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.

If there’s one subject that keeps returning to the news it’s allegations about powerful men 'taking advantage' of the fairer gender.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Temptation ... When starlets want what a director can offer, trouble might not be so far away. Photo by and, with many thanks
I was a journalist for many years and once you’re trained in that world, cynicism is well and truly installed.

I was brought up, too, to respect the fairer gender, to be a gentleman, so quite an inner struggle ensues when faced with this aged syndrome.

Not long ago, we endured that film industry expose where a very well known individual was said to have taken advantage of starlets.

Attraction is very strong

I think that’s the way the story went.

Whatever world we frequent, where men and women work together, Cupid is bound to be present and sometimes makes attraction very strong indeed. In the film world, a successful director is often the man with the power to set a woman onto the path to great, huge, success.

Our species seems mesmerised by the supposed glamour and the unquestionable wealth that comes with being a film star.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Shot in the light ... Being on camera is a most passionate dream for many. Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash, and many thanks to all.
If you desperately want that, of being a superstar whose name is known right across the world, would pleasing a director romantically be such a chore?

If we were writing a script around this subject, we’d introduce trouble when the aspiring star doesn’t make it, for some reason doesn’t become a star.

Then, with dreams dashed, our unsuccessful actress might well seek revenge.

Our overly ambitious gal

Our script based on this ancient game could be set in an NHS hospital, with the ambitious nurse attracting the hospital boss, or in a department store, or an impressionable barista who works for a very large coffee chain, a council worker who comes to the attention of the mayor.

Of course, it is tragic when our overly ambitious gal fails and feels really hurt. However, shouldn’t we accept that it’s all just a play on an age-old game of romance?

Nowadays, fashion encourages a girl to flaunt her gender.

Before, from the male perspective, what lay underneath was a guessing game.

I’m mature and I’ve seen it time and time again among powerful friends and associates.

However, one major shift of influence today really ought to make us less sympathetic. Dress, fashion. Nowadays, fashion encourages a girl to flaunt her gender. Before, from the male perspective, what lay underneath was a great guessing game.

Now it stares us in the face. No guessing game is necessary any more.

As Adam and Eve showed in that tale from long ago, take away the guesses and flaunt the facts and even, well, God, isn’t going to stop the action.

How would it have been afterwards had Eve, who desired that the romance would always be related as Eve and Adam, raged that Adam got his name in first? Even all these centuries later, the, er, romance is referred to as Adam and Eve?

Bit late for legal action for her. But if she could, if such an important figure in scripture studies somehow could take that, er, rat to court, would she?

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

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