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.

I want to tell you about my Dad's birthday last Sunday. I looked online for songs praising Dads, found about 60, but didn't recognise one. They were probably about a different sort of, a heavenly sort of, father.

When a neighbour died the other day, a good soul, a generous and helpful lady, I turned instinctively to another admired person and she immediately shared my concern for the loss of that good human, Dee Purdy. And I passed on Jean Shoulder's words to readers.

It was neighbour Dee’s last day on our planet today and early on mourners gathered outside her flat, fashionably dressed and talkative in an animated way, as they waited for the hearse, for the good friend’s very last journey as a mortal.

Maybe it’s the age when sea stories are given a back seat so that love stories of a fictional nature can encourage readers. I hope not, though, because I would really like to encourage people to put down their tablets and look at the wonder out beyond the breakers.

I wrote recently about a prisoner from abroad serving a very long sentence in an English jail for a double-murder that I am sure he did not do. I believe the jury did for him because of his faith not long after the appalling 9-11 massacre in New York. The prosecutor emphasised the connection many times.

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