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.

Poor old (obviously not old) round-the-world yachtie Jeanne Socrates (76) sails into her 139th day down in the notorious Roaring Forties and may well be suffering for want of news about Br-x-t.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Roaring Forties ... What Jeanne is being spared down there in the notorious Roaring Forties. Thanks to the NOAA agency's Ocean Service for the shot.
How sad, but life down there does have its brightish side because very unusually, the lucky and plucky gal keeps running into a succession of friendly light winds in that tempestuous part of the world.

Who says Nature doesn’t side with our species' (allegedly) gentler gender.

In her log on board the yacht, Nereida, yesterday, Jeanne recorded, ‘Wind fairly light, making boat speed of minus three knots.


'Back to slow progress as we get into yet another High system.’

Placid conditions like that are very unusual as I certainly found on my circumnavigation when Spirit of Pentax was knocked right over in huge seas very close to Jeanne’s current position. For her, that historic path round Earth is rather gentler than the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric agency’s description of the Roaring Forties as 'one of the most treacherous sailing passages in the world.’

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
No granny knots here ... Jeanne checks out the ropes before she departed on this non-stop voyage around the world. Thanks to Jeanne's Facebook page for the photo.
Even more blessed, lucky and plucky Jeanne, from Lymington, doesn’t have to endure day after day the almost endless news squalls of
     * Br-x-t,
    * nor grim news of the economy,
     * nor of departing industry in the face of us leaving Europe,
    * not splits in a squabbling Labour Party,
    * nor the saner news of our society with Vince Cable pointing out that the majority of Brits do want to remain part of Europe, which thanks to our, er, glorious leaders will be ignored.

That really bazaar news

Plus, of course, that really bazaar entry into the news of the seemingly unrepentant modern-day terrorist’s moll who wants to enjoy English life again.

Thanks to the long reach of the Beeb, of course Jeanne doesn’t have to miss out on the joy of our news.

She may well monitor the BBC World Service on her high-frequency rig as I did on my voyage when signals reached into parts of the Southern Ocean.

Like the rig I used on Pentax, Jeanne undoubtedly has a switch that makes turning off the news simplicity itself. Ah, the joy of modern electronics.

Best of British, Jeanne!

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

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