skirt the western shore. Slieve Donard, their highest peak, rises within the distance of 1.5 miles from the beach, to the height of 848 metres, and is a very imposing feature. Of the interior mountains Slieve Croob, rising to a height of 534 metres, is conspicuous from all parts of the bay.
The northern shore of the bay is composed of sand-hills, which about the middle of the bay are penetrated by a narrow channel leading to the harbour of Dundrum. The eastern shore is formed by the low promontory of St. John’s Point, with a lighthouse at its extremity. The west shoreline continues foul and rocky for more than 2 miles to the north of Mullartown Point.
The rock of Craigalea stands conspicuously on the sandy shore near the middle of the bay, almost 5 miles to the east by north from Newcastle. A little to the eastward of Craigalea, a reef extends for more than a mile from the shore.
This terminates in the Cow and Calf rocks, that barely cover at high-water spring tides, and form a useful mark for the extremity of the reef. The coast from Craigalea to St. John’s Point forms several indentations and rocky points.
1.8 miles north of Mullartown Point and 600 metres from the shore is Roaring Rock that dries at low water. To the north of this it is clear of danger, but as Newcastle Harbour is approached, at the foot of the mountains, in the western corner of the bay, it becomes shallow, with not more than 5 metres of water half a mile from the pier.
Between Dundrum Bay and Cranfield Point, on the northern entrance to Lough Carlingford, about 13 miles to the northeast, the coast is for the most part composed of low ranges of clay cliffs with foreshores of rocks and boulders. It is entirely backed by the lofty summits of the Mourne Mountains. Prominent amongst these are the 631 metre high Eagle Mountain that rises about 7 miles north of Cranfield Point. Plus, 6.7 miles east northeast of Eagle Mountain, the 848 metres high Slieve Donard, the groups highest and most conspicuous peak.
Three quarters of a mile south by southwest of Mullartown Point resides Annalong Harbour, dry at three-quarters ebb.
About 3.75 miles to the southwest is Lee Stone Point, a low point with a huge granite boulder at its extremity. A mile to the west of Lee Stone Point the active fishing port of Kilkeel can be found.
From here the coast line runs west by south for about 4 miles to Cranfield Point. Vessels should keep at least two miles off or not venture into depths of less than 10 metres from Lee Stone Point to Cranfield. Between Lee Stone Point and Dundrum Bay cruising vessels maintain a distance of three-quarters of a mile off the shoreline will clear all dangers.
CARLINGFORD LOUGH to DUNDALK BAY
Yachts visiting Carlingford Lough will find a wide range of berthing opportunities. The Lough stretches eight miles inland here and it has been long enjoyed by sailing vessels. Its entrance resides between Ballagan Point and Cranfield Point, 2 miles to the northeast, and in the centre stands the 34 metre high grey granite Haulbowline Lighthouse.
Haulbowline Lighthouse - Fl (3) W10s 17M position: 54° 01.196’N, 006° 04.740’W
Haulbowline Rock, upon which the lighthouse stands, covers on the first quarter of the flood. The channel to the lough is to the eastward of it. Out to 3.2 miles to the southeast from the Haulbowline Lighthouse is the Carlingford marker buoy.
Carlingford Buoy - Fl 10s position: 53° 58.759'N, 006° 01.111’W
The ingress is easily identified by the low entrance being framed between the Cooley Mountains and the Mountains of Mourne appearing in the upper part of the lough ranging from 300 to 600 metres in height.
Foul ground extends to the southeast of Cranfield Point upon the north-western side of the entrance. The drying Nelly Pladdy group exists 600 metres from the shore. Hellyhunter Rock, with 1.5 metres of water, is on the outer edge of this group 1.2 miles east by south from the point. This is marked by the South Cardinal buoy moored about 1.5 miles southeast of Cranfield Point.
Likewise Ballagan Point, upon the southern side of the entrance, is surrounded with foul ground with Ballagan Spit extending east for a mile. A little within the entrance is a reef of Limestone Rocks that extend across the entrance to Haulbowline Lighthouse, some of these uncover at half ebb, and others dry to 2.1 metres at low water, and all forming a natural breakwater to the Lough within.
Hellyhunter South Cardinal - Q (6) + LFl 15s position: 54° 00.351'N 006° 02.052’W
Progress southwest, Dundalk Bay’s northern limit is Cooley Point with two beds of rocks extending from the shoreline.
The westernmost of these, called the Castle Rocks, that run off in a south by southwest direction from the west side of the point. These have 1.5 metres of cover at a distance of a mile from the point.
