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.

You might expect our species to be delighted that we’re the one critter queuing for Noah’s Ark that wasn’t wearing a uniform.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Nothing to attract attention ... Hardly any need to state it, but the subject here lacks clothes so we, er, um, look away, disinterested. Thanks to Dalila Dalprat and model and Pexels for the view.
No stripes like a tiger, blessedly no quills porcupine-style, and no fox-like fur – so no mange.

Lucky us, we don whatever we want to wear, more or less, with a marked difference in our dress between the genders.

Shades of blue

We dress in the colours we prefer, too, in khaki, yellow, purple, even shades of blue.

How grateful humans must feel to look as individualistic as we must feel.

Only, surprise, surprise, we aren’t and we don’t.

Ask a lion or an elephant or a goat if they’d like a change of outfit, and the hoofs and paws would be raised pretty quickly. Not humans. Look around a busy high street – when the government isn’t flexing muscles over bugs it can’t quite comprehend.

Why are we all so similarly dressed?

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Suit yourself ... No wonder this man gets all the attention, smartly dressed with attire to tell much about him. Thanks to Kaza Mizan and model and Unsplash for the portrait.

Baseball hats flash by worn this way and that, and tight gym trousers, and down at ground level, sports slip-ons we used to call gym shoes.

Everyone seems happy in their uniforms, and yet in our teens, who begged parents for permission to wear a school uniform on holidays?

I asked Uncle Google, the font of all knowledge, about our quirkiness. It pointed to Wonderopolis.


‘Certain jobs require uniforms. Police personnel and firefighters wear special uniforms that help identify them with their profession.

‘Would you feel more comfortable if a doctor was wearing a white coat or shorts and sandals?’

An interesting point only I’m referring to our free time when we probably don’t want our clothes to reflect our monthly cheque or pay packet.

Psychology is important, says the Human Factor site, because we are inherently tribal. We all want to feel like we belong, it says, to be part of a group.

Uniforms have a huge contributory role to play in this, ‘allowing sports stars to be part of their group, their team, and be emboldened by their role in something bigger than themselves.’

The website, Sellers Commerce Blog, believes uniform styles create a sense of equality. When everyone in the business or school wears the same thing, employees and students have equal footing.

Unifies the group

‘No one can stand out due to better or more expensive clothing. This increases self-confidence and unifies the group.

'Uniforms create a sense of belonging. Everyone wearing one feels at home, and that improves team building and overall satisfaction.’ It seems that the easy answer is to talk of what we wear to work.

But I’m wondering why our lookalike attire is, well, lookalike and this is when we’re relaxed and we’re spending money, certainly not earning it.

No easy answers then, it seems. I’d better slip on my thinking jacket and give it some more thought.

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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