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.

Gym addicts like me might often wonder if the early morning dedication really is worth the early alarm, the getting out from under while it’s still dark and the rest of the neighbourhood sleeps.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Fit for life ... Get the gym discipline early and keep in shape for life. Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash
Added to that is the temperature – predicted to be freezing in the morning – which means a considerable freshen-up as I cycle the ten minutes to my 90-minute madness, er, exercising.

I’ve attended the same gym for the last ten years.

It’s changed hands more than once with the offered equipment changing, too, thanks to different approaches to what’s best for adults who seek a healthy life.

Rowing machines

Once there were four rowing machines, one of which was a magical ‘water rower’.

The number fell to one basic machine and now, under the present administration, there are two.

It’s a natural machine for a yachtsman, of course, (and a professional mariner as I was) even though the desire is to stay with the vessel rather than take to the briny with oars.

I did have to do that, though, when the yacht I was sailing in a Guinness Book of Records bid turned over in a South Atlantic storm.

... increasing physical activity led to an 11% drop in heart disease risk among 60-year-olds ... Alternately, stopping physical activity increased heart disease risk by 27%.

It’s very interesting to see other oldies come and go at the gym. A few remain dedicated, too, but many do seemingly suddenly feel their age and abandon what perhaps oughtn’t be abandoned.

For instance, an article from Healthline dot com reminds us that including gym practice in a lifestyle is really important.


The article picks on the old healthy heart encouragement. ‘Staying active as you age can help you stay heart-healthy,’ we are told.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Upsadaisy ... Strength and health and maybe even a longer life come from gym fitness. Photo by Form on Unsplash
It reports that a new study found that increasing physical activity led to an 11% drop in heart disease risk among 60-year-olds and upwards.

‘Alternately, stopping physical activity increased heart disease risk by 27 percent.’

A better and far easier example of the benefits of gym exercise, I’d say, is merely to look around wherever older folk venture.

My plan is to visit the gym for just under an hour four times a week. I’ve read that three times a week can be sufficient, so the fourth appearance is to put the cherry on top.

I cycle almost every day and it’s almost always energetically.

I’d like to put this dedication, or madness, down to personal discipline, but on wintry days and in the rain, it’s mostly due to a conscience that is worse than a nagging spouse should I try to find an excuse for not attending.

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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