The other shoal is Imogene Rock, which extends from the east side of Cooley Point. This is a pinnacle rock with 0.3 of a metre of cover, three quarters of a mile to the southeast of the point. To the eastward of the Imogene Rock there is an irregular rocky shoal, called the Ridge, with 4 and 7 metres of cover over it. To enable vessels to keep to the southward of all these rocks and shoals, the Imogene Buoy has been placed in 15 metres of water one and a half miles south by southeast of Cooley Point.
Imogene Buoy – Port hand Fl (2) R 10s position: 53° 57.415'N 006° 07.042’W
This places Imogene Rock nearly half way between the buoy and the shore. It is advised that vessels entering or exiting Dundalk Bay should pass to the southward of the buoy.
Between Dunany Point and Cooley Point, about 8 miles to the northeast, is Dundalk Bay that is shallow throughout. Extensive reefs surround both points of entrance and midway between them is deep water of between 11 to 14 metres. The southern and western parts of the bay are also very shallow and rocky, with not more than 2 to 4 metres of water over a large space. Towards the north shore, and 1.5 miles to the westward of Cooley Point, the bottom is clean sand. Soundings here decrease gradually to the head of the bay making it usable for anchoring with off-shore winds. The best place for this purpose is off Gyles Quay.
From Gyles Quay extensive sand-banks sweep round the bight of the bay to beyond Anagassan on the southern shore, uncovering at low water for a distance of up to 2 miles from the high-water line. A narrow channel leads through these sands to the Dundalk Harbour.
The southern limit of Dundalk Bay is formed by Dunany Point. Of moderate height it has a church on the summit of the rising ground about 0.7 of a mile west southwest of the point. Another spire, surrounded by trees, exists about 1.7 miles further southwest. A further conspicuous and isolated tower will be seen 2 miles inland about midway between Clogher Head and the point. On top of the cliff of Dunany Point itself a small lookout hut can be clearly seen from seaward. Dunany Point is marked by red buoy placed 3.5 miles to the northeast in 15 metres of water.
Dunany Buoy – Port hand Fl R 3s position: 53° 53.530'N 006° 09.502’W
Dunany Point is surrounded by outlying rocks, one uncovers at low water at a distance of half a mile to the east of it. This rock makes it a very dangerous point to cut for those intending upon exiting Dundalk Bay. A shallow patch runs out from Dunany Point to east for distance of 1.5 miles and Dunany Shoals stretch 2.75 miles to the north-eastward in irregular patches with depths of 2 to 3 metres. Beyond this there is a deep shoal called Dundalk Patch with 5 to 8 metres of cover 3 miles east by north from Dunany Point. All of these are marked by the Dunany Buoy and vessels acquainted with the area may pass over the shoals and the point along the 5 metre contour.
DUNDALK BAY to the SKERRIES
Four miles south of Dunany Point is the bold rocky promontory of Clogher Head with the fishing port of Port Oriel upon its north side. Two Coast Guard huts are prominent east of Clogher Head. It is moderately bold-to and clear of danger, there being more 5 to 10 metres water within 200 metres of the headland.
Four and a half miles south of Clogher Head is the River Boyne, the first important inlet to the northward of the Skerries. The entrance is 6.75 miles north of Balbriggan, 9 miles to the north of the Skerries and approximately thirty miles north of Dublin. It is well marked by leading lights plus an unlit shipping alignment tower called the Maiden Tower situated 1,000 metres inside the entrance on the southwest side.
Maiden Tower - position: 53° 43.352'N 006° 15.087'W
There are several anchorages available in the River Boyne on the way to Drogheda situated four and a half miles up the River Boyne.
Between the River Boyne and Balbriggan the coast is low-lying and unreceptive to yachtsman. Whilst traversing this part of the coast special attention should to be paid to keep clear of Cardy Rocks.
The Cardy Rocks are a patch of half-tide rocks that are marked by a (port hand) beacon and covered by the green sector of Balbriggan Light. They are located 1 mile north by northeast of Balbriggan lighthouse, 400 metres from Braymore Point.
Cardy Rocks – Port beacon position: 53° 37.912'N, 006° 10.850’W
Five metres will be found immediately east of Cardy Rocks and a narrow passage where up to 7 metres of water can be found between them and the mainland. Gormanstown Aerodrome is close to the coast here, approximately 2 miles northeast of Balbriggan and one mile north from the Cardies, with a 49.2 metres high radio mast. This is visible for some considerable distance out to sea during darkness when it is lit by three vertical red lights plus lower level red lights.
