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.

Today offered the hottest day of summer. The heat stirred the government into standing on many toes – over Brexit (as ever), over capital punishment, very surprisingly – and me into splashing out with a home grown evening meal. Perhaps I almost mean home groan.

Gross injustice is what causes me to eat rather differently from most, but I try not to let it get the better of my humour.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Bon appetit ... A spot of gardening, an obliging converted builders' rubble pit - plus Nature - adds the extras to a midsummer's night, er, feast. The red sphericals are the potatoes.

And I can resort to Nature for help. Tonight's food from the builders' rubble tip I’ve converted into a vegetable garden was a real help, and continues to be.

Fish provided the protein, but happily not from the pools I've dug to help amphibians tour about the neighbourhood.

Frog is not on the menu

Frog is not for me. Anyway, the present resident croaker is the sweetest addition to the once rubble mountain, where he and a growing family seem happy.

The converted garden provided potatoes for the main course, mint for the salad, and rhubarb for the pudding, swimming in some pleasant Lidl yogurt.

The potatoes are no ordinary potatoes. They come from quite an unusual breed. Their grandpa, donated by gardener-poet friend, Robert Graham, are a strange colour of dark red. Unlike King Edwards, they are not just red skinned but deep red all the way through.

An odd boil-in-the bag sea critter

Even the juice is not dissimilar to the colour of blood.

The protein to celebrate the scorcher of a day was part of a rather strange boil-in-the bag sea critter from Sainsbury’s. Its economy made up for a lack of taste. The salad was half of yesterday’s bag from Aldi.

In this part of London, the evening within the abode sweltered at just over 30 degrees, quite intoxicating enough to make Lidl’s spring water, at 17p for two litres, as in demand as wine was once at my table, rather a long time ago.

The actual cost of the high summer’s feast? Fish 82p, spring water 17p, yogurt 12p, salad 33p, a tomato 11p, a total of £1.55. It was tasty and if pricier than most meals here, a sort of compensation for the inner man having to cope with the day's bonus heat.

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

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