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.

How's our 76-year-old lady solo mariner, Jeanne Socrates, doing down there in the vast Southern Ocean? Remarkably well!

She has covered 18,148 nautical miles on her 208th day yesterday. She has most likely sailed very much further because Jeanne very modestly measures daily distances between fixes. That won't include distances sailed in tacks, of course.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Gentling the wildest ocean ... Jeanne approaches Tasmania in the Southern Ocean, but very uncharacteristically the weather stays gentle ... for the moment. Photo by Ruslan Valeev on Unsplash
Jeanne has signalled back to we landlubbers:
'7am: Dark grey mass of cloud ahead with deep orange line of light below.

'Bright silver crescent moon high up. Seas well down.'


She reports some very slow progress. 'Struggling to make way downwind in very light wind.

'1030am: Having breakfast after a long radio sched.

'Lovely to chat to so many contacts in Australia - from Perth and Albany in West Australia to Flinders Island in the Bass Strait, and up to near Brisbane.'

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Dream time ... Jeanne probably recalls calmer moments back before the start, back in the calm of a sopisticated marina.
The Australian coast, 120 miles away, appeared on her electronics on the yacht. 'It's the first land I've seen on the screen since the Falklands, soon after Cape Horn.

'Very cloudy sky, but no rain so far. Wind still light. So soup and then some pancakes. I needed hot food to warm up.

'Suddenly got a lot rougher as wind increased over the afternoon, but the wind has been less than I was hoping for overnight.

'The pancakes were excellent though!'

Several light wind patches are likely ahead, she predicts. 'All we can do is to keep on going - but further off the Tasmania coast than planned. High mountains mean there's likely to be better wind further off.'

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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