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.

My long-in-the-tooth teeth must have been showing this week when I picked on the she-protests-too-much protests of modern dressers who seemingly oppose love's - or lust's - guessing games.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Will she, won't she? ... Back in the far-off past, an invitation out for a drink often seemed sufficient. Photo by Kal Visuals on Unsplash
It might be normal for a fellow to wonder about what he’s letting himself in for when he accepts an invitation, spelt out or not, to a lady’s chamber.

Comparing yesteryear with today, that meant a great deal of guessing.

Now little curiosity of that sort is required for it seems to be fashionable to show everything, and I do mean everything, albeit beyond a light coating of slim fabric.

Shock, horror

And it’s this that has me staring at the radio each time I hear of modern misses protesting that - shock horror - some passing gallant, albeit a highly influential fellow, has dared to assume she is available.

It seems odd, too, in this modern social journalism that the accounts often sound as if the assumption was downright outrageous and anti-female even though the guilty party was someone in a powerful position who could change the innocent's life for the better, and very much so.

There seems an almost palpable shock that the powerful, influential fellow would dream of taking advantage.

A star-struck gal

The perfect example of this is some movie mogul prepared to help a star-struck gal become a sort of modern Marilyn Munroe.

And, really, what wouldn’t a human of whatever gender give to be a world star, and to have more than enough money, to be idolised?

Perhaps the ladies who objected to the bedroom antics that might have accompanied the attempt for stardom belong to those who didn’t succeed.

I hasten to confirm that this is a personal opinion, and please don't imagine for a moment that if some beautiful publisher-ette offered me a reading audience the size of Danielle Steele's, or Shakespeare's, me in very tight jeans perhaps (or perhaps not) that I would give up some, er, strong moral sense to make the dream come true.

The low-down on flirting

I'm supposed to be letting readers here into the low-down on flirting from way back in my youth. I don’t drink now – I’m in the nineteenth year of a sort of Mayor of Casterbridge mode presently – but back then, an invitation to a pub was about all that was required.

Seemingly and surprisingly, although the costumery might well be beyond basic, a certain coyness is part of the modern approach.
A 'yes' to the invite usually could be counted on for yes to anything/everything else, too. A glass of red wine or two might help the wondering about the delights possible, or not.

That was important because back then we didn’t get a sneak preview of a gal’s charms. Of course, back then, no-one else got the sneak preview either.

That’s opposed to today’s bright young thing, or more mature variations. You, the aspiring, er, host can see what awaits - and so can everyone else in the bar, restaurant, Costa.

Here’s an interesting article published by the excellent Thought Co dot com this week about today’s flirting methods.

And although the article certainly doesn’t say it, modern-day flirting approaches outlined here are pretty tame compared to the little pecks, gentle hugs, and what would almost definitely follow back in yesteryear.

Before seeing that article, I would have expected that a ‘let's go’ assumption would be just about enough these days. Seemingly and surprisingly, although the costumery might well be beyond basic, a certain coyness is part of the modern approach. It does leave me wondering what formalities surfaced when Adam met Eve.

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

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