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The gym's open again, albeit to strange hours, but at least it allows me to get active and to get fit – back into training, in other words - for my plan to sail alone around our globe via Cape Horn a second time.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Fair weather trials ... Pentax enjoyed the fine weather, but of course sailing round Cape Horn offers conditions that are rather more challenging.
Perhaps, wisely applying seafaring superstition, I should add the words 'to try' to sail around the world a second time.

I had been planning to set off from Plymouth next September.

Plague

However, the dreaded plague and the government's ideas of lockdown have certainly stymied that possibility.

Not having much choice about it, I have to set departure day for a year later, September 2022.

The longer it's put off, delayed, the greater the risk that time itself will steal my chance to achieve that goal.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
A downwind handful ... The good ship Pentax carried a lot of canvas off the wind, but the lone skipper needed to keep a constant eye to the weather.
I need to find a sponsor, which obviously won't be easy, and once that good fortune is achieved, I have to find a suitable yacht.

Happily and very usefully, I know exactly the type of sailer I need, her dimensions and shape and her sail-plan.

Demands of age

I was fairly careful to make sure that I circumnavigated safely last time, but age means I have to be very much more aware this time.

I couldn't and I won't pursue the circumnavigation notion unless I believe there's a very good chance of succeeding.

I wouldn't want to risk the lives of others who might feel obliged to rescue me, should the voyage go wrong.

Not that the philosophy is new for it's always been my feeling with all voyages I've sailed, including my years as a professional DoT Ocean Yachtmaster.

Not like Pentax

She would be, if I may be excused a spot of emphasis, N O T H I N G really like Spirit of Pentax, the homebuilt job that took me around before.

(I was grateful for her faithful efforts. But we both learned quite soon that rugged voyaging of that nature was rather too demanding.)

I think my story of the circumnavigation, Loner, shows why. This one will be a simple sloop, about 40ft in length, stripped out and no engine.

I expect to be away for a minimum of perhaps eight months or so and would expect to be able to cope, just as, put to the test, we all could.

In a way the current plague is putting us all to the test. If we can cope with government demands for isolation, we could all manage long solo voyages.

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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The blogs for Sailing to Purgatory are introduced on Facebook.