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.

The rules of medics and hospitals and even Bore-is's crowd add an extra unpleasant dimension when a family member goes off to hospital afflicted with the current plague.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory  on the adventure book Sailing to Purgatory blog website.
Best of friends ... When dogs reach the end of life, all owners want to be present to comfort man's best friend. It's natural. It's far from natural to deny it.
Photo by Apostolos Vamvouras on Unsplash
A grandparent or aunt is collected by ambulance and often the stretcher behind the closing backdoors is the last family sees alive of a favourite relation.

The news reports very sad tales of people who can't visit their relatives hospitalised by Covid.

Tragedy

Of course, it is especially grim when close relations are about to gulp their last breath.

And the emotional tragedy isn't confined to humans either.

It seems that owners of dogs which are about to die are denied the chance to be there to hold a paw as the faithful critter takes its last breath.

Perhaps it's easier to understand the situation with relations.

Presumably we're more likely to catch the virus from a human. However, Daniel Gevaux has been getting a petition together – almost 70,272 signatories the last time I looked.

Terminal

He reports, 'Our pet dog, Harvey, was diagnosed with an aggressive and terminal cancer last week at the age of 9. 

'The news obviously hit the family hard and we are all still coming to terms with life without him. 

'The part that we are struggling with the most though was being told that when the time comes to put him to sleep, no one is allowed in with him to offer final comfort. 

'It rips my heart out thinking of him there with none of us by his side, especially knowing his anxiety at the vet's.' 

Heartless

It seems over the top, very extreme. And especially as the ruling comes not because Daniel and his family might have Covid, and nor that poor old Harvey does either.

The ruling seemed heartless so I put it to a veterinarian friend for an opinion even though I know that vets like doctors are nervous about commenting publicly. However, the basic reply was:

'It is possible to administer an injection remotely so I don't know why they don't do that.

'They could take the dog, insert an IV line (which they will need to do anyway) and attach a long extension line, give the dog to the owners at a distance and stand back while the injection is administered.'

'I would have been devastated if I couldn't have comforted my dog in his final moments.'

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