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.

Spring might well be late this year, but then it was last year, too. Perhaps we should be getting used to it, even though some lessons are not easy to learn.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Happy Spring bee ... Bees are probably impatient as humans for Spring to settle in. Photo by Mona Eendra on Unsplash, with many thanks to both
It could be that, understandably, many of us have forgotten what the season of Spring might be like so here's a refresher about this wonderful if elusive season.

Of course, we should be positive and not say what it might be like. And here to help is a product of the gifted pen of poet Robert Graham.

Regular visitors here may remember that Robert named his favourite poem yesterday, and promised to let readers know which of his own creations he likes best.

Before that disclosure, here's one of his about last year's version of this elusive season, a verse that I really enjoy. I hope you will, too.

Thanks to the shops selling them, and thanks to our gardens for displaying them. Daffodils. What better or more lovely reminder of Spring? Thanks to Robert for this prompt.

March daffodils

On the unstoppable flowery alchemies of March,
Rushing towards you everywhere you do not look,
Rest on these golden islands of warm little suns,
Until the summer comes,

That arrived in blue battalions,
Boxing with the winds
That whips cheeks warm,

Glossy, show-stopping stars of the hedgerows,
Arms outstretched in final routine below break-dancing catkins.

In busy crowds, hanging onto themselves,
Going about their flowerings, no time to talk,

Paler, wind-safer,
Walking us back to small, barefoot simplicities,

Fringed theatricals, understudying resting buttercups.

So forgive the daffodils in June
When they lie about the summer in rags,
Remember them with a March-framed mind.

It takes strength to throw winter over your shoulder,
And hours of flowers to prove that you have.

- Robert Graham

Robert's website, HealingGardens dot click, is here ⇒⇒

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

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