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.

The Brit Southern Ocean superstar, Jeanne Socrates, has turned the circumnavigation corner and is heading for home, the US Atlantic coast. The plucky, highly-skilled 76-year-old sailed from Victoria, British Columbia, 236 days ago.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Loners ... Jeanne all alone in the Southern Ocean wins some brief company with the visit of this mighty wandering albatross.
It means the lady has spent almost 34 weeks alone, surrounded by the sea, often foul weather and occasional ocean birds, like the beautiful albatrosses.

Jeanne has rounded New Zealand and now inches up the coast in very light and fluky conditions.

The 34th week

Jeanne's logs make it seem that the lady is doing well, but she has electronic problems, which is not unexpected as she and the equipment have been in a salt-saturated atmosphere for 34 weeks.

Jeanne notes, 'New blade is now in place on wind generator - and it's putting in a charge! Sat on top of the stern arch supports to do it and hugged the pole.

'Wasn't so bad and didn't take long. Managed it just as the wind suddenly started to get up, so only just in time.'

'11:15am Grey sky and NNW wind. We're underway, headed NE with mainsail hoisted! Of course, the halyard had got caught around some mast steps near the mast top but didn't take too long to free.

An albatross visits

Jeanne laments the loss of important electronics. 'Still have no plotter or speed/depth/wind,' she reports.

'The circuit-breaker pops every time I try to switch on.

'A dark-grey-winged albatross has been flying around. The wind generator is spinning happily and putting in a few amps over and above the autopilot consumption. Nice to see!

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Homeward Bound ... Jeanne turns the corner around New Zealand's South Island.
'Time for breakfast... and I must get some sleep soon.'

In the evening, she notes, '6pm: Bad news - think I killed my plotter - :-( - and possibly the other instruments also.

'In checking how to power the plotter up, I touched a live supply - not a good idea.

'Extremely annoying to think I could have been so careless - otherwise I think the plotter would have been working now.'

1900GMT: We made very little distance over the 24hr period, since mainly drifting around, well south of Dunedin, in light wind, getting work done

Bound for the Cape

Total distance covered from Victoria, British Columbia, to the end of Day 233: 19,963 nautical miles.

Dunedin lies 20 nautical miles to the North-North East.

Meanwhile, your blog host here covers some air miles overnight at a speed Jeanne can but envy.

I'm flying with Turkish Airlines to the Cape, close to the Southern Ocean, for a few weeks to work ona story, and to refresh my knowledge of the sea as I weigh up my own voyaging plans.

I'll have my faithful Lenovo with me to keep the blogs going.

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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