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.

At last! The courage and achievements of the British singlehanded yachtswoman Jeanne Socrates are recognised by the print media.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Around alone in 30 days ... The Guardian's report of Jeanne's astonishing singlehanded performance.
Jeanne arrived back in her Canadian departure port on Sunday after 320 days sailing alone around the world, via notorious Cape Horn, in her 38-ft yacht Nereida.

The lady is 77, which of course makes her the oldest human, male or female, to sail around the world alone.


It is an extraordinary performance, especially when compared with the health and life of many 77-year-olds in Britain.

Oddly, BBC News downplayed the success in a provincial slot, Hampshire. Surely the right place for the astonishing performance, that extraodinary achievement was the national news.

When you think back to the coverage that male circumnavigators received, including a knighthood or two, might gender have something to do with it?
Now The Times and The Guardian carry the story – and, if I may comment, about time, too.

When you think back to the coverage that Francis Chichester and other male circumnavigators received, including a knighthood or two, it really makes you wonder – has me wondering – if gender just might have something to do with it.

A sign of the times, and The Times, is that if you want to read all the news you have to pay. And similarly so with The Guardian.

The previous record

The Royal Victoria Yacht Club said the previous record was held by Minoru Saito, who was 71 when he completed the journey in 2005.

The Guardian reports that Jeanne took up sailing with her husband shortly after retiring in 1997. They sailed in Europe, the Caribbean, and the US.

Her husband died in 2003, but Jeanne learned to sail alone, which she described as ‘quite a daunting task, getting to know the various systems on Nereida and dealing with a variety of problems.’

Well done, Jeanne, Superstar, who was well followed on this Sailing to Purgatory blog - with 39 reports of our incredibly brave and determined lady.

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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