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.

UPPER FLOORS of office blocks had succumbed to the new night as I hurried along Waterloo Road, near Waterloo Station. Cars and kamikazi cyclists in shiny helmets and tights were well head-lighted. Heavy clouds hid the space station due overhead about then.

Certainly enough of a very cold breeze to sail, but I'm here on my feet in gorgeous Richmond Park, the deer park created by Charles I about 500 years ago. It is quite the biggest of royal parks in London and is important for the study of wildlife conservation.

LUNCH today with wonderful friend Gerry at her very smart Willow Cottage in Portchester, Hampshire. It's ironic that the train journey gets me to the Adamson's at almost exactly the same time - five to midday - that a rag tag squad of uniformed bureaucrats stormed the house in ambush.

Kingston Library has a truly enviable online arrangement, quite free, and fast, and all within the wonderful atmosphere of a big library. Need advice? The staff almost outshine Uncle Google.

MOORED at Aldi, a discount supermarket, in Ewell, Surrey, a regular anchorage for struggling former mariners after they have been cleaned out by the State. Welcome to Sailing to Purgatory's first blog, logged at this smart discount shop, within sight of the (almost) lighthouse-like Tolworth Tower.

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