Just under seven miles to the south of the River Boyne is Balbriggan a small artificial harbour that dries out completely along with the surrounding bay. The harbour is made obvious by the Balbriggan Light, a white pierhead light upon the north corner of the pier.
Balbriggan Light - Fl (3) WRG 20s 10M position: 53° 36.778' N, 006° 10.702' W
Four miles to the southeast of Balbriggan are The Skerries. This is a group of small islands called St. Patrick’s, Colt, Shenick’s, and Red islands. They vary from 15 to 18 metres in height and all have extensive rocky foreshores. St. Patrick’s, the outermost island, is distinguished by the ruins of a church on its southwest end, Shenicks and Red islands by Martello towers. The two latter are connected with the mainland, Shenicks 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 that is used by leisure craft and has a least depth of 3m.
The principal dangers to be avoided are a reef that extends 400 metres to the south-west of St. Patrick’s island. Also, for those approaching Skerries Bay and Harbour, Cross Rock, on the outer end of a ledge extending to the northward of Red Island and dry at low water, must be carefully avoided by vessels in bound into the harbour. Skerries Sailing Club shared a list of waypoints and directions to assist with passage planning through the Skerries Islands.
Two and a half miles east by north of St. Patrick’s island is Rockabill with its Lighthouse, and although separated from the Skerries by a deep and clear channel, it may be considered an outer part of this group.
Rockabill Lighthouse - Fl WR 12s position: 53° 35.811' N, 006° 00.297' W
It consists of two granite rocks rising abruptly from the sea to a height of 9.5 metres. Rockabill Lighthouse stands 32 metres high on the highest part of the south rock. The rocks are clear of danger, with 12 or 16 metres close in, and 20 to 30 at the distance of a quarter of a mile off.
SKERRIES to HOWTH
Two and a half miles to the south of the Skerries Islands and on the mainland coast is Loughshinny. This is a small cove with a fishing pier situated l.5 miles north of Rush Point and 1.6 miles south of Shenick Island - the southernmost of the Skerries Islands.
A further two and a half miles off the coast and six miles south by southeast of the Howth Peninsula is Lambay Island the most conspicuous feature of the coast. Its east point, called the Nose of Lambay, is elevated 55 metres above high water, and the 123 metres high Knockbawn is its highest summit. The west side of the island is low and rocky and has a small harbour enclosing a private drying pier. The western shore of the island has some outlying dangers that need to be observed. The other parts of the island coastline are made up of high bold cliffs.
The channel between Lambay Island and the mainland is nearly 2 miles wide and has a least depth of 9.7m except for Burge Bar, with a least depth of 7.6m. It is straightforward channel for leisure craft to adopt taking care to avoid the rocks on the island side. These are the Burren Rocks that are marked by a starboard hand beacon 400 metres west of the westernmost point of the island. A reef, that uncovers on last quarter of the ebb, extends from the island plus a shallow ledge extends a further 30 metres out from the beacon.
Burren Rock Starboard Beacon - position: 53° 29.353’N, 006° 02.460’W
Near these rocks, in a very small inlet situated on the southwest side of the island, resides Talbot’s Bay.
Keep at least 300 metres offshore as you progress up the west side of the island past the privately owned Lambay Pier where vessels anchor off the pier. An unmarked rock, covered by 1.2 metres of water, resides 200 metres out from the shoreline 200 metres north of the pier.
Finally there is Taylor Rocks marked by a north cardinal buoy off Scotch Point, at the Islands north-western tip.
Taylor Rock North Cardinal Buoy – Q position: 53° 30.222’N, 006° 01.871’W
Taylor Rocks are a patch of rocks that extend 300 metres north-northwest of Scotch Point. There is a very good anchorage available immediately east of Scotch Point in Saltpan Bay. Two sand banks extend north and south from the island. Frazer Bank, made up of sand, with 7 to 9 metres of water over it extends up to a mile to the north and likewise Hoskyn Bank to the south. These banks should be avoided in strong easterlies.
Progressing south the coast from Rush Point to Howth, 8 miles to the south, is of a moderate elevation, and is generally fronted by a clean sandy beach, with 5 metres of depth approximately 150 metres off. Several Martello towers stand along this coast that are easily identified and well-marked on the chart. In settled conditions, yachts may anchor temporarily anywhere between Lambay Island and Howth. Between these points Rush Harbour, Rogerstown Inlet, Malahide Inlet, and Baldoyle Creek are located.
The Rogerstown Inlet, with Lambay Island nearly in front of it, is made conspicuous by a hospital on the south side of the inlet. It consists of a group of red buildings with an illuminated 56 metre high clock tower. A further prominent 60 metre high tower stands close east of the hospital.
