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.

Every story has two sides, so we learn in life, even if the lesson came rather late for me. I had just retired from the sea, and on a leisurely holiday with my young daughter and my gifted fiancee, called on friends whose address I used as a maildrop when at sea.

I was noting a lack of interest in sailing and boating among the munchers tucking in at a crowded Brighton Marina this week. Brighton is where my circumnavigation - and more - began. I expected, of course, conversations on all sides to be about sails and racing techniques, and the best global sailing routes.

I can't tell you how much in awe I am of you as a writer, and how very pleased to have bought your book, Sailing to Purgatory, hot off the press.

To Brighton Marina today to walk beside those lush yachts and for the first time since Spirit of Pentax – my eccentric Captain Fantastic – sailed off to circumnavigate the world back in … well back almost 37 years ago! Yes, in the summer of 1980.

I was sad to finish Sailing to Purgatory last night. It is written so well and tells the story of that last journey so vividly that I felt I had sailed on board the whole way.

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