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.

Methinks they protest rather too much when they – the media – complain that someone who dominates the headlines is, well, taking advantage of the opposite gender, or trying to.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
All grown up ... Placido Domingo, apologetic. Thanks to Wikipedia for the photo. Concierto de Plácido Domingo con motivo del Año Jubilar Mariano (7-06-2019) Firma: Archimadrid / Ignacio Arregui García
And extraordinarily the papers seem to throw more and more of this, er, news at us.

The latest who has apparently been taking advantage of the opposite gender, or attempting to, is the internationally famous and brilliant opera tenor, Placido Domingo, 78.

Gifted fellow

It’s true that the gifted fellow is no longer quite a male model, but with his talent, it’s hard to imagine he would need to look many years younger.

It is his voice that earns the bucks, and I would have imagined it attracted more relative maidens than a man in his late seventies would know what to do with.

Aren’t most people very aware of the desire of so many young women to, well, at least cuddle the top singers of the world, whether they be 18, or in Placedo’s case, 78.

Nothing new about the news of pop stars being besieged by friendly gals.

Placido is head and shoulders above a pop star, if not in stature certainly in voice. Here is a fellow who is a household name right across the world, whose extraordinarily beautiful voice is heard in recordings – and in opera – in east and western hemispheres.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Growing up ... Seventeen-year-old Plácido Domingo performing the tenor role of Rafael the bullfighter in Penella's El gato montés with Rosa Maria Montes in a production of the Domingo-Embil Zarzuela Company in Mexico City, 1958. Photo thanks to Wikipedia: File:Placido Domingo as tenor Rafael in El Gato Montes, 1958, Mexico City.jpg
As the talented gentleman is so famous and constantly surrounded by the opposite gender, it is very hard to imagine why he would – how he could be said to – grope strangers.

And yet, much of the media, and the Daily Mail, today says he faces multiple sexual harassment claims, including one where he 'grabbed a woman's bare breast'.

In a way grabbing something not seen on exactly every street corner rather points to the likely, er, veracity of the news.

Standing ovations

I suppose, though, that when you have earned fortunes - and keep earning - from your talent and had theatre after theatre awarding you with standing ovations, it must be very difficult to be guided by popular rules.

It’s worth noting, too, that the fashion of many women, young and not-so-young, is so blatantly sexual, it is not likely to go unnoticed by a very masculine man who has known little but the adoration of the opposite gender since, well, probably for all of his life.

Surprise, surprise, this appears in Wikipedia:

‘Accusations of sexual harassment: In August 2019, Domingo was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment. Eight singers and a dancer said that Domingo sexually harassed them in incidents that spanned three decades from the late 1980s.’

An open secret

It was reported, notes Wikipedia, that Domingo's sexual advances towards younger women were an open secret in the opera world.

The website said Domingo offered this statement, ‘The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as 30 years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate.’

He said, ’I recognise that the rules and standards by which we are—and should be—measured against today are very different than they were in the past.

'I am blessed and privileged to have had a more than 50-year career in opera and will hold myself to the highest standards.'

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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