Sailing to Purgatory
The final scene in this true adventure shocked the author, too.

‘The reader will be enthralled as Paul, former Fleet Street journalist turned professional yachtmaster, takes us along on his ‘swallowing the anchor’ voyage, his retirement from the sea.

'This self-confessed newish ancient mariner … has spent almost a lifetime sailing solo, as both an ocean going competitive yachtsman, as a DoT Commercial Yachtmaster, and during his circumnavigation to become a singlehanded Cape Horner ... Sailing to Purgatory has all the roller coaster elements of a heart stopping adventure — drama on the high seas, observing life ... undersea volcanoes, a love interest, and waves high enough to scare the pants off most of us.’ - Brenda Vowden, journalist, avid reader

Home from the outside ... St Helenans,
'Saints', round their South Atlantic
island in Midshipman,
en route for Stockholm.

Enterprising forebears ... The house Paul's father designed, and the car his paternal grandfather designed and built.

Running repairs ... crewman Declan checks rig fittings on the superyacht, Midshipman, which Paul sailed from the Cape to Sweden.

Sail power ... Gavin's Howe's beautiful yacht in the Mediterranean.

Rescue in the Southern Ocean ... Yachting World's international edition this month features Paul and Captain Fantastic in its Great Seamanship series.

Pat and Gerry Adamson, two wonderful supporters get Spirit of Pentax ready for her circumnavigation.

Home sweet home ... St Helena islanders, after a voyage round their island home on the superyacht, Midshipman.

Baptism of a Cape Horner ... Lady Chichester names Spirit of Pentax in a ceremony at Brighton Marina.

Homeward Bound 2 is prepared for her attempt on the longest open boat record.

Tri trials ... testing Paul's entry in the singlehanded race across the Atlantic are great friends Ron Pell, Jerry Freeman plus a keen helper.

Cover up ... Bob Abrahams works on cover ideas for Sailing to Purgatory.

Stocking up for 18 months ... Last minute farewells before Spirit of Pentax and Paul left on the long route to become Cape Horners.

Death of a racer ... Baltic Wind flounders after running into a container in the South Atlantic. Paul and a lady shipmate spent eight worrying days in a liferaft.

'Is Sailing to Purgatory a sailing book?' asks Tony of Newcastle. 'I skimmed over a few pages in the bookshop, but it seems to be about injustice, too.'

Tony is planning to get the book for his father, who shares his passion for sailing. 'I liked some of the cruising bit, but then a couple of pages after, it looked like a travel story. I had to smile at the travel bit, about the dancers in the Girly Bar. But my Dad's after sailing stories. Would it suit him? You're the writer. You say.'

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
A dearly loved yacht ... in the mid-Atlantic, long before corrupt justice stole her from me.
What's Sailing to Purgatory about? I visit islands, I encounter high drama, I worry about ageing, I meet a girl, there's a love triangle, I sail alone on a long and challenging final voyage.

Tony, Sailing to Purgatory begins by reminding readers that there's a sea out there and it's wrapped round two-thirds of our world. It should be visited because it is ours and it is amazing to be out there.

The story's prelude gives a brief picture of my story. My mother warned of the dangers of the sea and especially of sailing solo.

And yet it wasn't the elements that endangered my life, that attempted to destroy me. It was my fellow man. Then I show the reader what my final voyage was all about.

About our amazing world

Some of it is a travel story, because it is about my farewell to the sea, a professional yachtsman's swallowing the anchor voyage. The story is about the sea, about our amazing world, and about life.

I visit islands, I encounter high drama, I worry about ageing, I meet a girl, there's a love triangle, I sail off alone on a long and dangerous final voyage. When I reach the other side, the love interest joins me. The future looks really wonderful.

Then visiting treasured friends with my fiancee and daughter, there's an ambush. I am rushed away for interrogation. It doesn't matter what I say, I am imprisoned.

It's true life

By now you might think I must have written a novel. But, no, it's true life, although life is turned suddenly into something more akin to death.

It takes almost two years of being locked away before the jury returns a verdict in the secret trial. I am sentenced to a longer term than the Lockerbie airline bomber for the nonsense of smuggling which I know I didn't do and I believe the prosecution knew it, too.

Tony, tomorrow, I will put a free download here of a chapter that is just about sailing. Well, perhaps a hint of more than just sailing, but essentially it relays the experience of voyaging singlehanded through the Atlantic from one amazing place to a really stunning island.

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