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Salt Island (South)

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Overview





Salt Island is located on the northeast coast of Ireland within Strangford Lough’s southwestern corner and in the Quoile River estuary. This is the drying anchorage on the south side of the island that is convenient for landing at the island's old pier.

Salt Island is located on the northeast coast of Ireland within Strangford Lough’s southwestern corner and in the Quoile River estuary. This is the drying anchorage on the south side of the island that is convenient for landing at the island's old pier.

Inside the Quoile River, akin to many of the islands and snug creeks on the western shore, a vessel will find complete protection but this is a tidal anchorage on the south side of the island that is the reserve of vessels that can take to the bottom. The enclosed waters of Strangford Lough provide shelter waters and ample marks to make daylight navigation very straightforward.



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Keyfacts for Salt Island (South)
Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
-1 metres (-3.28 feet).

Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
October 6th 2022

Summary

A completely protected location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 22.485' N, 005° 38.649' W

South of Salt Island off the Bothy and pier.

What is the initial fix?

The following Quoile River Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 23.614' N, 005° 38.195' W
300 metres east of Town Rock off Killyleagh. This is a distinctive red cylindrical brick pillar marker lit QW.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details for vessels approaching Strangford Lough from the north are available in northeast Ireland’s coastal overview for Malin Head to Strangford Lough Route location. Details for vessels approaching from the south are available in eastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location. Details of the approaches, tidal timings and the run up the Narrows to about a ½ mile below Strangford are covered in the Entering and exiting the Strangford Narrows Route location. The run along the south shore of Strangford Lough is then covered in the Quoile Click to view haven haven directions.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Salt Island (South) for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Brandy Bay (Salt Island North) - 0.3 nautical miles NW
  2. Salt Island (Southwest) - 0.3 nautical miles W
  3. Moore’s Point - 0.6 nautical miles WNW
  4. Quoile - 1 nautical miles WSW
  5. Jackdaw Island - 1.3 nautical miles ENE
  6. Killyleagh - 1.4 nautical miles N
  7. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 1.6 nautical miles ENE
  8. Chapel Island - 1.8 nautical miles ENE
  9. Holm Bay - 2 nautical miles N
  10. Audley’s Point - 2.3 nautical miles ENE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Brandy Bay (Salt Island North) - 0.3 miles NW
  2. Salt Island (Southwest) - 0.3 miles W
  3. Moore’s Point - 0.6 miles WNW
  4. Quoile - 1 miles WSW
  5. Jackdaw Island - 1.3 miles ENE
  6. Killyleagh - 1.4 miles N
  7. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 1.6 miles ENE
  8. Chapel Island - 1.8 miles ENE
  9. Holm Bay - 2 miles N
  10. Audley’s Point - 2.3 miles ENE
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Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
Salt Island
Image: Michael Harpur


Salt Island is located within the Quoile Estuary just over 1 mile south of Killyleagh. It is a small island, about 0.4 miles long and 0.2 miles wide, lying in a northeast/southwest direction. It rises to 13 metres high at its northeast end and the island dries to the shoreline on its southeastern side at low water. Today it is completely owned by the National Trust which has established a Bothy which offers basic shelter (for up to 12 people) with running water, wood burning stove, and toilets but no electricity. It is also possible to camp nearby.


The Bothy and the landing area
Image: Michael Harpur


The anchorage off the southeast side of the island offers complete protection. For shoal draft vessels it also offers a short tidal stop that is convenient to the island landing point fronting the Bothy. This is accessible for up to ±2½ hours of high tide.


How to get in?
Salt Island with Killyleagh and Green Island in the backdrop
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Details of the approaches, tidal timings and the run up the Narrows to about a ½ mile below Strangford are covered in the Entering and exiting the Strangford Narrows Route location route description. The run along the south shore of Strangford Lough is then covered in the Quoile Click to view haven haven directions.


Green Island as seen from the River Quoile
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location The Initial Fix places a vessel off Killyleagh and at the mouth of the River Quoile. From here the path takes a west-southwest direction on a bearing of 210° T for a distance of approximately 1 mile. This leads through the middle of the river estuary passing Green Island to port.


Moore's Point (right) on the opposite northwest shore
Image: Michael Harpur


Salt Island will become readily apparent after a ½ mile southwest of Green Island opposite Moore’s Point. Proceed to Salt Island and with a suitable rise pass around its northeastern or southwestern side.


Wee Wile seen from above Salt Island with Green Island in the backdrop
Image: Michael Harpur


The southwestern end, between Salt Island and Rat then Gores island, is the preferred pathway. It is clear and always has deep water in which there is anchoring opportunity. The northwest end of the island has Wee Wile Rock which dries to 0.3 metres.


Green Island and Salt Island as seen from the River Quoile
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Anchor in a depth to your preference where excellent holding is to be found. Be aware this entire area dries to substantial mud flats at low tide.

Land at the old pier below the Bothy.


Why visit here?
This anchorage is the closest location to land on Salt Island and to approach the Bothy via shallow draft vessels or canoes at high water.

Salt Island is one of the many picturesque islands in Strangford Lough owned and preserved for future generations by the National Trust. It is a wonderful place to go for a walk or even stay over camping.

It was however occupied and farmed in the past as there is evidence of mid to late Victorian paddocks, ‘lazy beds’, stone banks and remnants of hedges. The island is now home to Northern Ireland’s first ever ‘bothy’ or bunkhouse on the south side of the island that is also owned by The National Trust. The original ‘bothy’, which had been pointlessly vandalised in the 90s and reduced to function as a sheep house, was restored in 2008. It offers basic shelter for up to 12 people with running water, wood burning stove, and toilets. The ‘bothy’ is locked when not in use and advance booking is essential to gain access. For bookings and further information contact The National Trust on +44 28 4488 1204.

There are also two official camping areas on the island where it is more than pleasant to spend a night. One within the ‘bothy’ grounds and one on the Brandy Bay side of the island. A small dilapidated stone jetty, that in the past was used to land farm animals, can be called upon for landing on the island.

The area to the southwest of Salt Island, where the Slaney River exits into the Lough, is of historical interest. It was here that St. Patrick landed in 432 A.D and went to Saul to be confronted by the local Chieftain. He became Patrick's first Irish convert to Christianity.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities in this river anchorage.


Any security concerns?
Never a problem known to have occurred off Salt Island.


With thanks to:
Brian Crawford, local Strangford Lough boatman of many decades. eOceanic would like to thank Quoile Yacht Club External link for hosting our survey boat during the survey of Strangford Lough.







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Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.