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.

Brit sailing star Jeanne Socrates, a mere 76-year-old, sailing for more than seven months in her circumnavigation is - quite remarkably - being dogged by light conditions.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Taking a breather ... Sailing ship crews called Jeanne's location the Roaring Forties, for a very good reason, and one that I can attest to. However, the wildest ocean on our planet is being much kinder for this very brave lady.
In one of the notorious corners of the Southern Ocean, near Tasmania, south of Australia, instead of the wild conditions I experienced on my singlehanded circumnavigation in Spirit of Pentax, Jeanne bemoans a protracted becalming.

Her yacht, Nereida, is a fine seagoing vessel and like her captain, is certainly up to very strong conditions.

Trying to head south

Instead, as Jeanne logged at 0630 yesterday, 'Still trying to persuade the boat to head south in a very light wind. So difficult! The wind is now East-South-East, but very light so that it's difficult to make a close-hauled course.

'The best we seem to manage is 200° at under a knot. I want some more sleep but have to keep an eye on the self-steering and the heading.

'We've just gone around in a circle. The wind is just too light.

'I will have to furl in sail and just drift until some wind comes up again.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Taming a wild ocean ... A seascape wired by Jeanne from her yacht Neireida deep in the Roaring Forties.
'The wind generator blades are now totally still. They are not managing to turn even a little.'

At 1445pm, Jeanne logged, 'We're rolling about a lot and quite often towards the South-East in three-metre swells. Otherwise, there's hardly any movement. No wind at all.

Drifting at half a knot

'We're drifting South-East at around half a knot.'

'Fog lay west of us at sunset but we were away from it, under a cloudy sky, for quite a time. Still no wind...'

2300: 'Unfurled the genoa completely and we're underway finally - in a wind that is only up slightly so we're moving South-East at three knots in very fine drizzle.

'Maybe it's the thin fog. It's difficult to tell in the dark.'

Jeanne reports that she has sailed 18,757 nautical miles - by distance-made-good calculations - since she left Victoria, British Columbia, 217 days ago.

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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