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.

Let me share this amusing and yet most informative and clever verse with you.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
We are sailing ... Ian's gaffer shows off her capabilities on Tiptoe's maiden sail.
It was written by an admired friend, a great poet and a considerable yachtsman, a boat-builder, a housebuilder, a man who very cleverly has found what must be Paradise, even if it is on our war-mongering world.

I met Ian Allen in Cape Town, who proved to be a source of great seafaring and navigational advice for that very tricky sailing region.

The Cape boasts sudden wild storms, a breeze-stealing mountain, and waiting beneath the keel - hopefully well below the keel - the notorious Agulhas Bank.

Perfect location

Ian, fortunate and wise man, has moved to God's Own, but not just anywhere in New Zealand but in the most fabulous part, at least in the estimation of this Cape Horner.

His gorgeous home faces Cook Straight, named after Captain James cook, of course, between the two main islands.

It stirs a pang in the breast to relate more about it, but if Ian looks to his portside, he is staring into the mighty Southern Ocean.

Look to starboard, and there's the Pacific. The air doesn't, couldn't, come cleaner anywhere else on our planet.

Ian told me, 'I was clearing out old documents on my computer and came across this.

'I was asked by friend Natalie to define gaff cutter, the rig of Tiptoe which I was in the process of building.' This was that brilliant fellow's definition ...

Definition of a gaff cutter

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
This is a gaffer ... And Ian built this magnificent little ship and wrote the clever verse that tells us what she is and what she's not.
A cutter doesn’t cut in the sense of the word
but has two sails up front like the wings on a bird
when the wind blows like hell and it threatens to drown
the people on board, well they take one sail down

A gaffer’s not a man who serves in a bar
but a sail almost square but larger by far
than its triangular cousin oft found on a ship
but lower as well so the good ship won’t tip

Now lapstrakes don’t lap, though they strake very well
and they form the fine planking for making the shell
that’s the hull of the yacht when you see it this way
without which the sailors would be carried away

Now with this knowledge a gaff cutter’s not that wry
but a vessel of beauty that pleases the eye
and when finally she is finished and you step on board
we’ll show you the fun that this boat can afford!

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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