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.

Back in commercial yachtmaster days, I was commissioned to take a once beautiful ocean-going yacht from Portugal to the Cape. It was not exactly the straight-forward voyage I expected.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Hard work and humour ... Rod helps with a repair before we sailed the yacht from the Canaries to the Cape.
I knew Thunderbird from some years earlier when I delivered to St Helena island.

She was a fine vessel, well prepared and in very good order for the voyage which was a really pleasant, and upon an ocean in a remarkably benevolent mood.

However, when I arrived at the Portuguese port to sail her alone to South Africa - a seven-week voyage I anticipated - the yacht showed a distinct lack of maintenance.

Tender loving care

The tender loving care usually lavished on such a smart possession had been very noticeably overlooked.

Give or take this or that, she seemed seaworthy, and I sailed off alone.

There’s nothing like an ocean to show up a vessel’s faults. Soon it was clear that she was never going to be sailed solo all that way.

After a week or so, I accepted the obvious and sailed into the Canary Islands to find crew. I phoned good friend Gerry Adamson in Hampshire, who had been such a help with the preparation of Spirit of Pentax for my singlehanded circumnavigation.

Gandhi suffered an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He suffered from bad breath too from his strange diet. This turned him into a super calloused fragile mystic vexed by halitosis.
She knew just the person, a recommended and reliable fellow, even if he lacked sailing experience.

Rod must have lots of seafaring in his blood for he adapted to sailoring remarkably quickly and soon proved himself to be just about the perfect crewman.

Running repairs

We made Cape Town in excellent time in spite of a number of running repairs along the way.

One of Rod’s great attributes was a very active sense of humour, and even in the fiercest weather, his sense of fun kept the poor old yacht a happy place.

He emailed some jokes today that he suggested came from a punning competition. However, with his keen sense of fun, they are as likely to be his creations.

Engulfed here in the agony of the elections and the bruising of Br-x-t, what better time to share a few of his gems?

😀 😀 😀

A vulture boards an airplane carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess says, ‘Sorry, sir. Only one carrion per passenger.’

😀 😀 😀

Two Eskimos in a kayak lit a fire to warm up the craft. Of course, it sank. You can't have your kayak and heat it too.

😀 😀 😀

Chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, but instead of going up to their room, stood around boasting about their recent tournament successes.

After an hour or so, the manager asked them to kindly disperse. ‘Why?’ they asked.

He said, ‘I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.'

😀 😀 😀

Barefooted Mahatma Gandhi suffered an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He suffered from bad breath too from strange diet. This turned him into a super calloused fragile mystic vexed by halitosis.

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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