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.

Death doesn’t usually fall in the area of good or encouraging news, but for oldies there is a bright side to the sad passing of two international ancients.

Richard Overton left the world the other day aged one hundred and twelve! And yet it wasn’t very long ago that for a man to reach 75 was considered to be quite an achievement.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Happy 113th birthday! ... Masazo Nonaka ready to tuck in at recent birthday celebrations. Many thanks to The 110 Club for the portrait.

The present average life span in UK is 80.9 years, compared to 82.3 in Canada, and 78.9 years in the US.

Under the present administration, life across the Pond probably feels very much longer than it is.

We look to Japan for the really long-livers, but surprisingly the average is just a little more than ours – 83.9.

No long illness

Richard Overton differed from many other oldies – it’s probably acceptable to refer to a 112-year-old in that way.

He didn’t have a long illness to endure. He went to hospital with pneumonia, was released, and soon left the planet.

He volunteered to join the US army in World War 2 to in his 30s and apparently served at Pearl Harbour after the Japanese attack in 1941. Richard told the media more than once that his long life was helped by cigars and whisky. It was said that even well into his 100s, he would drive widows in his neighbourhood to church, which might well encourage a certain Royal here.

Born July 1905

Then this week, the oldest bloke in the world died peacefully from what his family described as ‘natural causes’. He died in his family hot springs inn in northern Japan.

Masazo Nonaka was 113. A couple of years ago, Guinness World Records certified that he was the world’s oldest living man. He was born in July, 1905.

He was part of a large family and his work through that long life was as manager for his parents’ inn.

Granddaughter Yuko said that Masazo appeared to be sleeping normally but then her elder sister noticed that he was not breathing.

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

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