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.

Who's dominating the news and the sea out there, way out there? A couple of oldies - oops, Senior Citizens - that’s who, sailing alone (on individual yachts, that is) around the world.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Far to go ... Jeanne Socrates, 76, says she is getting close to Gough Island on her record attempt circumnavigation.
You may have stood up to let some 70-year-old have a seat on public transport today, but out in the wide open spaces, or the biggest, widest open space, the oceans, Jeanne Socrates, 76, is encouraging her yacht towards the ocean off South Africa.

And much closer to Europe, 73-year French sailing star, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, is battling a heavy Bay of Biscay gale as he closes the coast near the end of that strange old-fashioned ocean race, the Golden Globe.

Jean-Luc - a many-times circumnavigator - has sailed round the world in the race and is very close to the finish line.

Jeanne’s race is only against chance, Lady Luck, as she endeavours to win the twin awards of oldest woman to sail solo nonstop unassisted around the world and the first of her gender to sail solo nonstop unassisted around the world from North America.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Nearly there ... Jean-Luc, 73, has to beat a strong Biscay gale to reach the finish line.
Jean-Luc is almost home, give or take the severe conditions at sea at the moment, and Jeanne has a long, long way still to go if she is to achieve her goal.

Jeanne logged at the weekend, ‘Bright moon high up, Southern Cross, Venus and Jupiter in E - very bright.

‘Making much better course towards Gough Island in NW wind. Sky still totally clouded over.

‘Heard a loud bird call again - an albatross courting??

‘Cargo vessel GH Rich Wall 18 miles to the North, headed for Hamriyah. Seeing quite a lot of traffic to and from South America and South Africa and beyond over last few days.’

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

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