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.

A video sent via WhatsApp shows a dog licking a baby, and winning amused approval from the mother.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Baby talk ... Who needs a nanny when there's a careful dog about?
The video came from a medic friend, but not sent in a mood of concern about hygiene, and shock-horror whatever next, but because of a wonderful affinity it shows between mankind’s best friend and the newest humans.

If we don’t dwell on the risks, the meat-tearing teeth, the canine tongue, nor where the tongue might recently have visited, the video is cute, sweet, even endearing.

But it also revealed that I must be getting long in the tooth.

What's the dog thinking?

It brought a reminder that lessons from childhood are seldom forgotten.

As we know from life and see constantly as a weapon of religion, give a dog a bad name

We can guess what a mother looking on might fear, but how interesting to know what passes through a dog's mind at such playful moments.

And that's particularly so in Britain because so many share human lives, where they are often treated more like humans than many humans. But also, lest we forget, a few do savage our species.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Puppy love ... Who needs to buy toys in a household with affectionate puppies?
In my childhood, after the family migrated to New Zealand, we learned that man’s best friend carried a disease called hydatids, apparently worse than fatal for humans.

Down Under, campaigns discouraged people from even touching a dog.

Grossly unfair for most

It must have been grossly unfair for the majority of canines which in that part of the world lived a dogs’ life. From what I saw on farms in those days, working dogs really were treated worse than appallingly.

Even so, dogs trained in shepherding and herding responded to work with enviable diligence. And yet their reward – their treatment - was ghastly.

Although only a very few dogs were allowed into a house, only a lucky handful would have known the luxury of a kennel, even during severe winters.

I couldn’t count the number of times I saw dogs beaten, thrashed, whipped, to - as the expression goes - within an inch of their lives. To live a dogs’ life certainly had a negative interpretation in those days.

Happily, the disease has been controlled and the cruelty seems to have vanished.

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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