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.

Wonder why we are hearing so much about naughty men taking advantage, or doing their best (or worst) to, of the fairer sex?

I suspect we are a bit too concerned with the wrong side of this office and film studio Romeo and Julio scenario.

Would he really have had to resort to more than a rather obvious chat-up line? 'But, kind sir, what's in it for me?' 'The world, my dear, the world.'

Yet even wise old, relatively feet-on-the-ground BBC Radio 4 news has been passing on 'admissions' of blokes who - shock, horror - told women at work they they were really fancied.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Many thanks to Tanja Heffner for the photo and to Unsplash

It's when this uncontrollable urge between the genders stops that Radio 4 - and our species - will really have reason to wring our hands.

Moderns might say that we don't need hungry males. We could get handsome robots onto the job, much better looking than most of the optimists, and which can be taken out of the cupboard when required, to fill in, as it were. I've not tried, but I suspect that cuddling a robot before, during, and after the astonishing pleasure of love, might not offer the same magic.

Is this news?

I want to offer a reason why such a regular old 'sin' might be commandeering the news, but I'll save that for my very next blog.

Today, I'd just like to question the newsiness of it. And can it be true that, at the time, the fairer gender isn't more than a little flattered at the proposals offered, well, from all sides.

I don't feel convinced by the actresses, particularly the famous and now wealthy, speaking of the feeling of harassment. Oh, how awful it was.

Certainly the name most pilloried in this sudden outburst is certainly no dish. Who would want to be bedded by someone who looks like that?

And after all what had such a mighty power in Hollywood to offer? Only the world: he had the power and the skill to offer aspiring stars the chance to be queens of the globe, to be the name on tongues across the planet, to be made rich beyond belief.

Enormous rewards

The talk now is of a certain forcefulness in pressing his desire. Would he really have had to resort to more than a rather obvious chat-up line? 'But, kind sir, what's in it for me?' 'The world, my dear, the world.'

Be honest now: who wouldn't give their full enthusiasm to help a chump like that when the rewards are so enormous?

Speak to the brigade in Britain referred to as sex workers. What don't they offer for around £100, and just for the crisp bank notes, nothing else.

And yet to win an astronomical salary, to virtually own the world, to be admired, and recognised, and envied by billions of us, would these big names really have been so put out, so shocked, when the hard word was whispered to them back in their unknown, struggling days?

Thanks very much for visiting the blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory.

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