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Cashla Bay, a quiet harbour of refuge off Galway Bay

Rossaveel Harbour is located on the North side of the North Sound approaches to Galway Bay. The inner harbour is positioned on the north eastern shore of upper Cashla Bay and is well sheltered - B.A. Charts 2096, 3339.

Access to Cashla Bay is through a well-defined and marked channel by day or night. The principal approach is on a northern course in the white sector (008.5 011.5) of Lion Directional Light between Killeen Point and Cannon Rocks light buoy. This also leads to an outer anchorage where larger vessels can find an anchorage in the outer part of the bay in depths of 9 to 10.5 metres with stiff mud and shells holding ground west of a Martello Tower. The anchorage is exposed to southerly winds.

The inner part of Cashla Bayis approached by a north track passing through the narrows marked by a port hand light buoy at Ship Rock and a starboard hand light buoy at Lion Point. Once through the narrows there is excellent shelter and the track then leads north passed a port hand light buoy and then to a starboard hand light buoy. This marks the turning point into the entrance channel, which is marked by leading lights and inner beacons to the quaysides.

One day we sailed the length of Galway Bay to Cashla Bay near its mouth. Rossaveel Harbour is positioned on the north eastern shore of upper Cashla Bay and is well sheltered.  From here ferries sail daily to the Aran Islands, but there is very little else but an idyllic setting on a lovely protected and unspoilt Bay where anchoring for the evening provides much needed respite.  It is the only protected harbour on the North side of Galway Bay once you leave Galway Harbour itself. It is also one of the few harbours that are accessible under storm conditions along this section of Irish coastline.

There is a sailing club somewhere onshore and we had the pleasure of watching a fleet of dinghies racing well into the evening as the sun doesn’t set here until about 11 pm in June.  We had heard there was a bus from here to Galway but we could not find or learn anything about it ashore. We later learned that the bus runs from Rossaveel  in concert with the ferry schedule.  We had a BBQ onboard, a restful night, and returned to Galway completely refreshed and ready for more craic the next day.

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