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.

If you care for opera, or you would like to know more about some very special operas, let me recommend the most amazing series on BBC Radio 3 this week.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Genius ... Learning about Giacomo Puccini's brilliant stagings and scorings on BBC radio is a must if you care about opera.
Beginning last Monday, the midday programme has been revealing considerably more about Giacomo Puccini's stagings than we would normally discover. Donald Macleod explains in depth about the moving, very powerful operas, and plays some of the best excerpts.

Donald Macleod has been running the Composer of the Week hour at lunchtime and until recently, in the evening, too, for many years. I first discovered this classical music authority while enduring the State's version of hospitality. It certainly helped me cope with injustice.

Especially helpful

This week's is really special because he is aided by perhaps the Number 1 authority on Puccini's operas, Sir Antonio Pappano.

What's especially helpful about this week's episodes is that we get a marvellous insight into the characterisations. I understand now so much more about the sad main character, Butterfly, for instance, than I gained from seeing many stagings of the opera.

The knowledge of these two authorities working together offers a truly amazing portrayal of these classics.

If you care about opera, or if you would simply like to know more, all episodes are available on the BBC iPlayer, here.

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

Search the site

Search the site

Where can I get Sailing to Purgatory? Sailing to Purgatory at Amazon | Sailing to Purgatory at Waterstones | Sailing to Purgatory at BookDepository
Try a chapter for free? | | | Facebook | @2purgatory | Blogger | © 2017 - 2020