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.

Courageous Jeanne Socrates, the Brit solo circumnavigator on her stormy progress to win new round-the-world sailing awards, battles on through the Great Australian Bight.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Then: On the start line ... Now Jeanne is into her 198th day at sea.
Jeanne aims to set new records as 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.

In this blog I wrote the other day, I feared she would have to endure some of the really atrocious conditions I faced in that wild stretch of ocean.

Rogue wave

However, it looks as though Natue is treating Jeanne rather more kindly.

However, come Good Friday a following rogue wave overtook Nereida, smashing into the stern. Jeanne, 76, logged:

‘3:40am Good Friday: Just got pooped. A lot of water got below ... I got wet at chart table close to companionway. Computer and instruments OK, TG! Dry clothes (and me!) now a bit wet.’

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Gallant ship ... Jeanne crosses the Great Australian Bight after 17,500 miles alone at sea.
‘The cockpit had a lot of water which took a time to drain away. I got wet at the chart table close to companionway, but the computer and instruments were OK, TG!

‘I got even wetter, with water gradually continuing to find its way below from above the hatch.

Lovely clean clothes!

‘So the lovely clean, dry clothes I'd put on just the other day were now very wet in places, along with my hair (again!)...

‘Luckily, my bedding was mainly unaffected - although that's been feeling always damp anyway in the prevailing cold temperatures.

‘1900 GMT 3 am local time and the end of Day 198. We made 60 nautical miles, distance made good, over the 24 hr period. It includes 18 hours of drifting a lot in very strong winds.’

Jeanne estimates that she has sailed 17,529 nautical miles since leaving the US Pacific coast of Victoria, British Colombia.

Easter Monday: Thrilled to see a pair of grey albatross with dark heads soaring close by the boat this morning. They are light-mantled albatross. It looked like a juvenile with a mature parent. I think parent.

‘Camera was not close by - damn! Never seen albatross like that before. Lovely!

A bright moon

Yesterday: Changed local time into Eastern Australia time, which is GMT+10hr,’ Jeanne logged.

‘It’s dark. Bright moon, shining hazily through a thin overcast. No stars are visible. Gently rolling around in 12-foot swells.

'We're sailing rather slowly, skirting a high-pressure system along 40 degrees S. A storm system is forecast for Thursday.

‘Late Friday, perhaps, I hope to turn to head south-east towards the SE Cape of Tasmania.’

Thanks very much for visiting the Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, which are introduced each time on Facebook Facebook dot com/Sailingtopurgatory

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