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.

That courageous, never-say-die 76-year-old has done it, Jeanne Socrates and her yacht, Nereida, have passed notorious Cape Horn in her mission to be oldest woman to sail solo ​​nonstop​ ​unassisted around the world​, and the first woman to sail like that around the world from North America.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Jeanne Socrates ... Eight thousand miles to notorious Cape Horn and now presses on towards the Cape of Good Hope.
She writes, 'Cape Horn passed, at last! Now for Good Hope...

'Wednesday 12.30am: Cape Horn light seen flashing on the grey mound. That is Cape Horn on Isla Hornos - nine miles off to the North-east.

'Seas have got up a bit with increased wind. Appropriate, I feel!' Jeanne reports.

A bright moon

'Moon shining brightly between a few clouds. Still a lot of light in the western sky.

'Can't relax until well past the Cape,' she writes in her blog transmitted to her UK base.

'Thanks to so many of you who have sent good wishes for a safe passage past Cape Horn.'

Jean says, 'Now making for east of Staten Island and will then head west of the shallow Burdwood Bank - with big swells expected.

South of the Falklands

'I'm hoping not to get too much swell inshore of it. Then south of the Falklands, passed East Falkland, heading finally NE, aiming to get further from and on the North side of the many strong weather systems down here.

'We made 133 nautical miles over the last 24 hours.'

Jeanne reports that she has sailed almost 8,000 nautical miles since leaving Victoria, British Columbia.

I wouldn't like to say this to Jeanne as she aims to cross the Atlantic to pass Cape of Good Hope, but I hope she can make a considerable northing before sailing towards South Africa.

After I had completed my sail round the globe, I kept the course well south through the Roaring Forties to the Cape. Oh, boy. What a wild, wild sea lay in store for me. The extra passage did win me a Guinness Book of Records award, but I wouldn't be tempted to do it again.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Cape Horn ... The Number 1 challenge for circumnavigators.

Fingers crossed, hopefully her planned northerly passage will be much less challenging.

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

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