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.

An eager Jeanne Socrates is nearly there, just a few miles from home, but slowed considerably by a teasing breeze that doesn't want to exactly hurry her over the finish line at British Columbia.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Almost on the doorstep ... A local news site reports that circumnavigator Jeanne Socrates would have been home today, but for a sudden drop of the breeze. Thanks to Adrian Lam of the Times Colonist for the photo at the other end of the circumnavigation.
The amazing lady, aged 77, is almost back in civilisation after an astounding 335 days alone out there in the world's most perilous oceans.

Yesterday, as the former maths teacher sailed close to Canada, she noted very excitedly, 'Landfall getting close!'

100 miles

She noted that she had just over 100 miles to go, a distance the good yacht Nereida would normally manage easily in a day.

'A Wednesday landfall is still possible,' Jeanne signalled, 'but only if there's a good wind!'

Even so close to her home port, the oceans had plenty of magic to offer. She logged, '5pm: Whale surfaced several times very close to us - quite a large one!

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
'Seemed to cruise along near our port side for a time and finally dropped back and stayed astern.

No barnacles

'It looked like the same type of whale as seen a week or so ago - all smooth, very dark grey/black, no barnacles seen, with a small recurved dorsal fin.'

She guessed that the monster, about as long as her yacht, was either a minke or a fin whale.

The tone of her teaching days echoed in the log yesterday. 'Had to warn two fishing boats overnight that we've no engine and were drifting under sail alone with very little wind.

Request to coastguards

'I asked Prince Rupert coastguard to help contact a second boat, which was not responding to my VHF calls.

'Both vessels eventually replied to my calls, saying they'd stay well away.'

Just as well Jeanne isn't sailing European waters for she might not be quite so likely to find fishermen quite so obliging.

She reports proudly that the total distance covered from Victoria, British Columbia, to end of Day 335 is 27,771 nautical miles.

'Wind backed more - South-West now. Gybed mainsail. Very slow.'

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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