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.

Isn't our elder solo circumnavigator, Jeanne Socrates doing well. The gal has reached about the middle of the South Indian Ocean, about midway between South Africa and Australia, two very tempting destinations.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Dressed to the Force 9s ... Jeanne Socrates radioed this shot yesterday as she donned heavy weather gear for trimming sails in the Southern Ocean.
For a lady who has been on her own since 3rd October and facing singlehandedly oceanic threats that such daring entails, most of us would say that the dear gal has earned a G and T by now.

Yet steadfastly, determinedly, she presses on. As I pointed out a little while ago, Jeanne had only to steer a little to her left to find herself surrounded by the best of company in Cape Town.

Showing off her stronger stuff, she ignored temptation and kept going.

Dumped upside down

When I sailed the waters she plies now, my singlehanded yacht, Spirit of Pentax, had been dumped upside down by an angry ocean and her foremast broken.

I had no choice but to aim for Freemantle, which of course, is the outer entry for highly hospitable Perth.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Party dress ... Here's our determined mariner well removed from the sea, proving she is no stranger to the pleasure of company.
I don't mean this as a male boast, but more as a sign of the good-heartedness and hospitality of West Australians.

Hardly had an hour or two passed in port than a most delectable Australian was offering a most astounding welcome, one that the visiting circumnavigator is hardly likely to forget.

Well, Jeanne was able to display the courage and determination that makes her such an outstanding singlehander as she approached Cape waters, and then passed along the foot of South Africa.

The challenge of temptation

Now Temptation enters the voyage again. According to my calculations, the good lady is a little less that 3,000 miles from Freemantle.

If she keeps up only a moderate hundred miles a day, the lady could be surrounded by handsome celebrants just a month away.

Has Jeanne Socrates the determination to avoid temptation?

Her logbook whispers not a hint of veering from the relatively straight and narrow. She seems absolutely determined to become the oldest woman to sail solo ​​nonstop​ ​unassisted around the world​, and the first woman to sail solo nonstop unassisted around the world from North America.

No temptation, then, if she is to achieve the double title. Will she, won't she? Watch this space!

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

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