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 oddest trials involving Tricky Dicky’s drugs laws that I’ve read about in recent times – very recent, in fact, this month - comes from upmarket, educated Cambridge of all unlikely places.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
The 'crime' scene ... Beautiful, highly intelligent Cambridge where one might assume that local authority isn't quite as bright as the city's rightful reputation. Thanks to Hope's thoroughly recommended Pass the cookies website for the gorgeous scene.
As regular readers will know, I don’t favour the notion that our elected elders and betters know more about what’s good for us that we do.

I don’t do drugs, as the expression goes.

No appeal

I don’t take or smoke that sort of thing because they/it have/has no appeal.

The decision has nothing to do with whether some politician of little life experience makes it illegal. I believe that's how it is with most adults.

And I don’t not do it because a corrupt prosecution sentenced me to 19 years in prison for smuggling drugs on my swallowing-the-anchor voyage that came no closer to Britain than part-way up the Bay of Biscay.

I am sure the prosecution realised I couldn’t possibly have done it, but still pursued their dirty work. The drugs laws make prosecutions easy.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Another Nixon victim ... Journalist Raymond Brown, perhaps the latest fall guy for longdead Nixon's patronising law.
The not-so-bright jury swallowed the nonsense and I was sentenced to nineteen years, two or three more years than the Lockerbie airline bomber was serving.

That madman killed 243 passengers and 16 crew in the destruction of Pam Am Flight 103 over Scotland.

A number of stories

I’m putting this story together from a number of articles and a blog published about journalist Raymond Brown, described as a former Cambridge News crime reporter, who lost his job because he he had some cocaine in his holiday clothes or at his home, depending on which story one goes by.

It seems this man without a previous record was about to leave with his girlfriend for a break in Malta.

He had been married to a local doctor. She died of a particularly appalling form of cancer about three years ago.

Her story is beyond tragic and husband Raymond witnessed daily the effect of the illness on her which sounds even worse than that suffered by almost all cancer victims.

This is very important because as he and the woman friend were to leave, he received medical news confirming that he had cancer. too.

The stories aren't clear on this point, but it seems a noisy argument followed, in the house or on the way to the flight.

Our unesteemed PM

As with our own unesteemed PM’s recent domestic dispute, the police were summoned.

They searched Raymond’s home and found 0.83 grams of cocaine. One story says the drugs were in his holiday clothes, another that it was in the home.

Hard to believe, hard to credit, but the police overlooked any extenuating circumstances and charged him.

Seemingly he was going to deny the charge, but decided on the much cheaper alternative of admitting it. He appeared before magistrates this month.

Hearing the circumstances, the magistrates might have done the civilised thing and dismissed the nonsense. 0.83 grams after all!

However, this is right-wing England. They didn’t.

The man who witnessed the demise of his doctor wife through the illness that he now has, this father of two little boys, was fined £1,211 for possessing cocaine, must also pay a £121 victim surcharge, plus court costs to the sum of £400.

One Wikipedia article about that dishonest US president states clearly that Nixon introduced the drugs laws to tame part of the black population giving the administration trouble.

Wouldn't it be really interesting to know what has made those laws so politically appealing that they have been adopted by politicians in so many parts of the world.

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

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The blogs for Sailing to Purgatory are introduced on Facebook and Blogger.

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