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.

School holidays in my neighbourhood - and probably over most of the UK - are heralded by the parental cry, 'What to do with the kids?'

Those lucky enough to have retired parents who dote on the little ones are truly blessed. But for most, the answer from Dover to Durness seems to be to turn on the telly. The negative effect, the waste, of hours and hours before the box doesn't seem to be considered.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Read and win ... Escape with a good book, urges this positive library group

It's about easy answers, about parental escape.

However, a far better idea comes from a library 11,800 miles from London.

The Summer Reading Challenge, sponsored by Southland District Libraries, almost as far south as you can go in New Zealand, well, in the inhabited world, is a marvellous alternative to wasting away the holiday lives of young people.

Explore stories

The library's new competition which begins now has enormous appeal. It's such a great idea. Read! Limit screen time!

What children in Invercargill and the Southland province are being encouraged to do is to get reading, to get exploring books.

And the library offers an enormous number of them, and in a great variety of forms.

Readers can download e-books and e-audiobooks, or pop into one of their eight libraries, or mobile book bus, and borrow great books.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Faraway place ... Southland Library's good idea deserves to spread far and wide.

The library says, 'Enter as a family and share the reading - a great idea for families wanting to limit screen time these holidays!'

The great pleasure of reading

I live in a wealthy metropolis that has been closing its libraries. And yet this far away part of the world is not bowing to the attraction of IT gadgets and the box, but encouraging the use of its libraries, and the great pleasure of reading.

The library offers the books in a variety of formats, 'including large print, audio, dvd, e-books and e-audiobooks.

'Most items are loaned free of charge.' The faraway libraries also offer free wi-fi access and computer use. Well done, Southland Libraries!

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

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