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.

Examples of racism in football and in any aspect of life are not to be belittled ... only the apparently racist remarks in the football match that's spotlit in media today were against big blokes, superfit, males well able to protect themselves, and (presumably) astonishingly well rewarded.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Alike or disliked ... Children can be tougher on strangers than many football fans. Photo by Adrià Crehuet Cano on Unsplash, and many thanks to both
A curious aspect to the, well, jeers is that they were fired at people at (presumably) the height of their careers.

Which isn't to suggest they would have been strangers to it in their earlier lives.

Society doesn't let people who look somewhat different from the majority pass by uncommented-upon.

Our taste buds

It's part of our DNA, as human as our taste buds, and our individual choice of the opposite gender.

And it is very much a part of our inborn, natural xenophobia, the very reason why we have local accents and maintain a sort of uniformity with our clothes, I'd suggest.

It's what helped keep our forebears relatively safe. What's this? Someone defending racism? Not at all. It's a thought from a fellow who really suffered it in his childhood, and so understands.

Why would a white child with an educated accent suffer from a form of racism?

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
En route to trouble ... Three little lads off to find that some wars never end.
1, because that's our human way, and 2 because I was in a strange neighbourhood.

Time to the rescue

My family, struggling as so many were after the second world war, upped sticks and took we children off to the other side of the world, New Zealand.

We settled in the bush, well and truly, in the King Country, and at the new primary school gangs of - presumably - kiwis set about making life really, really unpleasant for 'poms', as English newcomers were called.

Life was a nightmare for we kids for months and in that way the football stars are far better off.

Time came to our rescue and we quickly dropped, hid, disguised, our 'twang' as the enemy brats termed it.

And when you learned to speak as badly and with the same restricted lingo as the locals, you were safe.

Well, safe until you reached home and aired the adopted lingua franca before your parents. In a way, pom kids learned quickly to became rather bilingual.

The big difference between that playground punishment and today's football crowd chanting is that if you are born black, or white, or khaki, there's not much chance of changing it.

However, for the football stars, it comes with a plus or two. It helps new fans to identify the heros, and as we non-footie fans are learning at the moment, it certainly gets you into the mainstream media, and whether you did well on the field or not.

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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