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.

In ancient days, elders were seen as the wisest, the most knowledgeable, and they were chosen as the leaders and - believe it or not - they were actually listened to. Yes, if you happen to be of a certain age, you'll know that some facts from history do seem impossible to accept.

Yet when you think about it, what a crazy notion to imagine that elders, monopolised by the task of defying death, would have something - anything - to say that might amount to good sense.

Possibly some see MPs' sudden monopolising of morals as a sort of unSex-it alternative to indecisions of insane Brexit. Happily, we're beyond cynicism here on the elders' estate.
Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Hands off the fairer gender ... No sex, please, we're British. Photo by Tal Heres on Unsplash and many thanks to both.

Of course, if you are younger you'll know those, er, wonderful lectures about clothes then and now and music then and none now etc etc.

No more groping

You'll know only too well, also, the taste for what was once termed music, music that they rate as sexy and very exciting - a waltz. To them it's more of a turn on than Adam's apple was to Eve.

I mean, a waltz! You'll know the rhythm, one-two-three, one-two-three. A tapping of the nose with the forefinger here. Say no more.

Here at the old folks' housing estate where the State has me shelved, we're pretty taken by the latest to come from the whipper-snappers down behind the silenced grandfather clock at Westminster.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Naughty MPs ... The Metro news site sums up the political situation. Many thanks to the Metro for the image

Apparently - well, the Beeb reckons so - they're going to halt the happy old groping that we ancients saw as confirmation of our appreciation of the difference between the sexes.

In the old days, if we wanted one of the opposite gender to know we considered them attractive, we'd do more than announce it.

Nothing like a pat, a touch, even a gentle goosing, to confirm your feelings. The answer came with a blush and a coy line, and occasionally a no-can-do. Of course, even the gals not attracted were at least grateful for the proof of appreciation.

Sampling heaven

It was a useful language and certainly saved time. It showed you were alive, and meant what you said. Often, to thank you, you might well be invited into the broom cupboard under the stairs, to sample heaven. However, the young in Westminster are showing us that times have changed. Abandoned, sudden announcements of love are being renamed inappropriate, even unacceptable.

Possibly some see MPs' sudden monopolising of morals as a sort of unSex-it alternative to indecisions of insane Brexit. Happily, we're beyond cynicism here on the elders' estate.

Of course, we oldies know that we should have spotted the change in desire of basic human matters. The clothing, fashion, signals it.

Remember the stuff we wore? Gorgeous baggy clothes that almost begged one of the other gender to reach through and join us. The great dark clothes, the khaki and the tweedy stuff, all cried out that we were jam-packed with passion.

Oh, dear! Look at the sexless stuff they wear now. The tights that are beyond tight that hide just about nothing.

No more lust!

The top area is half naked, so the size of the mammaries aren't a surprise. I realise now - most of us in this elder estate realise - they are showing it off so that the opposite gender has no need to guess and therefore no desire to find out. Yes, the magic of curiosity has gone, along so it seems with desire and passion and admiration and that blessed human feeling of lust.

It's a changed world. Still get into bed and who needs the basic messy business? Turn the TV on and settle down to Strictly, perhaps hold hands through a Game of Thrones, or EastEnders, or, wow! the Antiques Roadshow, and Top Gear.

No wonder our leaders, from the haughty PM to cuddly John Bercow, and the plump elected darlings in their tight mod attire, have ruled that horrible old fashioned sex and love is truly unacceptable and inappropriate. If God recognises wisdom from the mouth of babes and sucklings, so should we.

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

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