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.

What's the very first thought that comes to mind when you step into one of our ultra-modern and enormous passenger-jets that seem to zoom round and round the world non-stop?

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Inside the beast ... I've often wondered, looking out from a cabin window, how all the stuff you see being pushed in below the cabin actually fits in. Wikipedia shows how. By Asiir at English Wikipedia - Transfered from en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5
I confess for me that first look is really my second.

The first comes close to the time of booking a flight.

Looking at the second thought first this week was almost as daunting as the revelation that came with the first thought.

Non-stop

Here I was committing my life to a Turkish jet that would take me non-stop from 41 degrees North to just under 35 degrees South. I am a nautical navigator, and a circumnavigator as well, but my maths is not exactly of Euclid's standard. Well, it's poor.

I've skippered many yachts between the South Coast and Cape Town, and vice versa. However, even with the classiest of those big boats, the fastest time was two months.
However, I'm pretty sure that the latitudes of the northern hemisphere added to the southern lot total 76.

Multiply by 60 for the distance in each of those 76 latitudes and you'll have 4,560 miles.

I can't help but exclaim

Sitting in the window seat in my preferred position almost as far aft as possible, I can't help but exclaim. Four and a half thousand miles plus one more latitude! And that vast distance non-stop ... They must be joking.

I compare it to my nautical life. I've skippered many yachts between the South Coast and Cape Town, and vice versa. However, even with the classiest of those big boats, the fastest time stands at two months.

Yes, sixty days. Admittedly the latitudes and longitudes add up to a bit more than the total for this flight from old Constantinople to the Cape.

Even so, it's pretty obvious that what you save in fuel – the wind comes gratis from Nature, remember – you'll lose in airliner fuel.

Ah, the saving in time

Admittedly, the saving in time is rather significant, I have to agree.

My bulletin of, er, surprises for at least this jet setting traveller is getting rather long, so please let me continue tomorrow when I hope you'll join me to learn of something that I simply would never have believed.

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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