Three and a half miles south by southwest of the Rogerstown Inlet is the shallow inlet of Malahide, replete with a full service Marina. The inlet is made conspicuous by a hotel building that stands on the south side of the inlet. A prominent 50 metre high chapel spire stands close west of the hotel plus a square towered castle, with the red roofs of several houses close by, stands about 0.7 mile southeast of the hotel. An aeronautical light situated at the airport about 4.5 miles west southwest of the entrance to Malahide Inlet that is highly visible from sea.
The conspicuous reef-fringed island of Ireland’s Eye resides about a mile to the northward of the Nose of Howth and 1,200 metres due north of Howth Harbour. Ireland's Eye rises abruptly on its north side to the height of 99 metres, and slopes down to its southern extreme. From the southern end shelving rocks, that cover at high water only, extend to the Thulla that is a small patch elevated 2 metres above high water. To the southwest of this there are some rocky patches called the North Rowan, that uncovers to a distance of 300 metres from the Thulla.
The north and east sides of Ireland’s Eye are steep-to, with 8 and 12 metres water 100 metres out from the rocks. The west of the island by contrast is very shallow with not more than 2.7 metres of water in the middle of Howth Sound. Nearby Carrigeen Bay, off the north-west end of Irelands Eye, provides a good landing anchorage for small island. The south, at low water, is about half a mile wide with depths decreasing towards each side. The key markers off the south end of the island support access to Howth Harbour and Sound and are as follows:
Rowan Rocks buoy - E cardinal Q - (3) 10 sec position: 53° 23.877’N, 006° 03.269’W
Howth Buoy - Starboard hand F1 G 5 sec position: 53° 23.727’N, 006° 03.593’W
South Rowan Buoy - Starboard Hand Q G position: 53° 23.790’N, 006° 03.941’W
To the south of Ireland’s Eye is Howth Harbour that is formed by two piers run out from the shore towards the island. Howth Harbour is easily distinguished by its east pier light tower. This is a 13 metre tall white and red beacon at the end of the harbour’s northernmost breakwater.
Howth East Pier - Fl (2) W.R. 7.5 sec 13m W12M position: 53° 23.647'N, 006° 4.012'W
Balscadden Bay, on the southeast corner of Howth Harbour underneath the Martello tower at the beginning of Howth Harbours East Pier, also offers an external anchorage.
HOWTH to DUBLIN BAY
East of Howth the northern side the Hill of Howth is steep-to as is most of the headland around to the Nose of Howth, except close in 400 to 1,200 metres north of the Baily, and at Casana Rock situated 800 metres south of the Nose where a distance-off of 50 metres is recommended. Immediately northwest of the Nose there is a drying rock that resides about 50 metres outside Puck's Rocks.
The Ben of Howth is a peninsula dominating the northeast side of Dublin Bay. The 167 metres high Hill of Howth terminates to the southeast in the Bailey, the southeast extremity of the peninsula. This is a bold projecting point with precipitous shores, with a lighthouse, a 13 metre high granite tower, that marks the northern point of the entrance to Dublin Bay.
Baily Lighthouse - Fl 15s position: 53° 21.691’N, 006° 03.158'W
The Burford Bank extends across the entrance of Dublin Bay in a north by northeast direction; nearly due south from the Bailey lighthouse. It is a narrow ridge of hard sand, 2 miles long, and less than a quarter of a mile wide. Burford Banks shallowest part is 3.9 metres and presents little danger to leisure craft in settled conditions. However it breaks heavily in easterly gales and should be avoided. The north end of the bank is marked by the North Burford Cardinal and the south end by the South Burford Cardinal.
North Burford - Cardinal WHISTLE position: 53° 20.507'N, 006° 01.493’W
South Burford - Cardinal VQ (6) + LFl 10s WHISTLE position: 53°18.060'N, 006° 01.298’W
Four and a half mile east by south of the Bailey lighthouse and 3 miles north of Kish Bank, is the Bennet Bank. It extends in a north by east direction for 1.5 miles, and is steep-to on both sides. The shallowest part of the bank is on the southern side with 8.8 metres of cover and as such it does not concern leisure craft. A continuous ridge of sand extends to the northward from the bank, with 13 and 17 metres of cover. Its southern side is marked by a south cardinal.
