Solent Gaffers


Around Ireland Anti-clockwise

'Robinetta' sails at Campbeltown Classics, 2017
©Alistair Randall

Around Ireland anti-clockwise. Cruising Association talk by Julian and Alison Cable at Parkstone Yacht Club, Tuesday, 19th February, 2019

A coterie of Solent gaffers met in Poole to support a Cruising Association talk. After a good meal at the Salterns Hotel, we added to the crowd which had come to hear East Coast gaffers, Julian and Alison Cable, talk about their anti-clockwise circumnavigation of the island of Ireland in 2016. This took place in stages as part of their five year cruise round Britain.

Julian and Alison were blessed with good weather for enough time to make the passages in their 22 foot wooden gaff cutter, Robinetta. They stayed inshore where possible and this brought them close to stunning rocky scenery with welcome respite in harbours little visited by yachts. As often as not, Robinetta was rafted up against a fishing boat. The whole required very careful planning to cope with big tides and treacherous entrances. A broken backstay was a major issue but they were able to improvise that, along with replacing some instruments en route.

Ashore, they enjoyed a wealth of pubs, clubs, music and glorious food.

The whole was illustrated with a stunning range of photographs.

You can find these in the relevant section of Robinetta’s blog at along with a copy of the relevant book which is for sale.

From the Solent Gaffers’ point of view it was good to catch up with friends from Poole, not all of whom are able to get to summer events on the water.

Marion Shirley

1 Mar 2019