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.

A writer's life is not all beer and skittles, well, keyboards and Word documents. The inner bloke needs to be fed. Thanks heavens for dirt and determination.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Hot potato ... The crop that grew as the new story grew.

I planted some seed potatoes before I flew to the Cape to go into virtual hibernation to write the extraordinary experience of shipwreck and a deeply worrying time on a liferaft in the mid-South Atlantic, close to the Roaring Forties.

The visit went well, the basics went onto paper, well, into the trusty laptop, and back at home, I completed the editings and the many read-throughs today, enough of that editing process to feel pretty sure that I have told it like it was, and in the best way I can.

Ready for harvesting

Then the inner man needed a spot of editing. I rushed off into the garden to attend to the crop of potatoes which have grown and produced conscientiously, thankfully, in my absence and are now ready for harvesting. And now they have been.

I'll probably give most of the crop to neighbours who seem not to know about the pleasure of vegetable gardening.

However, I did sneak a couple of moderate beauties up the stairs to microwave lightly tonight. Yummy! That pleasure confirmed that I'll probably reserve a dozen for the hungry writer within.

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