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.

Guess who’s sending out junk mail? No point in me putting that to you. You simply won’t, couldn’t, guess who, and when I reveal all, you won’t believe me.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Hands up! ... The local palace offers an interesting alternative to Wimbledon.
Normally I wouldn’t know either because I have an ancient neighbour who loathes, detests junk mail – only loathe and detest are both terms that are much too gentle to show the extent of his hatred.

He thinks nothing of laying in wait for junk mail deliverers and giving it to them vociferously the moment they try sliding leaflets through the communal door letterbox, or under the door, or even over it.

A sort-of living

I protest. The deliverers are only doing a job, trying to earn a sort-of living.

Better that by far than simply shrugging your shoulders and signing on for the dole, I say, wasting my breath yet again. Today’s surprise junk mailer got passed him somehow, though it’s true that he is a royalist, so Madam in her crown, if she had been appointed to the task, would certainly see a smile never offered to others.

I’ve given it away, of course. Yes, Royalty has turned to junk mail. The surprise had me asking Uncle Google if the family had gone broke.

He offered, ‘Cost of the British monarchy - According to Republic, a group which campaigns for a democratic alternative to the Monarchy, the true cost of the Monarchy to the British taxpayer is actually £334 million a year – nearly 10 times more than the figure published by the Royal Family.
25 May 2018

Royalty’s hard sell is not actually for visits to the Queen’s apartments but for Hampton Court Palace, just a cycle ride away from me beside the River Thames.

The product reveals what’s on at the palace. The high colour, expensive printing offers jousting, and ‘Join us for our feasting season – see the kitchens, experience live drama, visit the Magic Garden and get lost in the Maze.’

Get lost in the Maze

Might it seem the cardboard leaflet is aimed at falling into the hands of a family’s little ones? A colouring-in picture and even a word search puzzle seems to confirm that.

Parents are not left out, of course. Would Her Majesty dream of such a thing? Mums and Dads are invited to take out a membership to ‘hrp’, presumably Historic Royal Palaces for, what! How much … ‘From only £52…’ Parents might be wise to note well the ‘from only’.

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

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