Bennet Bank – South Cardinal Q (6) + LFl 15s position: 53° 20.172'N, 005° 55.130’W
Hosting the capital of Ireland, Dublin Bay is unmistakable from seaward. Situated between Dalkey Island on the south and the hill of Howth on the north it is about 5.8 miles wide and 6 miles deep. The head of the bay is filled with extensive sand-banks through which the River Liffey, guided by long walls, flows into the sea and the city and port of Dublin are situated at the mouth of the river. The ‘Hill of Howth’, abruptly rising on the north side of the bay, forms the most prominent natural feature when approached from the sea. Dún Laoghaire Harbour plus the Killiney hills will be seen to the south closer in. The coast is comparatively low on the southern side backed by hills which rise to a height of 500 metres within 5 miles of the shore. In the centre of the bay the Poolbeg lighthouse stands 20 metres high at the head of the south breakwater. 1.5 miles above the Liffey’s entrance the conspicuous twin 210 metre high Poolbeg power station chimneys stand close together; behind which the high rise buildings of Dublin city will appear.
Heading southwest from the Nose of Howth to the Dublin Bay Buoy the first markers to be encountered are the East and South Rosbeg cardinal markers for the Rosbeg Bank.
Rosbeg South cardinal - Fl Mo (A) 10s position: 53° 20.373'N, 006° 04.312'W
Rosbeg East cardinal - Fl Mo (A) 10s position: 53° 21.007'N, 006° 03.452'W
These mark the Rosbeg Bank on the north side of Dublin bay, lying 0.7 of a mile south southwest from the Bailey lighthouse. It is made up of fine sand and is three-quarters of a mile long and 200 metres wide, with 4.6 metres of water at its shallowest part.
Dublin Bays central marker is the Dublin Bay buoy, L Fl 10s, situated in the middle of the bay.
Dublin Bay buoy - Fl Mo (A) 10s position: 53° 19.912'N, 006° 04.646'W
Caution: A Traffic Separation Scheme has been established in Dublin Bay with a traffic circle established around on Dublin Bay buoy. This is well marked on Admiralty Chart No. 1415, 2002 and involves separation lanes to the north and south of the Burford Bank.
Vessels continuing south may avail of the ‘Southbound: Dublin Bay to Rosslare Harbour’ coastal description available in ‘Routes’.
What is the best sailing time?
May to September is the traditional Irish Sailing season with June July offering the best weather. June and July’s statistical incidence of strong winds are however two days of winds up to force seven. As such, depending on personal sailing preferences, a vessel may expect to be held-up or enjoy robust sailing conditions. Ireland is not subject to persistent fog. Statistically complete days of persistent fog occur less than once in a decade.
What weather information is available?
Current local weather conditions may be appraised by clicking on the underlined and active locations listed along the route. For more information Met Éireann (the Irish National Meteorological Service) on line services provide an Eastern Atlantic 24 hour synoptic, the current Irish Sea Area Forecast and Irish observations.
The UK Met Office Shipping forecast. They also offer visible satellite and infrared satellite imagery to enable close observation of approaching frontal systems. This clear movement information makes it easy to predict when an area is going to get wet. Moreover it enables a viewer to estimate very accurately when the sharp veer off the back of a cold front will arrive and as such avoided. 21st Operational Weather Squadron provide Atlantic and European synoptics.
XCweather provides a local view of wind conditions direct from and array of reporting station manned along the British Isles. Three hour historical info plus expected wind direction and strength for the next couple of days are available on this site and it is possible to interpolate between stations.
Wind guru is an international surfing site that looks at eighty five beaches around the coast of Ireland. It provides wind and wave information plus meteorological data such as temperature, wind speed and direction. The sites wind, wave height and direction information enables a good picture of a seaway, wave against wind or tide, backwash off a coast etc., to be developed in advance.
Whilst off-line national weather information is broadcast as follows:
Coastal radio stations (VHF Channel)
Weather forecast at 0103 and thence every 3 hours updated every sixth.
Cork 26, Bantry 23, Valentia 24, Shannon 28, Clifden 26, Malin Head 23, Dublin 83, Wicklow Head 87, Rosslare 23, and Mine Head 83.
RTE Radio 1
Sea area forecast: 24 / 48 hour outlook and gale warnings rounding the country in a clockwise direction from headlands to headland.
FM 88.90 MHZ
MW 567khz/529m and 729khz/412m.
Weekdays 0602, 1253, 1823, 2355
Sundays 0633, 0755, 0855, 1253, 1823, 235
BBC Radio 4
LW 198khz/1525M. VHF
Daily 0048, 0535 (0542 on Sundays, 0556 Saturdays), 1201,1754.
What dangers are to be avoided?
Are there any security concerns?
Never been a security issue known to have occurred sailing off the Irish coast.
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