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.

What a week for very odd news! I remember well from years in newspapers how journalists struggle at times to find a story - any story - that might make the front page.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Whale of a tale, in English ... orcas in the Marineland of Antibes, the world's largest killer whale complex. The critters swim in eleven million gallons of water, with a panoramic glass wall 64 metres long. Marineland has four orcas: Inouk, Wikie, Moana and Keijo. Photo by Robert Pittman - NOAA (]), Public Domain, Antibes whales
It sounds like we've been having that sort of newsless week. Suddenly great concentration is placed on the PM apparently seeking improved trading deals with China.

For years, the cry has been China's unfair flooding of markets with goods that are so much cheaper than capitalism seems able to produce.

Now, suddenly it seems, we want more Chinese goods here, and, oh, more of our goods on the shelves over there.

Apparent contradictions

Brexit seems constantly slotted into news broadcasts, to be followed the next day by apparent contradictions in the great Conservative mystery.

We even have our dear lady leader breaking away from Chinese clinches to add to the Brexit muddle.

Oh, and here's another odd news variation. For the first time, I read and hear that the lady's dutiful husband is along for the Chinese junket. There he is in prominent news columns, and we can be sure it will be for a specific reason. What it is, I fear to guess, but in a news hungry week, there are many possibilities. Watch this space.

There's an old journalistic standby. When humans aren't creating real news, bring in the animals.

Killer whales? Tut tut ...

And what could be more gripping for Radio 4 listeners than to enjoy the sounds of whales at play? Yep, a news hungry week indeed.

However, there's a possibility here, too, of a bit of propaganda sneaking in. The creatures from a French marineland 'speak' English! Oh, forget, please, that these are killer whales, very nasty assassins of the oceans, destroying gentle, non-rampaging whales, and dolphins with appalling cruelty.

In the news, they are are given the sweet noun of orcas.

The French know who voted in droves to leave the EU, so the whales are not learning to talk with Cockney, Estuary English, nor with strange Broomie, Geordie, nor Scouse dialects.

The oceans killers - er, orcas - are learning middle class, educated Received Pronunciation, albeit - unavoidably, presumably - with a slight French accent. No, Brexiteers, these sweet critters!

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

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