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.

The news today reports again that astonishing difference between UK and German workers. What Brit workers manage in five days, Germany's workers do in four.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Five into four won't go ... A surprising fact about worker production in Europe shows that five into four does go. Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash and many thanks to photographer Igor and to Unsplash dot com
I suspect it's this approach to competition that explains why a slight majority wants to cold-shoulder the EU. Yes, try hard on the football field. But work ain't footie.

When we arrive at work here, the first act is likely to be getting the kettle on, to have a cup of something hot, have a moan about the crush on the train, and what won favour on telly the night before.

Neighbourly stuff

Other than the boss, perhaps, whose to knock such neighbourly stuff? It even suggests we might care more for our fellows than those industrious folk a few countries over. It might.

To hear the news was quite a coincidence for I experienced two scenes today that probably tell all about that odd Brexit vote.

First scene is set at the dentists. Three little Indian children aged around three and four, displaying a surprising grasp of correct English, are waiting in the reception area.

Some dental posters have taken their attention. They are deriving obvious pleasure from pronouncing the longer words and guessing their meaning.

Now to the Iceland store in my poor neighbourhood. A large mother and daughter are at the till, chatting to the cashier.

The pronunciation, the words they use, and their physiques suggest that achieving - being positive and aiming towards a better life - might not be part of their upbringing.

Cashier: And what's your daugh'a studyin' for then?
Mother: She's just fir'een.
Cashier to large girl: Is univers'ty what you goin' to do?
Mother: Come on, she's just fir'een.
Cashier: I just wond-ed if she 'as univers'ty in mind.
Mother: Firteen. That's all. Univers-itty! Today's today. That's for tomorra.

Had I offered a question about a Brexit vote, I think I can guess the united response.

Cheap diet

If people want no more for their kids than Fate throws at them, who needs much education? TV and a good laugh at night and a cheap diet ought to be enough, surely.

Had they heard the Indian children, they'd have blamed Europe. Very often anyone not English is taken to be from across the Channel. When they see tradesmen here from Poland and surrounds doing the German thing, they know why Brexit is the way to go, an' that.

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

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