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.

Farewell to a really brave soul who risked her young life almost every day for the good of the country - for all of us, in other words - and yet how many have heard of Mary Ellis before she appeared in the news today?

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Farewell Mary Ellis ... The passing of a very brave Briton. By Rob enwiki [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Mary Ellis, 101 years old, is believed to be the last of the lady pilots who flew Spitfires that my dad helped build in Salisbury.

She joined the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), which delivered Spitfires and bombers to RAF airfields during the war.

Mary Ellis was a pioneer of the profession, too, for the Telegraph tells us that when the second world war began, women were not allowed to fly military aircraft.

Highly dangerous work

In 1940, the rule was dropped and the young Mary Wilkins,in her early twenties, joined up.

Training for her began in Tiger Moths and by the end of the war had flown for more than 1,100 hours flying 56 different types of aircraft.

Here's a Briton who performed highly dangerous, really important deeds for her country, back in an age when brave people did amazing highly dangerous work for their country, neither for fame nor profit.

Mary Ellis is the perfect example of those true great Britons we so seldom hear about.

Not for financial reward, she performed astonishingly and with enormous courage for the good of us all. Lamentably, for all of her amazing deeds, we only hear of her today through her death. Farewell to a very brave soul!

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

Care to comment on the story? You can contact Paul here ⇒⇒ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The blogs for Sailing to Purgatory are introduced on Facebook and Blogger.

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? | SailingToPurgatory.com | paul@SailingToPurgatory.com | Facebook | @2purgatory | Blogger | © 2017 - 2021