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.

You can't have a blog without a competition, I'm told, so let's have a competition. It's best if it's a photo competition, and should be to do with the book, the wise ones say.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory web page to illustrate the article.
Yo ho ho ... Markus Spiske's portrait of a smuggler, with thanks to Markus and
Well then, what about a competition for the best selfie pic of you, or family or a friend, dressed as a smuggler?

The selfie photo competition: Portrait of a smuggler - of how a smuggler might look. (As odd as you like.) No rules in the competition which ends at the end of July. Five winners will each receive a copy of Sailing to Purgatory, autographed by the author, if you like.

What could be more appropriate? The story revolves around a singlehanded voyage and that's a selfie action even though, happily enough, solo sailors aren't usually referred to as selfie sailors.

Ambushed, arrested and jailed

Dressed as a smuggler? You might recall that the author was ambushed, arrested and jailed for smuggling, even though no evidence whatsoever existed - and even though the voyage came no closer to England than eleven hundred sea miles.

The publishers, Olympia, have offered five copies of Sailing to Purgatory for prizes, and I'll pack them up and pay for the postage to wherever in the world each of the five winners lives.

Just send your entry to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and, of course, let me know who you are and your address. I'll publish the winning photos, and probably many more as well.

Wherever you live in the world, whatever your age, you are very welcome to enter the competition which will end at the end of July.

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