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.

Our courageous Brit yachtswoman, Jeanne Socrates, is hardly more than a day's hard sailing from notorious old Cape Horn and seems set within the next few hours to become the only lady mariner to pass it twice.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Cute company ... A Fairy Prion, one from one of the huge flocks that keep Jeane Socrates company, and certainly entertained me on my rounding of the Horn. Many thanks to for the shot.
It's the 77-year-old singlehander's 76th day since she left the US Pacific Coast.

It certainly seems very likely her ambitions will be answered.

She aspires 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.

A calm personality

Her messages home yesterday reflect a calm personality coping remarkably well with daily life as she nears 60 degrees South.

'Wind is back up to 30 knots,' she writes. 'Glad the third reef is still in place!

'Finished chatting on radio and made a nice mug of hot soup.

'A big wave came along and half the soup went all over the stove top.

'I had half what I had looked forward to, plus the job of cleaning up the mess in these rough conditions...

'I'd been needing to clean the stove top, anyway, but that's neither here nor there. The job got done at the same time - looks good again!

'It has been raining a lot today. Why does the sky look miserable when it's rainy grey?

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Progress ... Jeanne's track on route for Cape Horn shown on an experimental Google chart.

'The prions look so pretty in their grey and white plumage,' she writes.

A dehydrated meal

'Back to the galley - need to have some decent food tonight. Last night's choice of a dehydrated meal is definitely not to be repeated.'

She logged, '1900GMT - end of Day 76. We made 145 nautical miles over the last 24 hours. That's measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

'Total distance since Victoria, BC, to end of Day 75 7,774 nautical miles. Distance East-South-East to Cape Horn 62 nautical miles.'

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

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