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.

Excellent news that solo yachtsman Mervyn Wheatley was picked up in such style after his yacht was crippled in a North Atlantic storm at the weekend.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Going down .... The luxury yacht sinks in the South Atlantic.
No ships lay within hundreds of miles. The brave young woman and your blogger spent eight stormy, horrendous days in a liferaft

Mervyn had the very good fortune to have the QE2 come to his rescue and pluck him safely from the deck of his badly damaged cruiser, Tamarind.

I've sailed the Atlantic and know the ocean's storms well, and I did compete in that race, the OSTAR, in a trimaran quite a few years ago.


Like Mervyn, I also lost a yacht, which is part of the drama of the adventure-survival book I have just finished, working title Adrift.

Unlike Tamarind, though, the yacht that sunk under me in the South Atlantic was a luxurious superyacht.

And unlike this fortunate man, there were no ships within hundreds of miles. The brave young woman and your blogger spent eight stormy, horrendous days in a liferaft, soon surrounded by sharks.

Thanks for visiting the blog

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