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 was pondering on hopes to sail around the world alone again and forty years after my previous Cape Horner voyage.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Not all wheelchairs are the same ... This seems a rather more acceptable type of wheelchair, but not the sort we usually see. Thanks to Zachary Kyra-Derksen on Unsplash.
Time isn’t friendly to humans after a certain age as I’ve been learning, as we all learn, of course.

It means in many ways that my hopes are really in the hands of Fate, of avoiding the negative effects of ageing.

A major reason behind the desire to go around again comes from the shock of seeing so many elders who appear to have given up, certainly on their health.


Either an armchair or a bed is where they seem to spend huge amounts of daily time.

And yet it must be obvious that nothing hastens the end, the final curtain, as much as sedentary behaviour like that.

Circumnavigating is the desire, but suddenly the project has a greater enemy than time.

The Chinese bug plus our unfit leaders lock us in our homes, and that’s quite the opposite path to fitness.

Instead, they’ve closed the gyms, and locked us in our homes, and have even alerted the fuzz to ensure we follow the, er, guide lines.
Apart from ensuring (as best one can) that the modern-day plague doesn’t claim us, being locked away in our comfort hardly helps our health, our fitness.

A government made of rather less fatties might have ensured that we’d be encouraged to use gyms, and walk more and exercise.

Instead, they’ve closed the gyms, and locked us in our homes, and have even alerted the fuzz to ensure we follow the, er, guide lines.

Bore-is’s laws makes a real challenge of keeping fit, and if I’m not fit, there’s little chance of attempting that ocean dream.

It’s not the virus killing my second Cape Horn project – after all, I did have it in March.

It’s the lazy thinking, or lack of thought, by our er glorious leaders that kills a project aimed at brightening up by example the prospects for elders and showing that they don’t need to hasten the inevitable.

Thanks very much for visiting the mostly Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure writing. The blogs (as they call 'em) are introduced each time on Facebook Facebook dot com/Sailingtopurgatory,

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The blogs for Sailing to Purgatory are introduced on Facebook.

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