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.

Almost-unknown writer Paul Rodgers has denied that he is a planetist who rates earthlings as superior beings, but he admits surprisingly frankly, ‘Yes, I did go stalking Martians.’

The cause, he says, came from a meeting with a friend in Bethlem Royal Hospital.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Looking for the brute ... There's little doubt from Paul's mood, he would have taken a flight on InSight to the surface of Mars in an effort to right the wrong. This is a NASA artist’s interpretation of the InSight lander on the surface of Mars. Many thanks to NASA for the image.

‘She told me of a vile act committed upon her in the privacy of her own home. I was shocked,’ Paul told this blog.

‘The brute slipped through the atmosphere from Outer Space, parked his hovering intergalactic transport in the back garden and slid through a window.

Hot Mars Bar drink

‘However, at first he acted, behaved, as any normal Martian would.

When he saw her wincing from a back pain as she prepared a hot Mars Bar drink for him, he offered to massage her back.

‘What gal would turn down such an offer from a seemingly gentlemanly Martian? However, my friend wept as she revealed that the massage in the bedroom became Something Else Again.

‘Understandably she was hugely distressed, repulsed, and feared the shame she would be likely to suffer if word spread. The anecdote left me furious.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Coincidence ... Well, well, what a surprise. Here a celeb getting guilt off his chest today. Similarly, there's not likely to be the least commercial aspect to the, er, revelation. The Guardian's similar revelation today.

‘The Little Green Man made the mistake of telling her of his favourite parking place on visits to London.’

Paul cycled there immediately. He was unable to help himself from stalking among the shadows of Clapham Common, the extraterrestrial’s favourite parking spot. ‘Yes, to my shame I carried a weapon.’

The shocking incident happened around 60 years ago, Paul said, but his conscience has never let him forget it. ‘I just didn’t ever think of myself as a bigot who would differentiate between an earthling and an alien.

‘Often while sailing the oceans I have contemplated throwing myself over the side as a sort of compensation for such, well, worldly behaviour.

Treating Martians with respect

‘I have always treated Martians with great respect since. Of course, I quiz them first about where they were 60 years ago, just in case.

‘I admit that had I met the beast who tormented my poor innocent friend, I would have torn off his three heads with my own hands.

Biased, bigoted? Not me. Had my friend said the brute was Irish or a Scot or a Lithuanian, I would - I know I would - have had done the very same thing. It was me trying to show honour, to stand up for my dear friend in this terribly medieval fashion.’

Paul said he wanted to make it clear that his admission has nothing to do with sales of his latest published book, Sailing to Purgatory, available online from, Olympia, or among other distributors, such as Amazon.

Nor, he said, was it meant in any way to persuade publishers to take up his latest manuscript which so far has failed to find a home.

We asked him, of course, what if a keen publisher turned out to be a Martian? 'Ah, well,' he said, 'I'd have to behave without bias. It wouldn’t be easy, though, at least not till the first cheque arrived.'

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

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