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.

Hats off to two brave ladies out there on the ocean blue, one enjoying success and the other rescued after a very scary storm nightmare and now on her way home.

Susie Goodall was competing in the singlehanded and rather eccentric, old-fashioned Golden Globe race. According to news reports, her yacht was apparently pitch-poled about 2,000 miles from the Cape Horn.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Still smiling ... Susie Goodall, still smiling after her yacht's scary knock-down on the singlehanded race. Susie on YouTube.

I say ‘apparently’ because my old profession seems particularly ill-informed when it comes to seafaring mishaps. Journos, I regret to admit, tend to be landlubbers ... and how.

Real guts

However, to sail on your own very far from land requires real guts, and especially so when you’re not even 30.

Usually, our species needs quite a few more years to give us the cool to approach calamity with an analytical mind.

And a member of the opposite gender! It is extraordinary, as the gal herself must be. As if to prove how amazing is that gender, how anything men can do they can do as well, the second lady is the extraordinary Jeanne Socrates, a mere 77, getting close to Cape Horn at this very moment.

Jeanne wants to establish herself as the oldest Cape Horner.

The most mature

Perhaps given the politeness her gender usually receives, I should describe her ambition as wanting to be most mature Cape Horner.

And she is doing really well. Quite unusually, she decided to sail from the Pacific coast of the US. She’s sailed down to the Equator, found her way through the Doldrums to the South Pacific and is now in the rather scary and very grown-up Southern Ocean.

Announcements for the good lady and her very smart 38-footer, Nereida, spell out her courageous ambition, to be the oldest woman to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world, and the first woman to sail solo non-stop unassisted around the world from North America.

In my book of my Cape Horner voyage, Loner (Hodder and Stoughton), I told how challenging it is to circumnavigate solo.

Jeanne has done it before, true, but then the desire, the inner demand, to do it a second time and better than the first, and more efficiently, never leaves the spirit.

At least, that's the way it has been with me.

The desire is felt even more keenly today for my 2019 Nautical Almanac has arrived in this morning’s mail. Bliss!

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

Care to comment? 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? | | | Facebook | @2purgatory | Blogger | © 2017 - 2020