Cape pontoon

Cool Route Gives Warm Welcome to New Pontoon Facilities on Oileán Chléire-Cape Clear

Oileán Chléire , better known as Cape Clear,  or just Cape,  is a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) Island, 8 miles off Baltimore, on the coast of County Cork, in South West Ireland.

Typical of many offshore communities, islanders always had to be highly innovative to survive on the island, which is lit by the loom from the  light on the Fasnet Rock.  The island is a model for peace and tranquillity and a bird watching mecca, with amazing settings and a long history of human habitation, in this remotest sentinel of Western Europe.

International competitors in the Fasnet Race, as they round the famous mark,  will all be familiar with the nearby shoreline, but few of any of them will have stepped ashore on this amazing West Cork Island 

Among Cape Clear’s many items of historic interest are megalithic standing stones and a 5000 year-old passage grave. The island museum provides a wealth of information on the island down through the ages.  Lively music is a nightly feature on the island during the summer months and Cape is also home to a vibrant community of creative writers and other people working internationally, while also benefiting from a quality of life, that only such special locations can offer.

Cape Clear is now a prime cruising location, with the recent opening of its new pontoon, at North Harbour. Work has been ongoing for over twelve months on excavating the inner basin and a protecting sill was also installed. With the completion of the extensive pontoon ,the island is now ready for an active sailing season in 2018, where a Céad MÍle Fáilte – a Hundred Thousand Welcomes- no doubt will be given to marine tourists, arriving to visit this fantastic new facility on the Cool Route.

cape excavationPictured left is work on the extensive deepening excavation works undertaken in the harbour inner basin at Cape Clear, while pictured below is the completed pontoon.

Cape pontoon

The Cool Route was recently named by Boat International as The World’s No. 1 most Adventurous Cruising Grounds This is a highly significant accolade from the most prestigious of international yachting publications.

Since the inception of the Cool Route in 2015, a wide range of marina and pontoon facilities – meeting the Cool Route quality standard of a safe and dry step ashore for boaters, have been developed.  Such facilities can usually accommodate any craft, from small ribs to sailing yachts and also tenders from liners and superyachts- opening up a wide range of sustainable new commercial activities for local entrepreneurs.

Among new marina and pontoon facilities developed along the Cool Route, by pubic and private sector investors since 2015, are the following locations, in Ireland , Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Ireland: Cape Clear, Ballycotton.Passage West,Bantry,Rossaveal, Killybegs,Greencastle,

Northern Ireland:Cushendall

Scotland: Campbeltown,Gigha,Lough Aline,Mull,Dunvegan, Isle of Skye,Dunstaffnage,St. Andrews.

Balintore,Helmsdale,Elie in Fife, Kircubbin

Cape Clear, now joining the elite set of cruising destinations, is a unique location where visitors can experience a wealth of Irish heritage, culture and scenery. The waters around the Island are rich in bird life and cetaceans, such as dolphins and whales. Sailors will be looking forward to 2018 and the rich experiences of visiting this great new Island location.

Local Enterprises with products, services or activities who are interested in building marine tourism business are invited to register on the Cool Route Information System, which is map based, free to use and links visitors back to the enterprise’sown website sites. More information at

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