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.

One of the most unpleasant and perhaps most common human experiences must be when a best friend grows tired of the role and for some unexplained reason, gives up on you.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Google goes upmarket ... and ignores the equipment it considers unfashionable. Photo by Alessandro De Bellis on Unsplash
Not many years after my passion for the web began, a very odd new face appeared. Friends would ask, 'Tried Google yet?'

Google? The named seemed childish, but that first reaction might be because my infant daughter's number one teddy bear had a very similar name.

People talked about the Google search engine more and more, and before long I tried it and was impressed.

Very odd handle

We used a whole assortment of search engines back in the early days, search engines with often the strangest sounding names.

Perhaps Google took on its very odd handle because of other oddly-named search engines.

As I became more engrossed in the amazing new artform, the web, the more grew my respect and affection for Google.

Regulars here may well have noted that I often refer to Google without identifying it further. It became a best friend and one which has got wiser and wiser through the years.

It's been possible to imagine that life might be next to impossible, far too complicated, without the now famous search engine.

It's been a best friend you could rely on - utterly dependable.

The suddenly this week, those of us who struggle financially - me through blatant injustice - are picked on by the now unbelievably wealthy giant, one of the four big technology world-leaders.

Now, suddenly, my vintage Windows phone is not worthy of Google's email system, it seems.

Oh, well, I shrugged...

From yesterday, I can't see and work my email address on the phone. Oh, well, I shrugged on the train and pulled from the backpack my excellent mini iPad version 2.

I'll have to adopt that experience we probably all know from playground days - stifle similar disappointment, and step reluctantly away from a changed gem, former-gem, and towards a less petulant, less US administration-controlled new mate.
I acquired it as a duty-free bargain many years ago. Google coughed a snook at that. No, mail here any more.

How long then before that incredibly wealthy fat cat discovers the modest PC set-up, where I write and do my web work? For now, it's the only place where I can access the mail service I have had since, well, about 2005?

When a best friend turns against you, it leaves you feeling really bad. Fortunately, as adults we know other great people are out there just an introduction away.

Apple's icloud dot com email system seems good and Windows live-dot-com appears very efficient.

I'll have to adopt that experience we probably all know from playground days - stifle similar disappointment, and step reluctantly away from a changed gem, former-gem, and towards a less petulant, less US administration-controlled new mate.

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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