Stopping Places: The Isles of Scilly and the east coast of Ireland from Baltimore to Red Bay.

Be sure to check out Reeds  and / or the appropriate pilots for more detailed information and alternates, this is just an overview of likely candidates, but I have been to all of them. 

To see my recent visits to each anchorage check out the "Labels" towards the bottom of the right hand panel, links below may not be comprehensive.

Update through Sept 2023 to include Harbours and Marinas also info on fuel & gas availability although this is not comprehensive as I don't need either that often.

The Isles of Scilly

Before venturing here you are best off with a good guide (The RCC Pilotage Foundation appears to be the "standard" work but The shell Chanel Pilot covers a lot) and large scale charts. Not a place to be in a storm and in strong winds it may be necessary to change anchorage as the depression passes. 

Keep an eye on weather systems across the Atlantic for a week ahead and you might save yourself some grief, as I did in 2021 avoiding Storm Evert that kept 2 lifeboats and a helicopter busy all night as boats dragged anchors and moorings with several going ashore, it was similar but less extreme with storm Betty in 2023.

St Marys - Hugh Town and Porthloo

Hugh Town has good moorings and facilities but is very exposed to south westerly winds, anchoring is possible off Porthloo, a fairly long dinghy ride into Hugh Town. Laundrette, serviced washes only, near the tourist information office (Porth Cressa beach) which has showers if those on the main pier are not available. 

Diesel by porterage or at the fuel berth, along side fuelling is limited by the tide and the top of the quay is a long way above the water.  Fuel also available by porterage from next to the Laundrette but its a long way and is more useful from Porth Cressa. Decent CO-OP plus a butcher, another grocery ship on the road to Porthloo but no advantage over the COOP unless you can store frozen foods. Lots of touristy places. Vodafone and O2 signals OK. Visited in 2021, 2022 & 2023.

Low tide at Hugh Town / St Mary's Pool.
The Porthloo anchorage, St Martins in the distance (centre)
Tresco left.
The lifeboat is on its normal mooring in the Hugh Town harbour, see the 
pic of the harbour at low tide above in full screen.

St Marys - Watermill Cove.

A popular anchorage to wait in prior to moving on to Old Grimsby or St Helens pool or to cross Crow Bar but it is very susceptible to swell and small waves refracting round the islands. It is important to get as far in and as close to western shore as practical. Vodafone and O2 signals OK. Visited 2023

Well out in the Watermill Cove anchorage.
St Martin's - St Martin's Bay.

Excellent anchorages on the north cost of St Martin's, well sheltered from the obvious wind directions. Vodafone and O2 signals patchy to none. Visited 2023.

The western part of the St Martin's Bay anchorage.
St Helen's Pool

Old Grimsby, Tresco from St Helen's Pool which is one of the best
anchorages but a fair ride in the dinghy for services on Tresco.
Visited 2021

The South East Coast of Ireland


Rather a long way round if heading north but a good harbour, good places to eat and drink but very limited shopping. In a strong westerly anchoring at the western end of the harbour will be far more comfortable although if it is that windy you would not want to go to the village in the average tender. Vodafone and O2 signals OK.
From the eastern end of the anchorage the main entrance
extreme right, "Lots Wife" daymark  to the left of it.
Visited 2019 and 2022


If sailing from The Isles of Scilly, Youghal (pronounced Yawl) between Cork and Waterford would be a good stop off (but it is essentially the same distance from St Mary's as Dunmore East). Once inside finding a good place to anchor could be tricky at night. Visited 2022. IIRC Vodafone and O2 signals OK.

On the leading line into Youghal before making a sharp turn to

Waterford / Dunmore East

If you can't make St Margret's Bay, Waterford has a number of secure anchorages and a marina, but the latter is 10 miles upriver so a big diversion. 

The anchorage at Dunmore East at the entrance saves the diversion but is very subject to swell. Vodafone and O2 signals OK.  Visited 2022.

The East Coast of Ireland

St Margaret's Bay

Coming from Lands End, the Isles of Scilly, St Ives or Milford Haven,  Carnsore Point is often a good landfall and will usually allow you to avoid the Off Tuskar Rock TSS and the rock itself and in offshore winds it is then an easy sail up the coast inside of the often dangerous banks. The first suitable anchorage is St Margaret's Bay with Ballytrent Bay just beyond.  

Approaching Carnsore Point. ST Margret's Bay just out of
shot to the right.
No pictures of the anchorage I'm afraid because when I first went that way it was a bit damp and the other times overcast and dull. Good shelter in offshore winds, I have been there in in NW and SSE winds, the later quite strong, and had no problems. Vodafone and O2 signals OK.

Visited 2020, 2022 and 2023.

