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.

One of the really frustrating mysteries of adult life for me has been why perfectly normal friends – if one can describe anyone that way – go a little more than crazy when their children reach teen years.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Eye to eye no more ... The problems of teens and parents often clash through timing. Thanks to Delancey Placedot com for the portrait.
At the teenage stage, the young person who becomes the cause of a change in parental attitudes is much too swamped with other questions to dwell much on the reason for a falling-out with parents.

In my case, for instance, at 16 I couldn’t stomach a change in attitudes, or a seeming change.

I simply ran away from it, from them, from home, and ran just as far as my Post Office bank deposits could take me.

Somehow Fortune must have been on my side for the town where the money ran out offered me work – a live-in job on a farm – the day I arrived, sparing me even one night on the street.

The question of that fall out then, and its equivalent now that friends suffer had remained unanswered.

Almost suicidal

Nowadays, it is astonishing how many friends with teenage youngsters become almost suicidal. And not just one or two friends, but so many, at least percentage-wise.

Good old DelanceyPlace.com has come to the rescue with an excerpt from the book Crossing Paths, (Scribner) by Laurence Steinberg and Wendy Steinberg.

The best advice is, 'Make sure you have genuine and satisfying interests outside of being a parent.’ ...
The Steinberg's answer is that youngsters' teen years very often coincides with their parents' first shock of a mid-life crisis, and what the authors refer to as mid-life disappointments.

The book reveals that the findings emerge from a landmark study, The Families at Adolescence Project, which shows that a child's entrance into adolescence is often even more difficult for parents than it is for their children.

Watching their children mature unearths complicated and intense emotions deep inside parents.

‘That these emotions typically rise to the surface during midlife, a time with its own trying psychological agenda, makes matters much more difficult...

A cruel contrast

'The physical blossoming inherent in adolescence provides a cruel contrast to our midlife journey.'

Psychologists note that middle age brings a shift in time perspective in which individuals start measuring their lives in terms of how long they have left to live rather than how long they have been alive.

'For people in the throes of a crisis, changes in physical appearance become a daily reminder that time is slipping away.

'Rather than being wrapped up in a state of existential angst, most of the adolescents in our research coast through life in a sort of pleasant fog, far more concerned with whether they have a date on Friday night or a social studies test the following Wednesday than with who they really are or where they are headed.'

The authors say that parents frequently ask for advice for coping with their teenage children and those whose children are about to become teenagers.

The best advice is, 'Make sure you have genuine and satisfying interests outside of being a parent.’

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

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The blogs for Sailing to Purgatory are introduced on Facebook and Blogger.

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