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.

Some surprising good health news this week from an equally surprising quarter, Russia. I looked at the news again. Russia?

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
A different side to Moscow ... The wicked old city has been cleaning up its acts. Photo by Nikita Karimov on Unsplash, and many thanks to Nikita and Unsplash.
It was good to imagine for a moment that the Russians might be following the West even if a good few years after we began cutting back on smoking and drinking.

Yet who would expect to hear that the he-men Russia were actually drinking less?

The surprising news is not that the amount consumed is down by five or ten percent.

Almost half

It’s down by 43%, which if my maths is not too far out, is almost half.

Russian he-men are boozing only half as much as they used to? Tell it to the ….

Even here, where smoking has lost its cool and become very down market, there’s nothing to discourage householders from puffing away on their balconies, if the weather agrees and they happen to have a balcony.

Diners are banned from smoking in eateries over there, too. Can you imagine a Russian restaurant where half of them aren’t smoking?

It left me wondering about that mysterious society who apparently send alleged tourists to the city of my birth to poison defecting spies.

The formerly insignificant trading outpost of Moscow began to flourish and became a relatively safe place to live.

Perfectly on time

Then perfectly on time, the excellent Delancey Place email today brought some Russian history into our lives.

Moscow, it revealed, stopped being an insignificant dorp thanks to a spot of old fashioned capitalism.

Some nasties called Mongols expected tributes from the little township. Mongols weren’t the sort of louts who would accept an old fashioned cold shoulder.

Realising it, local aristocrats collected the funds the Mongols demanded and handed them over.

Little pleases a capitalist as much as having their palms crossed with dosh, and – surprise surprise, reports A Short History of The World by Christopher Lascelles, which Delancey Place was featuring today – the Mongols warmed to the 14th Century settlement.

When money changes hands

The formerly insignificant trading outpost of Moscow began to flourish and became a relatively safe place to live.

It does seem that when money changes hands, religion may not be far behind, and the Russian Orthodox Church transferred there from the ancient town of Vladimir.

Did capitalism make Moscow the spiritual capital of Russia? But until this morning’s Delancey email, who would have imagined Moscow as any sort of religious centre?

Of course, until this week’s news, who might have imagined a new state of relative teetotalism and widespread snuffing of smoking over there either?

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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