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.

MOORED at Aldi, a discount supermarket, in Ewell, Surrey, a regular anchorage for struggling former mariners after they have been cleaned out by the State. Welcome to Sailing to Purgatory's first blog, logged at this smart discount shop, within sight of the (almost) lighthouse-like Tolworth Tower.

Ship's Log 01 February 2017 1800:
Anchorage Aldi: 'My bike' 51° 0' 21° N x 0° 32' 57°E
Wind S 12.1 knots | Barometer 1004 millibars falling
Moon declination 1°34’ N day 4 | Venus 1° 06N

In breaks in London's cloud cover, a gorgeous four-day moon near Venus made the cycle ride here almost as magical as being at sea again. In reality, nothing on our planet can match the astonishing pleasure of sailing, particularly on a fine night.

At the checkout, a young woman who might have been related to the trial's prosecuting team shared a buccaneering joke with a friend. 'How do you make a tall pirate short?' Her companion obviously didn't come from a lawyer's family. She couldn't say. 'You take all his money.' The girls screamed.

Now I wait to hear when Sailing to Purgatory is to appear this month. All that writing, and editing and rewriting, and the endless search for a brave publisher. And now - suddenly - just days to go before it will be a reality.

Thank you for visiting the website for my (adult) sea travel book, Sailing to Purgatory.

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