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.

Conservation talk these days seems to centre on how we are ruining the sea with our rubbish. Plastics get the lion's share of the blame, though we flush lots else that we don't want into the briny.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
No thanks ... Vast strips of, er, what we don't want are returned by the South Atlantic and lay in long dark brown stretches along the beach at famous Sea Point.
America's NOAA National Ocean Service warns us that plastic can stick around indefinitely, wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems.

Problem

Some plastics float once they enter the ocean, though not all do.

The problem, as I interpret it, is that oceans can't help themselves, can't get rid of the plastics, nor the billions of bucketloads of, er, discharge from the 7.52 billion of our species.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
The rich haf ways ... The surf tries its damndest to deposit what-have-you in Bantry Bay. But it's a millionaire's hideout and the rich haf vays. The, er, flotsam is cold-shouldered towards the commoners' beaches.
Thankfully, humans have woken up to the environmental danger.

Our species is doing something about it.

Well, they are talking about it and talking about doing something about it.

Of course, some organisations are involved in the ocean clean up right now, as an encouraging article here shows.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Beach combing loses appeal ... Huge, deep stretches of what the ocean would rather not have are cast, hundreds of tons of the stuff, well above the high water line.
However, what a surprise, what a delight, to see the South Atlantic itself doing something about it.

Coastal gale

A coastal gale off Cape Town overnight churned up that mighty ocean, and its conscience, and in that mood, the ocean told its largest adjoining city, 'Take your droppings back, chums.'

And unlike some of us, the ocean did actually roll up its sleeves and, helped by a huge surf from the gale, simply threw back onto the upmarket, touristy beaches tons and tons of human waste.

Probably only hours earlier much of it had slid down long pipes into the sea, to slither over the brief continental shelf and - yuk!- plop down into the deep.

But Mother Nature has intervened. I hope evidence of the ocean's hard work recorded by my ancient Windows phone shows how effectively this return to sender has worked.

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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