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.

The week that's slipped past highlighted some wonderful quotations a few of which really worked for me. I'd like to share them with you.

That unlikely offerer of quotations, the daily sailing email (and online magazine) Scuttlebutt Sailing News brought this gem to readers today: 'If I weigh 200 pounds on earth I will only be 76 pounds on Mars. I'm not overweight, I'm just on the wrong planet.' It came from the pen, or keyboard, of that great wit, Curmudgeon.

'Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.'
Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
And if he dies ... take him and cut him into little stars and ... everyone will fall in love with night. Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

The daily dictionary email from Wordsmith has wonders to brighten a day.

Here are a few that I enjoyed, the first which is really apt in London where buses are as full of different languages as they are of nationalities.


'Nothing is so impenetrable as laughter in a language you don't understand.' This thought came from William Golding, novelist, playwright, poet, Nobel laureate (19 Sep 1911-1993)

I hope this gem from Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 Oct 1869-1948) might be true: 'When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been murderers and tyrants, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it, always.'

When we are bombarded by politics, as much here as doubtlessly across the pond, this thought from Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th US president (4 Oct 1822-1893) is worth holding onto: 'He serves his party best who serves the country best.'

I like this from Shakespeare, 'Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.' And a touching notion of his, surfacing in a season when I lost friends, seems especially tender -

'And if he dies, take him and cut him into little stars and he will make
the face of heaven so fine that everyone will fall in love with night.'

Finally, a prompt from astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson (b. 5 Oct 1958) is well worth quoting, 'Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.'

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

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