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.

It’s wonderful news that three men jailed nearly 50 years ago on false evidence have had their convictions quashed. I mean that it’s great news and very encouraging for more than just the three people from the group known as the Oval Four.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
A taste of Justice ... The BBC News report of the justice that the Oval Four are tasting after 47 years. And many thanks to the BBC for the report and image.
It is a real boost for hope for me and certainly others let down by the questionable decisions of our jury system.

The three men in the news today, Winston Trew, Sterling Christie, George Griffiths and another man were accused of stealing handbags in 1972, and served four months.

I was sailing my yacht towards England singlehandedly in 1999 but had to turn back in the Bay of Biscay when still 1,100 hundred miles from Britain.

I turned south

My mainsail tore which meant I couldn’t keep sailing towards the English Channel. I turned south and had the sail repaired in the Canary Islands.

I sailed down to the Roaring Forties and the Southern Ocean and to the Cape.

I visited Britain in the summer to look after my nine-year-old daughter, at the request of her mother, during the school holidays.

On the first of September, with daughter and fiancée, I visited friends in Hampshire and was ambushed, and arrested, and taken into immediate custody.

I was tried with an alleged drugs gang in a hearing held in camera and which went on for two years and became England’s longest criminal trial.

Searched most aggressively

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Sadly missed yacht ... eM, the yacht I was sailing towards England when the mainsail tore in the Bay of Biscay. The state snatched the yacht, life-savings, my home, and almost everything I possessed.
The prosecution alleged that I supplied the gang from my singlehanded voyage which the prosecution accepted came no closer than Biscay.

They accepted, too, that the yacht the yacht had been searched most aggressively twice before crossing the Atlantic.

The jury said guilty and I was sentenced to 19 years. The sentence was reduced after a few years and I served eight years and a little over two weeks.

A lawyer for the one of the Oval men told the media, ‘It is a travesty that these men have waited 47 years for exoneration for crimes that they did not commit.’

I’ve been trying to find justice for 20 years. I'd need a considerable miracle to last a further 27 years.

However, I do have Mr Ed Davey, deputy-leader of the LibDems seemingly determined to help. Here’s hoping that before very much longer I will experience justice, too.

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,

Links:
BBC News report of the justice that the Oval Fours

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