Leaving Crookhaven give good time to take Mizen Head with a fair tide or slack tide. If wind is strong N W or N and tide is running south then head out about 3 miles to avoid overfalls.
Dunmanus Bay offers some delightful anchorages of Dunbeacon Harbour, Dunmanus Harbour and Kitchen Cove. The new pier at Ahakista (Kitchen Cove) can take a moderate sized boat alongside at the end on a neap tide. Dunmanus Harbour at the east offers great holding and shelter in any weather with Durrus village a welcome visit.
Bantry Bay (Berehaven to Bantry 14 miles)
Bantry Bay offers the harbours of Bantry, Glengarriff and Adrigole with the marina in Lawrence Cove. All well piloted in the pilot book. Castletownbere can offer a temporary alongside berth for some groceries as Supervalu is close by. Bantry Harbour Marina opened in 2017 with berths for 40 boats, providing walking distance to fuel and town supplies. Bantry also has a pontoon at the end of the Abbey pier which yachts can overnight on. Be aware of NW winds while staying here. Visitors moorings in Bantry, Glengarriff, Trafrask, Adrigole and Castletownbere.
Dursey Sound is an interesting passage and fun pilotage excercise, keep close to the island going through and be aware of the tide. Tide races fall at different times to the outside between the bull and cow.
Kenmare River (Berehaven to Sneem 29 miles)
Kenmare River is a beautiful long bay and reasonably well sheltered. Harbours including Sneem, Ardgroom and Kilmackilloge are all very accessible. Keep an eye on mussel farms as they not always in the charted place. At Kilmakilloge is O’Sullivan’s pub, well worth a visit for its mussels and salmon.
Further up the bay at Dromquinna there is a pontoon which is accessible for shallower draft boats and is a very pleasant stop over with the wine bar and bistro at the water’s edge.
Sneem to Dingle (44 miles)
Derrynane Harbour is a must stop if at all possible, with good anchorage. Ensure the swell is not greater than 3m otherwise entry and exit is dangerous with surf at the entrance. The beach at the far side offers a pleasant lunch stop with a swim in lovely clear water.
Heading North Ballinskelligs Bay has some shelter on the north shore behind Horse Island and is again a good swim spot.
It is well worth taking a detour out to sail past the spectacular Skelligs and marvel in the bird life and historic monastic settlement from the sea.
Potmagee is a pretty village to visit. The visitor moorings are no longer there but you can anchor where they were beware the tide races through the sound and tying up on the pier is not advisable as it is in constant use with fishing boats and ferrys to the Skelligs. Dinghy ashore across the sound if you have a motor otherwise tie at the pontoon at the visitor centre and walk across the bridge. (a pontoon was planned when this went to print).
Valentia Harbour is a good overnight port or longer stay. The marinas in Knightstown and Cahersiveen are handy. Knightstown marina services are limited, Cahersiveen is fully functioning with security, showers and power. The channel up to Cahersiveen is now well marked with cardinal marks and lateral marks but the sand bar at the river’s entrance should be crossed on a rising tide as it is not always where it is charted.
Fungie the Dolphin will likely welcome you into Dingle Harbour. The marina is well serviced with full facilities and easy walking distance to the town for pubs, restaurants, shops and restocking supplies.
Crookhaven to Dingle – thanks to Niall MacAllister and Norman Kean
Thanks goes to Norman Kean of ICC Publications for contributions, editing and charts adapted from their publication “Cruising Ireland”.