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.

The famous philosopher of long ago, Lao Tzu, has an encouraging message for me today: ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Encouragement ... The semi-legendary figure, Lao Tzu, portrayed as a 6th-century BC contemporary of Confucius, reports Wikipedia. Thanks to Wikipedia for this depiction of Laozi in E.T.C.Werner's Myths and Legends of China with this painting by A. Edelfeldt in 1885.
If I could, I’d tell the venerable gent that the distance of my hoped-for journey is probably at least as long as reaching Cape Horn and back, which I achieved alone rather earlier in life.

But this journey is no less important, even though it can’t be managed alone.

I want to prove that the corrupt former Customs Department was totally wrong to present my 8,000-mile swallowing the anchor voyage (to celebrate retirement from my work as a DoT ocean navigator) as a drugs run.


The crooked trial, held in camera, stretched on for two years.

A purposely baffled jury (of non-sailing people) eventually supported that corrupt bureaucracy and returned a thumbs-down verdict.

What a battle to try to get someone in authority and organisations allegedly involved in fighting injustice to see that the eight years jail, and the snatching of my possessions and life-savings was totally unjust.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Persuasive ... Ed Davey addresses the People's Vote rally last year. Thanks to Wikipedia for the photo.

However, my MP, the deputy leader of the Social Democrats, Sir Edward Davey, announced this week that he will help.

‘I fully understand how important your own case is to you – and to the principles of fairness and justice which we all expect there to be in this country - and can quite appreciate that you want to clear your name.

Not forgotten

‘Please be assured that I have not forgotten about you or the matters you have asked me to investigate, although I do not want to create any false hope as to how much I can achieve for you.’

He added, ‘Parliament has now risen and, although I shall be continuing to do much outside Parliament, I hope that, over the summer, I shall have more opportunity to give your case the attention it deserves.’

We’re brought up to believe in the quality of English justice. I witnessed the exact opposite.

Hopefully, with Sir Ed’s support, there’s a chance – at last – to recover my reputation and my possessions, particularly my wonderful 38ft yacht, eM.

Thanks very much for visiting the mostly Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure writing. The blogs (as they call 'em) are introduced each time on Facebook Facebook dot com/Sailingtopurgatory,

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The blogs for Sailing to Purgatory are introduced on Facebook.

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