What a price Gerry Adamson has had to pay for her friendship with this singlehanded Cape Horner. As she went into hospital this week, I wrote about her enormous help for the project to sail around the world in a home-made schooner, Spirit of Pentax.
|After the hard work ... Gerry can put away her work clothes and attend Spirit of Pentax's farewell party.|
Their help was enormous and showed an extraordinarily generous nature.
The voyage happened, the yacht’s sailor survived, and soon the book of the voyage, Loner (Hodder and Stoughton), was written.
The adventure and the oceans won me over.
I abandoned life as a Fleet Street journalist, studied at Nautical College, and became a DoT commercial yachtmaster.
|Late news: On the day of the operation, Gerry learned that because of the Coronavirus outbreak, all major ops were postponed. She was discharged and sent home.|
It transpired that the then department had an alleged drugs gang imprisoned awaiting trial.
They needed a yachtsman because their case was that ‘Sunday sailors’ supplied the gang with Caribbean drugs.
|Sea trials ... Remarkably close to departure date, Spirit of Pentax begins her trials with some helpers.|
No amateur sailors would survive passages like that.
The mainsail tore
Unfortunately for me, they learned that I was sailing towards the Channel. However, sadly for them, my mainsail tore and I had to turn away in the Bay of Biscay, 1,500 miles from our South Coast.
I flew to Britain many months later, and called on the Adamsons as I always did between voyages. Unbeknown to me, those sad ‘investigators’ were bugging my phone.
Hardly had I said hello to Gerry at the front door than the ‘investigators’ ambushed. I was rushed off to London and didn’t emerge again for eight years and two weeks.
Which was the outcome of an in-camera trial of the ‘gang’ and yours truly by an utterly baffled jury. The state then claimed my home and life savings.
My gift was trouble
The local MP is still trying to get some justice, but my gift to the Adamsons for their wonderful, extraordinary help and enormous support and friendship over the years has been Trouble.
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,