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.

Every so often you see something on the net that you feel really ought to be passed on. Let me share this little gem from a columnist better known for firing salvos in a South African direction.

Alec Hogg runs a newsy site called BizNews and today his aim is towards South America and the ghastly nightmare Venezuelans suffer.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Bank's polite apology ... Dear sir, Sorry but the bank can't let you have your country's zillions in our safekeeping. Yours faithfully ... Photo by Pexels, with many thanks

A language student from that unhappy country who I help has been telling me of the appalling life that his relations endure.

It has been doubly interesting – and sad – to hear because I have sailed in and out of the country back in happier times when Venezuela was wealthy and its people happy, quite exciting people.

Of course, since then along came Nicola Maduro and every aspect of Venezuelan life changed.


We hear in the news of the US, er, president’s bellowing about Venezuela, but then we know of his, er, empathy for struggling refugees.

Countries are ganging up on Maduro and his regime.

However, of all the bellicose pronouncements from around the world that we read about, the Brits acting as subtly as the government isn’t over Brexit, really might have the political thug by the short and curlies.

It’s columnist Alec Hogg who offers this gem. He reports that Maduro, desperate for funds to keep his military protectors sweet, has asked the Bank of England to release the country’s bullion worth $1.2bn.

The bank can’t help, it seems the polite reply stated. The gold can’t leave its vaults due to compliance issues. ‘Cute,’ reports Alec.

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

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