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.

Oh, dear, two complaints from readers of Sailing to Purgatory, and both take me to task for referring to my literary hero, Shakespeare, too often.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Genius in print ... The 'first folio' of collected brilliance. By Martin Droeshout - Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University [2], Public Domain, The image

The gybes which arrived this week came as a surprise, I might say. I am a great admirer of that extraordinary wordsmith. But then aren't most of us?

Interestingly, they both say that my references from Shakespeare's works interrupted their reading. There they are engrossed in a storm, or reading of some ideal sailing, or amusing interchanges, when suddenly the wretched author brings in Shakespeare.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Midsummer dreams ... William Blake's take on Oberon, Titania and Puck dancing in Midsummer Night's Dream. By William Blake - Tate Britain Image, Public Domain, The painting

Ug, the criticism is a surprise and it does hurt as it was used only to add to the story. Of course, the comments inspire apologies from me, too. Very sorry, readers. I will be more careful in future.

Dedicated readers

I've just searched through the 259 pages on the PDF version of the story, and discovered that my hero enters briefly in ten scenes.

I confess I still can't see why it would interrupt the story, but have to accept it has for these two people who both declare themselves as dedicated readers of long-standing.

I've had a quick skim through the published critiques that have reached me, but none find fault with the quotations. Well, they are all offer a thumbs up.

In defence, these brief references come from pieces that most of us know well, that are in regular useage, in film, or in the media, or the stage. I used them to add to the descriptions of people, and to aspects of our lives that Shakespeare knew well.

Comment for a free Kindle copy

What do you think? Do you agree, or disagree? Did the references interrupt your reading? I really hope not, but a free Kindle copy for your observations about what you felt about the story! I'll send a Kindle of Sailing to Purgatory to the first five readers who send me a comment - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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