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.

When I blogged the other day about the search for aviation pioneer Amelia Earheart and her crashed flight, I really didn’t expect to find anything that she had written.

I’m pleased to say there’s plenty out there. Just ask Google.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
A great read ... Amelia Earhart's early story is told here really well. By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7920843. Thanks to Wikipedia
My local library, the excellent Surbiton Library, had a copy of her ’20 hours, 40 minutes,’ and it is really well worth reading.

She comes across as a most pleasant person, modest and determined, and a human that didn’t fear changing the view back in last century’s twenties about what her gender could do.

And how she succeeded.

Falling in love

Her book shows her falling in love with aircraft – her descriptions of the various planes she encountered are well worth reading.

She learned to fly and soon crossed oceans, going further and further … until a bit too far for the capability of aircraft back then.

There is plenty by her and about her online.

For an insight into this extraordinary human, this pioneering woman, her written words in ’20 hours, 40 minutes,’ are well worth consuming.

Back in my youth, I tried to fly. A young family friend in Central Otago, the son of sheep farmers, invited me to come out on his Tiger Moth.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Courage personified ... A fine portrait of Amelia Earhart. Thanks to Biography Online for this portrait of Amelia Earhart.
Keith Macintosh was a madly-passionate aerobatic pilot, who was not shy about showing off his extraordinary skill in that twin-winged plane.

It was skill with a capital S made possible by his extraordinary confidence. Capital C. Hardly had I squeezed in than we were off.

Keith might have been captaining a moonshot.

We went up like an arrow, and fell out of the sky in a huge assortment of aerial acrobatics. Then straight back up, following by a spin back down, complicated by changing from port to starboard to gyrate the other way about.

Desperately ill

Keith obviously loved it. I was desperately ill and swore never to fly again.

It’s surprising that travel sickness wasn’t so bad with my early sailing or I would never have gone on to become a solo Cape Horner, and to be Department of Trade professional skipper.

Amelia’s early experiences were entirely different, and never in her writing is there a hint that her body wasn’t up to aerobatics.

Had she survived those astonishing adventures, she still wouldn’t be alive now, of course. But her words will leave you feeling that she must have been the most wonderful person.

Life doesn’t allow it, of course, but what pleasure to meet her and enjoy a friendship.

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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