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.

This sort of thing doesn't happen often, but there's an update for the biblical tale of naughty old – though young at the time, of course – Eve and Adam with the revelation that she was feeding him - yes - poison.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Apple of her eye ... Adam is tempted by the divine Eve with an apple. However, we learn that there's rather more in the humble apple than meets the eye. Many thanks to Wikipedia for the image by Peter Paul Rubens - www.geheugenvannederland.nl : Home : Info : Pic, Public Domain, Wikimedia.
Well, in her defence I think we could insist that she didn't know the apple was loaded

There's little doubt that it worked the magic for her ... and for everyone who descended from that encounter, which must be all of us.

The poison

The poison, of course, is the apple itself which, Anne Marie Helmenstine PhD reveals in a Thought Co article. In fact, it certainly seems to be just the job whenever we want to get rid of an impediment to happiness, say, a wife or husband, a former friend, or better still a wealthy relative.

State secret

'One minute,' we call and bash the seeds into almost a powder which we add to the strawberries and cream. 'Here we are,' we say, serving it to the victim, er, guest. The strawberries and cream look so nice, there's no chance that the (rich) ancient aunt or uncle won't tuck in right away... Stand by to call an ambulance, or hearse...
It hasn't exactly been a state secret that the ancient fruit has the capability to knock off someone unwanted. But how, and the dosage, that's what we didn't know.

Thanks to Dr Anne Marie, we now know. She reveals the exact dosage to offer the loaded uncle or aunt, once of course the will's been changed in your favour.

Apple seeds, she confirms, contain a small amount of the lethal poison, cyanide.

However, the eater might be blinded by the saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and obviously these days would have lost a grip of reality to imagine anyone would get a medical visit during the current Covid drama.

Coincidentally the current absence of medics partying behind locked doors in their medical centres actually aids this killer of an enrichment plan outlined by learned Anne Marie.

Cyanide, no less

True to the profession, the helpful lady holds back from revealing all of the story right away.

She's directed us towards the murder weapon – the apple. Now she tells where in the duplicitous fruit a historic murder poison - cyanide, no less - is to be found.

It's in the pips. Of course many of us knew that. But why doesn't the poison knock off half the population?

Because, she discloses ...
1) the seed needs to be bitten to release the poison, and
2) if you can encourage the intended victim to chew the pips, the body is able to reject the small amount of cyanide, and
3) we don't know how many pips to serve.

She points us in the right direction here, too. To knock off the happy, wealthy, unsuspecting muncher, we need the pips of just 18 apples.

However, covering herself in case detectives might come knocking at her door, she doesn't reveal if we need those pricy, polished-up b i g apples, or economic mini-jobs.

Time to set the scene for the perfect murder. Perhaps we're having afternoon tea with the victim. We've checked first, of course, that we do have a starring role in the darling relation's will. After all, 18 apples don't come cheap.

Piece de resistance

'Now,' we announce soon, 'the piece de resistance!' We slope off to the kitchen for the treat. We chop open 19 apples – one more to be sure – and squeeze out the pips.

'One minute,' we call and bash the seeds into almost a powder which we add to a handsome plate of strawberries and cream.

'Here we are,' we say, serving it to the victim, er, guest. 'Just for you,' we say excusing ourselves owing to strict dieting.

The strawberries and cream look so nice, there's no chance that the (rich) ancient aunt or uncle won't tuck in right away.

Stand by to call an ambulance, or hearse. And we shouldn't forget a Thank You note to Dr Anne Marie for her most enriching article.

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

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