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.

Isn’t life an astonishing experience, your blogger ponders, offering a thought that of course comes with an obvious answer.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
New arrivals ... Two new dwellers on earth, and both arrived in a sort of miracle and yet neither knows about it, simply accepting that they're here. Photo by Uchral Sanjaadorj on Unsplash.
I first witnessed birth as a very young runaway from home, when I watched a Jersey lie down on her side, while new life slid out of her.

One moment there was just the heifer and almost the next, there were two animals, a mother and calf.

No lessons in motherhood had been offered, as far as I could tell.


She knew exactly how to clean up her magical new arrival, and when it was clean, how to offer it milk.

It was, well, astonishing to witness.

And conversely, I saw my first death. The farmer sat a sheep back onto its hind legs, raised its surprisingly relaxed head, and cut through its jugular.

The encouraging words she offered might be a help to us all when we want to be, when we need to be, encouraging in a situation that frankly seems a little beyond the ultimate negative.

A living creature entrusted itself to the human it had known all its brief life and the next an item for the table remained. It was far from easy to comprehend.

I still find it difficult to grasp. I’ve just been reading an article Three Magical Phrases to Comfort a Dying Person, by Jenny Harrington on HumanParts dot com.

Eight-year-old son

Jenny lost an eight-year-old son to cancer. In the article, she recalls the three expressions she offered to comfort the little fellow.

I recommend the story because we all will or have faced the challenge. What do you say to a relation or friend who knows you know that he or she is about to depart?

The encouraging words she offered to the child might be a help to us all when we want to be, when we need to be, encouraging in a situation that frankly seems a little beyond the ultimate negative.

You will not be alone.
You will not feel pain.
We will be okay.

Jenny Harrington believes the encouragement helped, or seemed to help.

Of course, if someone happens to use that encouragement to you or to me as we are about to gasp our last gasp, we’ll know who to thank for the original.

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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