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.

What can anyone say about the new political dilemma developing in Turkey without wondering if the fat lad over the pond hasn’t actually lost it?

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Turkish delight ... Keep Photo by Fatih Yürür on Unsplash, with many thanks to both.
Turkey is a virtual neighbour, almost a part of the EU, and a favourite holiday destination of the UK’s.

While wondering about the humanity if not the sanity of the world’s most powerful clown, er man, we might well dwell on the much-aired political slogan of ‘our’ special relationship.

Inhuman decision

To let, if not exactly encourage, a neighbour of ours to virtually sacrifice another is one horror.

But to hear the ‘leader’ declare that he couldn’t care less about the huge loss of life, just as long as his own voters weren’t put at risk, shows something utterly negative in western politics that's rather new to most of us.

Then to read that the world’s most powerful, well, goat announced the inhuman decision via, of all things, social media, has to make people who care wonder about our brave new world.

The ugly news transported me back to my first view of that magical land.

I was an inquisitive young hitch-hiker learning about, discovering the world.

Quite an eye-opener

After India and Pakistan, Afghanistan was certainly quite an eye-opener, then followed mysterious Iran, and over the border into and across Turkey.

Fellow travellers mostly from Australia warned me about their old first world war adversary. Be very, very careful.

There were bands, people with placards, uniforms a plenty, and certainly no shortage of firearms carried by soldiers strutting to the very unusual almost three-four beat of Turkish marching music. The sound, even so, did have a vaguely Western accent, and then a few banners in approximate English appeared.
Of course, that had me continually watching one’s back, as well as we can. And yet in spite of caution and suspicion, that very strange, enchanting country just about won me over.

Beware pickpockets and men with daggers seemed to be the more popular warnings. And definitely to avoid big state demonstrations.

I was keen to try a genuine Turkish bath.

Bathe in the Turkish style

After checking in at an economic hostel, I crossed Istanbul with a friend to bathe in the Turkish style, very wary not to have anything valuable in the clothes to be removed for the hot plunge.

It was wonderful, and when the pleasure ended, I went to pay … and found I’d been too careful with security. I hadn’t brought any money of any denomination.

Instead of being slashed or taken back into the steam for unwelcome abuse, the cashier said in broken English, 'Oh, bring it in when you can.’

Should I leave my passport as surety, ‘Not necessary,’ he said.

Strolling wide-eyed through the main part of Istanbul, I found myself engulfed in a vast crowd.

There were bands, people with placards, uniforms a plenty, and certainly no shortage of firearms carried by soldiers strutting to the very unusual almost three-four beat of Turkish marching music.

The sound, even so, did have a vaguely Western accent, and then a few banners in approximate English appeared.

The rally, the parade, the show, was a massive exhibition of support for the US, their friends, a great big public display of Turkish admiration for all things American – and doubtlessly mostly political.

Perhaps today's visitors will see rather different public declarations ...

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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