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.

Thinking of popping out to topple a statue? Here’s one crying out to be smashed, one that should never have been built, not unless society back then revered wife slaughterers.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Slob and lecher ... This is the portrait of lechery building in Melanie's articles about a royal disgrace. Topple his statue, good idea, and change the title of the town named his in 'honour'.
I refer to that fat slob, Henry the eighth, whose ghost around my local city, Kingston, used to appeal, until this week.

That's when History, how stuff works, reminded me rudely of what memory had let slip.

The article about Henry VIII by Melanie Radzicki McManus prompted memory of that fat fool and lecher, a murderer of, as they say, the first degree. He attempted to disguise lust by his claim that he needed a son, even though it’s the male that decides the gender.

First sight

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Divorced ... Melanie's article shows a crooked king's alternative to divorce.
Melanie writes, ‘… Henry VIII was in the midst of his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon when he first caught sight of Anne Boleyn.’

Anne was Catherine’s maid-of-honour and actually lived in Henry's court. Love — or something possibly somewhat similar — was aroused immediately.

Melanie writes, ‘Henry already had had several mistresses (including Anne's sister Mary) in his quest to have the son and heir that Catherine had been unable to give him.

‘He was infatuated with Anne and wished to bed her too.’

At last the rat proposed

Melanie reports that Anne’s price was to become queen. She turned him down for six years, when – at last - the rat proposed.

The painting of the initial meeting, suggests that the good lady must have been well inebriated or suffering a form of sudden blindness.

In the portrait, not only is the wooer ugly and grossly overweight, but a stench seems to surround him, and it’s not likely to be aftershave.

However, look at that portrait and try to imagine letting someone like that into your bed.

History’s record of the king only gets worse. When the new wife couldn’t produce a son, that gross shape used royal influence to bed other women, including some employed by Anne.

When the royal tub became infatuated by Jane Seymour, he arranged an ending more certain than divorce.

Anne was charged with adultery, incest and conspiracy.

Found guilty and beheaded

It seems English justice was about as pathetic back then as in my case and she was found guilty and beheaded, then buried in an unmarked grave.

The ‘lovers’ accused of intimacy with Anne were also beheaded and a few days later the unconscionable slob married Jane Seymour, the third of his eventual six wives.

The only statue of the royal rotter is over at Smithfield, fronting St Barts Hospital, which would be quite a stretch for a statue-toppling mob.

Still there’s an easier way to obscure the rotter’s memory. Rename Kingston as AnnesTown, or more simply Queenstown.

Thanks very much for visiting the mostly Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure writing. The blogs (as they call 'em) are introduced each time on Facebook Facebook dot com/Sailingtopurgatory,

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The blogs for Sailing to Purgatory are introduced on Facebook.

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