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.

There I was lambasting the Brit media for overlooking the achievement of our elder sailing star, Jeanne Socrates, 77, when suddenly within days of her return to dry land they – surprise, surprise - heralded the magnificent achievement.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
When so many senior citizens seem to give up once they retire, it is hard to see how copy-tasters and editors weren't amazed the moment they heard of her goal and departure last October.

However, seemingly it meant little to them.

'Such a trend'

'Oh, a senior citizen going off to sea, to sail around the world absolutely alone in some of the most dangerous waters on the planet?

'It's such a trend these days. Hardly news.' And yet believe it or not, at the weekend Jeanne was the star of a media quiz. In the 'Test your knowledge of recent events' quiz in the Metro paper, the very brave elder was there as Question Number 1:

Jeanne Socrates, 77, has broken her own record by becoming the oldest person to do what?

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Finish first ... The media recognised Jeanne's extraordinary voyage only when she finished.
Well done, Metro. But to add insult or injury by the media, listen – and probably look – at the attention given to a 37-year-old American lady swimming both ways across the Channel twice with escorting launches alongside just in case.

Higher rating

Good to laud the brave swimmer, but to give the escorted swim a higher rating than a woman 37 years older who risked her life for 339 days sailing around the world, with no escorting vessel whatsoever, has to be astonishing.

My corner of the web here tried to do Jeanne Socrates proud. Sailing to Purgatory carried 39 stories of super sailor Jeanne.

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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