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.

Before we pick up a book to start reading, we usually want to know if the story is true or fictional. With that in mind, let me state right now that the following is a true report. I won't be surprised if you doubt it, but it really is.

Readers might have noticed the problem I reported with the usually excellent bookseller, Book Depository. I'm no stranger to web development so when I encountered coding that reduced my order from three down to one, and did so several times, I dismissed the aggravation as faulty coding.

I found the Contact page and passed on the observation.

I still can't quite believe the reply, though perhaps I am being unduly harsh on this usually excellent company.

This is response, in full (minus the employee's name to avoid any embarrassment), 'Hello Paul, I'm afraid that we only have 1 copy available. Have a wonderful week. Take care! Kind Regards,----------, Customer Advisor' That's the reply. I read it a few times to be sure.

A keen sense of humour

If I visit my corner store for a pint of skimmed milk, and there's none on the shelf, they'll soon restock.

If I'm buying a skinny latte at Costa, and there's no coffee, they'll get some more rather smartly. If the chemist hasn't any aspirin that I'm asking for, he'll ask me to come back in 20 minutes, by which time he'll have some.

Ironically, as if the possessors of a keen sense of humour, they emailed a questionnaire entitled 'How would you rate the support you received? Good, I'm satisfied. Bad, I'm unsatisfied.' Often I don't bother, and I presume that's the way with most of us. This time, the opportunity was too tempting.

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