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've sailed round the world in a homemade sailing boat so skinny that surely no fellow in his right mind would try to cross the Channel in her. Yet she took me through the Atlantics, across the Indian and Pacific Oceans, through the Southern Ocean, and ... well, quite a few thousand sea miles more.

Twenty-five years ago to the day, the luxury superyacht I was delivering from Rio to the Cape ran into a container. I had not long gone off-watch, as the maritime expression goes, and my mate took over the wheel. It was just after midnight.

Generalisations can be dangerous, I know, and I've carelessly adopted that old adage, methinks she protests too much. But - really! - to hear day after day the vociferous moans to the media by gals who imagine themselves as film stars, wanting to enjoy the ego-trip of all time, the admiration, adulation and wealth reserved only for so very few, and yet balking at the price of entry.

On a belated birthday pilgrimage to the historic city of Salisbury, I set off to look at places I would have seen as a war-time baby in mother's arms.

How very weird to hear love moans rated as news, and news of such international importance that the spotlight moves away from the subject that can affect much more than egos, perhaps the very lives of millions of people around the world.

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