Roney Head

Again, no pictures but a reasonable passage anchorage in an offshore wind. Visited 2020.


Anchor outside and north-west of the harbour avoiding the outfall one cable off the West Pier. Offshore winds or calm conditions only. It was OK in a F5 southerly. The harbour is a possibility, but the pilot is not complementary to the managements attitude towards yachts and there are no pontoons. Vodafone and O2 signals OK. Visited 2022 and 2023.

Wicklow harbour from where I anchor.

Sorrento Bay, Dublin

Just south of Dublin Bay, it is a good anchorage when the wind has west in it and in 2021, I spent a good night there in a strong northerly. You need to be quite close in for shelter and to be out of the deeper water. Vodafone and O2 signals OK.

Sorrento Bay, 2020. the following year I went a bit further west
away from the bathing area and in 2022 & 2023 further east. Jet Skies
and Speed boats were a problem for a time but didn't stay long.
Looking east towards Dalkey Island with its fort and Martello tower.
Visited 2020, 20212022 and 2023


A good harbour but care is needed in the channel through the outer harbour at low water and often access will not be possible an hour or so either side. Also if running for shelter from a gale with any east in it you need to be there before the storm arrives (as I did in 2023) as the passage inside Irelands Eye" gets very rough:

The passage inside "Irelands eye" is not a good place to be in a
strong easterly. Waves breaking on the other side or the island
were reaching the top of the Martello tower.
This boat had made the short hop from Malahide to the NW but
wished they hadn't.
The pilot warns of an old breakwater submerging at low water
that has been rebuilt and provides good shelter to the marina
but it is very shallow either side so stay well clear on the marina
side of the port hand markers,
Good facilities and very good food at the club. Fuel by porterage or from the fuel berth. Chandlery nearby with a reasonable amount of "yachtey" stuff but more orientated to commercial users. Plenty of places to eat outside of the marina but I did not try them. Small supermarket / large convenience store is a good walk (at least for me) up hill, IIRC there is a butchers a few doors away. Vodafone and O2 signals OK.

The Skerries

Good shelter from southerly and offshore winds, lots of moorings but room between and outside. Quite shallow further in. Vodafone and O2 signals OK.

The Skerries harbour.
Visited 2022 and 2023 when I had a very disturbed evening due to beam on refracted waves.

Dundalk Bay

Dundalk bay is large and shallow and there is not a lot of shelter from an offshore wind which gave me a few uncomfortable hours on my visit in 2020 but it does avoid going into Carlingford Loch, that might be a good visit but getting out against the tide can be a problem - best to read my post Dublin – Dundalk Bay – Ardglass. My visits in 2021 & 22 when I anchored in different spots in different conditions went smoothly. Vodafone and O2 signals OK. Visited 20202021 and 2022


A well sheltered small marina with very limited manoeuvring room, the entrance is likely to be problematic, even dangerous, in a strong south easterly or easterly wind. Fuel by porterage a longish walk without a trolley (c 1/2 mile?) from a garage with an unusually good SPAR shop. Small off licence, several places to eat and take-aways. Showers and laundry facilities (domestic type) at the marina. Vodafone and O2 signals OK.

On a visitors berth at Ardglass, getting onto one of these
berths is not normally a problem, getting out could be due
to lack of manoeuvring room.
Visited in 202020212023.

Ballyholm Bay, Bangor

A useful stop off point if the wind is too light or contrary to get between Ardglass and Brown's bay in a single day and there is a marina nearby if the wind is onshore and kicking up a sea or if you need supplies etc. and want to stop off before reaching Ardglass when going south. Vodafone and O2 signals OK.

Visited 2021 and 2023

Bangor Marina

Well sheltered decent marina, local authority owned but privately operated. Facilities rather utilitarian but perfectly acceptable. Fuel berth, but I refuelled by porterage, white diesel only.  Small chandlery, lots of places to eat of varying quality, good ASDA supermarket about half a mile (uphill). Gas is available. Vodafone and O2 signals OK.

Visited in 2022 North bound and South bound and in 2023.

Browns Bay

A good spot for the passage across the North Channel to or from Islay, Gigha or Campbelltown, the usual first or last ports of call when cruising through the Scottish Islands and not using the Crinan canal. It is exposed to the North and can suffer from surge but if it is too bad you can always go into Larne. Vodafone and O2 signals OK.

Visited 2020, 20212022 and 2023

Red Bay

A good alternate to Browns Bay if you can get that far north but be warned the tide runs very strongly around Garron Point. It can be a useful place to wait for a good tide going in either direction making use of inshore counter currents for an early start see my visit in 2023. Vodafone and O2 signals OK.

Anchorages, marinas and harbours:

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