South Harbour in Cape Clear is a favourite anchorage of mine. There are other beautiful West Cork locations - Schull, Baltimore, Crookhaven, Glandore and Kinsale to be enjoyed, but I have really loved a calm, moonlit night lying at anchor in South Harbour as a very special experience.
North Harbour on the other shore of Cape is more popular because of the onshore facilities there, but also more crowded and often difficult to find space there.
“The island is hopeful of a good response from the sailing community”
However, all that is changing, with a new marina provided, I am told, by the Department of the Marine, where work is ongoing this week installing power points, with plans for water availability onto the marina. The Island Co-op premises is being upgraded to provide clothes washing and drying and the FLAGS development programme where financial support is given through Fishing Local Area Groups, administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara, is going to fund shower facilities for marina users.
“The island is hopeful of a good response from the sailing community,” I was told this week “’’’ and diesel is available, petrol also and the pubs and restaurants are well set-up.”
Two early visitors to the marina were Neil Prendeville from Kinsale Yacht Club who brought his Mary P there this week… “three metres depth at low water” he told me.. …. An observant and dedicated sailor he suggested the installation of “better cleats for yachts…” and said it was great to see the facilities that will encourage more yachts to visit this Summer.
Also berthed there in the past week was Nic Slocum’s West Cork Whale Watching vessel.
That’s another marina on the West Cork coastline to add to Bantry from last year and, with the granting of €112,000 from the Department for the installation of a pontoon at Schull, perhaps - at last – official appreciation is growing of the jewel which West Cork provides for marine tourism.
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