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.

Here we are locked away in our homes at a time of year that’s just about perfect for travel, particularly across Europe, and now before the summer heat arrives.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Gifted Imre Antal... Sadly no longer with us, though YouTube reminds all of his magic.
Europe? Yes, that magical, historical piece of the world which our, er, glorious leaders declare is no-go, just as it seems the rest of the world it to be considered, too.

May is the perfect month to tour old favourites like Italy and Spain and France.

Interestingly, though, a friend today highlighted Hungary as a really interesting virtual Paradise, and his recommendation tempts me from the regular happy route.

Well, it would if the new television, er, personalities would/will unlock us and let us go.

The friend shares a passion for piano music and offered it as a real lure to ensure Hungary will be the destination, when we are permitted to leave home, of course.

He reminded me of his extraordinarily gifted countryman, the concert pianist, Imre Antal.

Thanks to the wonder of recordings and the web, his music lives on. He plays marvellously fellow Hungarian Bartók’s wonderful An evening in the village here »»
Mr Antal had the appalling luck to suffer from what professional pianists dread, and which Wikipedia delicately describes as an ‘illness of both hands’.

A second astonishing gift

Hard to imagine a better reason for some sort of suicide, yet the astonishing Mr Antal didn't give in to despair. Quite the opposite.

He worked on a second astonishing gift and became an accomplished television presenter. He hosted a comedy show for 14 years on Hungary’s national channel, Szeszélyes évszakok, which apparently translates as Capricious Seasons.

Then Lady Luck struck him down again, and this time even more cruelly - with dreaded cancer of the severest form. It ended his life in 2008.

Thanks to the wonder of recordings and the web, his music lives on. He plays marvellously two minutes and forty-five seconds of fellow Hungarian Béla Bartók’s wonderful An evening in the village here »».

It is well recommended.

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

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