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.

How very strange that modern day mature girls – and those not so mature – get upset over age-old sexual attraction and moan so often to the media.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Eyes right ... Dishy, but like a delicatessen's display, Look don't touch. Photo by Aljoscha Laschgari on Unsplash
He touched me, he tried to kiss me, he said something naughty, something inappropriate, are some of the protests of these near-matrons.

The word inappropriate is made to sound as if the brute she’s attracted, wittingly or not, came closer to engaging in upright rape than an entry itself.

A tribute to shape

Not so long ago, the attention that now seems to carry the label inappropriate behaviour was usually considered as confirmation that the recipient appeals as interestingly, attractively, female.

And as a mature bod, to put it as gently, how often in decades gone by I must have been guilty of what, er, near-moderns term inappropriate.

I don't recall a mother or gran of these modern-day semi-maidens complaining, or seeing it other than flattery, and a tribute to their shapes, or costumes, or make-up, or all of each - their femininity.

A big difference

However, an outstanding difference in the appearance of modern-day misses and their mums, or grandmums, has to be observed.

The desirable ladies back then had their modern dress sense as a sign of their wish to be seen as attractive women. Back in the ancient days that I refer to, a skirt hid all. Trousers could be tight, but not deliberately as today putting gender beyond doubt.

Back in those distant days, a fellow curious of what he might be, well, letting himself in for, could only guess.

Not today, and you won’t need me to tell you because in the high street, in cafes, in the library, it stares us in the face, whether of a maiden that appeals or otherwise.

If you can endure more of the observations of the opposite gender, comparing now with back then, I’d like to make an observation or two about flirting - innocent and maybe not - next time.

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

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