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.

Which outdoor work needs the calmest nerves? Until a few hours ago, I might have put singlehanded sailing rather close to the top. However, a lot of the cool needed for solo sailing comes from training and experience.

Apologies for the break in blog transmissions. The accommodation in the Cape lost its web connection for a few days.
Start reading David McMillan's book, Unforgiving Destiny: The Relentless Pursuit of a Black Marketeer, and frankly people in my old game of professional yachtmastering don't get a look in.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Victim ... David McMillan's story of being pursued for smuggling. Something of a variation on my story of ambush and gross injustice.

Unforgiving Destiny follows the true story of the 37-year pursuit by authorities on five continents to imprison and execute David McMillan as he travelled as an independent smuggler.

Dogged by an obsessed DEA agent, he evaded the death penalty in Thailand by escaping prison, only to be 'disappeared' in Pakistan after crossing the Afghan border.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Victim ... David McMillan, hounded by the authorities for 37 years.

After every downfall, David McMillan rebuilt his life and network only to find the same agency people arranging for his capture.

World's worst prisons

David explains, 'Imagine losing everything you care about. Home, family, freedom, every object that built your life. Then find yourself locked in some of the world's worst prisons.'

I was impressed enough to offer a review - and not just because I know what it's like when the State does that, even when they know it couldn't be. 'David McMillan has a deserved reputation for arresting openings to his stories, and - phew! - no less with this story. It's extraordinary! How is this brilliant writer still alive after all he has been through?

'It's ... a biography you won't want to put down. A word of warning, though. Unforgiving Destiny is not good for those who like to read a chapter before turning off the light for the night. You won't want to - you won't be able to - till the end of the last page.' David McMillan's book is here on Amazon.

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