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 US president visiting London on Friday is expected to face a huge crowd that will convey extremely rowdily their distaste of his inhuman, utterly selfish, and I’m-alright-Jack politics. It could be the largest unwelcome crowd Britain has seen.

And like very many Britons, I’m wondering what I can do that might add to the greatest impression on a fellow who personally seems to have everything – wealth, health, ever trinket imaginable – and yet offers the world nothing but disdain.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Free speech ... Philosopher Voltaire believed in our right to speak our minds. Voltaire at Frederick the Great's Sanssouci, by Pierre Charles Baquoy

Should adding to the vociferous Boo to the West End uproar be sufficient?

Should I turn up with a placard to make my disdain seem even more obvious?

Unspeakable acts of brutality

The Green Party, it seems, is summoning a combined voice in Fitzroy Square, London, a couple of blocks from the BT Tower.

An email from the Green Party’s Sheffield mayor, Magid Magid, doing the rounds states, ‘You know why we’re doing this. He trashes climate action. He normalises sexual assault.

'He commits the most unspeakable acts of brutality at his borders.

‘He is a dangerous man. And we have to resist him. As a Green,’ says Magid, ‘I’m proud to fight for gender equality and climate action. I’m proud to stand up for freedom of movement. I’m proud to say that refugees and migrants are welcome here.’

Standing up to hate

All very powerful, but an interesting and thoughtful note is pinned to the Green Party's Facebook page. It comes from one Cyril Zeldine. He writes,‘If we are standing up to hate (and we should) then hatred of Donald Trump is not helpful either.

‘Would it be more powerful to debate with him, speak truth, challenge, and address each of his arguments in turn?’ Mr Zeldine invites protestors – all of us – to note a very appropriate comment attributed to Voltaire. I may not agree with what you say, but I will give my life for your right to say it.

Not many volunteers are likely to be prepared to give up their lives - or anything - for such a selfish, self-centred bigot as this unfortunate representative of the US. However, there’s little doubting that Voltaire’s boldness is – as Cyril Zeldine points out - the basis of free speech, and arguably a free society.

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

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