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.

Remember how it was when you pontificated back in school days, back when you were 16? Remember the reaction? Mocking could be an understatement, in spite of your sincerity. As if any of us could forget a difficult time like that in life.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Wake up world ... Greta at 16 has the world listening to her warning. By Anders Hellberg - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Remember how the teachers took note of your every word, ho ho, how they never mocked you, as if, how you aired things that seemed oh so wise at the time.

I confess that those embarrassing times have been in my mind since I heard of some young Swedish gal who has been ‘impressing politicians’ and the media.

The international reputation of Swedish gals usually has had more to do with their physicality rather than figures of speech. (Of course, Abba’s sweeties are spared from this generalisation.)

Media hype?

The first I heard of Greta Thunberg was the hype in the media – or what seemed hype – of a fifteen-year-old who decided to go on strike every Friday.

She would leave school and go to protest outside the Swedish parliament about climate change.

A fifteen-year-old schoolgirl deciding that for herself. Come on, I thought.

Oh, sure. Tell it to the judge.

And when you look at the details of this spokesperson, this new leading spokesperson on climate change, you learn that she suffers from Asperger’s, too. I doubt that I was the only person who has travelled in Sweden or with 15-year-old relations, who smiled condescendingly at the stories.

However, why is she in the news? It can’t be through some shortage of happenings, not with the never-ending brexit saga and now the Colombo terrorist horror.

A strange magic

I found a short video online and put impatience to a side for a moment. Yes, little doubt about the Aspberger’s but more to the point little doubt that the girl does have a strange magic and an air of sincerity.

The site with the video has this introduction:

Sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg explains why in August 2018 she walked out of school and organised a strike to raise awareness of global warming, protesting outside the Swedish parliament and grabbing the world's attention.

‘The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions," she says. "All we have to do is to wake up and change.’

See the video and I suspect you’ll agree that here’s a rising star without a doubt, and extraordinarily not selling something extravagant but with a call to action that could well be for the good of us all.

Thanks very much for visiting the Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, which are introduced each time on Facebook Facebook dot com/Sailingtopurgatory

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