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 better way to enjoy friendship than to share a meal with the nearest and dearest, and those rather a little distant or removed from the heart’s glow?

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Bon appetit ... But when the bill arrives, does the maths of tipping trouble you? I've found a winning how-to tip for tipping. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Circumstances as of late rather exclude me from the pleasure, but I remember many outings of that nature well.

I confess I don't remember why it feels good to be eating in company, but memory says that it was - I most post-childhood.

And thinking about enforced table manners from junior years leaves me wondering about other creatures in the kingdom of animals.

Eating in company

No, I think it must be the reserve of humans. Cats and dogs often display anything but pleasure to be sharing.

Critters like dairy cows and horses do eat in company, but never seem to exactly signal that they are pleased to. Eating in company, out on the town, brings a distinctly human dilemma.

What to leave to show appreciation for the staff who cooked and served.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Amazin' ... When the Amazon man delivers, has he earned a tip? Thanks to Amazon and Google for the image
Yet it is worth asking why restaurant diners feel they should leave anything. The staff are paid, aren’t they.

If you buy fish and chips, a pizza, or any other takeaway, you’re not expected to - nor would - offer a percentage of the total to the people you hope are not passing on a certain dose of food poisoning.

Who to tip?

In the question of who to tip and not to is a whole new area involving the people who bring to your door stuff bought through the web.

Should we tip the fellow laden with the groceries we bought online, the goodies from eBay, or a container of Chinese nosh, and very much the bloke with an Amazon delivery contract, even though we might have spent just a pound or two on what seemed absolute bargains?

Perhaps the answer – hopefully the answer – lies with the postman. Would anyone feel guilty for not pressing a pound or two into the hands of the post lady? Then why should any other deliverers deserve tips?

What tipped my thoughts in the direction of gratuities was an interesting article in Thought co dot com about how to calculate tips ‘without pen and paper or a calculator’.

Perhaps through recent inexperience, I believed that the usual tip in eateries was ten percent. The article, though, sees the normal as 15%.

Thoughtco’s advice is: ‘To calculate a 15% tip in your head, move the decimal point of the total over one space for 10%, then add half of that amount to it. So, for a bill of $25.49, you'd get $2.54 + $1.26 or about $3.75.'

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

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