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.

So what if the term superstition might be used for those good signs we see in life? Especially today, I feel I need to see unexpected nods by Fate as real and really encouraging.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
A good man ... Sir Ed Davey showed a real determination to get answers. It felt like a very good, very positive, sign. Thanks to Wikipedia. By https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Russell,_7th_Earl_Russell - Provided by photographer, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
Take today as the perfect example.

Regular readers here will know, probably to their back teeth, how keen I am to clear my name after the truly devious trial, held in camera, that followed my arrest in an ambush.

Old mantra

That awful, deeply disturbing scene at a friend’s home in Hampshire proved to me, in the cruellest way, that the old mantra one learned as a child, that English justice is the envy of the world, has to be the grossest of exaggerations.

Bureaucrats in the former Customs Department had a clutch of people in jail that they claimed were members of a drugs gang.

Showing a complete ignorance of the sea, the bureaucrats decided the gang was being supplied by yachts, and yachts sailed by ‘Sunday sailors’ who navigated from the Caribbean with cargoes street-valued in the millions.

The prosecution showed it knew nothing of the weather and the sort of seas that lie between the Caribbean and South Coast ports but, as luck would have it, the jury knew even less.

Where do you find in UK an organisation that looks into gross faults by the legal system? We don’t seem to have one.
Rather than dwell on two-years of that secret trial, let me just say that the jury found me guilty without any evidence, which seemingly obliged the judge to sentence me to 19 years, two years longer than the Lockerbie bomber was serving.

Most horrible deaths

This is the villain responsible for the most horrible deaths of about 250 airline passengers.

Where do you find in UK an organisation that looks into gross faults by the jury system? We don’t seem to have one.

A friend suggested trying politics.

I remembered a good man who had helped some language students of mine. I contacted his party, and won an interview today.

It was encouraging, and not so rushed, and lasted at least half an hour with none other than LibDem’s deputy-leader, Sir Ed Davey.

Copious notes

He took my concern seriously, made copious notes in spite of my printed statements and documents, and looked like he meant to get answers.

It was really encouraging.

And of superstition? Sir Ed was hearing my story at just about the very moment the sun slipped across the Equator for autumn Equinox.

For a man who singlehandedly circumnavigated the world thanks to a sextant and the sun, what a perfect sign. It had to be, must be, the best of good signs.

Then as I looked up as I left the party’s offices in Surbiton, I saw the moon standing at its highest point, its meridian. Amazing!

With both needs for navigation signalling so strongly, I have to be assured that our local MP will succeed.

True, my bike was locked to a railing beside the neighbouring shop, a funeral parlour. But surely any possible hint from that direction can be safely ignored. I think, I hope.

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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