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.

Poet Robert Graham has good news for dogs which used to enjoy the delights of playing at the seaside. Now they can be the best of seaside sights themselves. The canine summertime ban ends this weekend!

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Woof woof ... The beaches are open to sea dogs again. Hooray! Many thanks to 'a very talented artist who lives in Wye' for the sketch.
Roberto announces the good news on his website, This bringer of welcome news for man's best friends hounded off seaside sand through the summer is the web's gardener-poet, a great talent dedicated to growing plants and creating wonderful verse.

His garden in Wye, Kent, is the envy of Ashford, and his poetry on a site I built and maintain for him, a much clicked favourite on the internet.

There's something very English and very human and worthwhile about Roberto's verse, and I say that not just as a lover of verse, but as an honours graduate in literature.

A faithful following

When I first read his poetry after we met in Richmond, where the State was accommodating me at the time - me, not Roberto, I hasten to say - I was amazed never to have heard his words on Radio 4's poetry programmes.

I offered to build and maintain where Roberto has a faithful following.

As a former sea dog myself, how could I not want to share his latest piece here on the blog site for my sea adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory. I hope you will enjoy it and become a regular visitor to his site.

Sea dogs

Beneath the mountaineering flowers,
By chalky cliffs, for final hours,
Every sea dog’s out today,
Before the beach ban starts in May.

I wonder do old sea dogs know,
From extra pats, or longer throws,
That something strange is in the air,
Do you think they know, or care,

About the council dog days rule,
As they splash in rocky pools,
And when with sandy paws they run,
After balls, and just for fun.

Owners only own this sorrow,
Of dogless beaches, from tomorrow,
As like magicians from their sleeves,
Their dogs unwind on miles of leads.

And when October comes around,
They’ll race across the briny ground,
Like sideways kites on leads extended,
Old dogs will sense the unmissed ended,

and feel the sand in every paw,
Beached again, on sandy shores.

- 29 ix 17

Thanks very much for visiting the blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory.

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