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.

Watch someone tying a parcel or the laces of their shoes, and whether you are in Kensington or Cornwall, Cape Town or Krakow, the knot of choice will almost always be the wrong one.

Just when I'm packing my bag for the flight home, a daily feature arrives in the inbox. It offers an article entitled, Terrifying Things That Will (Probably) Never Happen to You, and before I click on it, I know it's going to list a great worry of the moment.

Is any place in the news as much as the Syrian city of Douma, which perhaps deserves to be re-spelt as Doom-a? It shouldn't happen, but tragedy is so common here and so unimaginable that the moment the city is mentioned on the news yawns are probably inspired in the UK, right across Europe, and maybe most of the world.

Remember those furious arguments with classroom friends turned fiends when you knew you were right and they horribly wrong. As young passions rose, you could have ripped off their arms, torn out their throats, flattened their bicycle tyres.

Here we go again, acting more like children than children. Yet another unconscionable clown over the Pond tells us to leap and we certainly do. Once again, UK is on a war footing.

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