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.

Great news that the return of the world we used to know – or at least part of it – has been decreed by our tubby Lord and Master, and opening day is not really so far away.

Our glorious leader declares that next month Britain’s gyms open again, which means – fingers crossed – that the return to a slightly more normal world is just – just! - another month away.

Promised

Deo gratias from a health point of view that at least it’s promised.

The announcement doesn’t attempt to explain the strange thinking that wanted gyms closed when we all want a healthy nation, a country of people who don’t succumb so easily to ills like the current version of the plague and other winter health challenges, people who don’t fill our hospitals the moment a stronger than normal flu comes along.

To close down areas where the promotion of good health is the prominent goal seems rather negative. Let me be frank. It’s totally negative.

And yet our wise government, obviously dominated by fit and healthy souls – with a ho ho hidden behind cupped hand – closed down the organisations that promote better health, and not just better health but very much the best of health.

The sloths

If the government sloths had bothered to look, they’d have seen that people who attend gym sessions don’t start their get-fit regime by hugging one another, shaking hands, stopping to chat.

Gyms are about exercise. Not about socialising.

We go for the sake of fitness, because we want to be healthy and not succumb to the first virus that happens along.

We go through the entrance, offer a cheery Buenos Dias to the reception people, perhaps flashing proudly our up-to-date membership cards (updated online), and push the swing doors open with an elbow.

In the actual gym, we squirt onto our hands the waiting disinfectant and then attend to the demands of the various pieces of equipment.

No hugs

We walk quickly or run on the running machines, lift weights if that’s our thing, use equipment for improving sitting and standing muscles, and spend up to an hour getting muscles and joints and health ready for the day – and life - ahead.

There are no American-style greeting hugs, no embracing of other people. Each person operates on his own, using the supplied disinfectant for each piece of equipment that’s used.

If our glorious leaders cared about their own health and frequented gyms, they’d know the routine.

If they knew the routine and they truly wanted a healthy society, they would never – never – close down a major contributor to good health.

Pay for all

They might even, if they really cared, contribute to our membership fees, or even better, pay from the public purse for all to attend gyms.

However, most certainly they would never, never close down gyms for doing what society needs now even more than ever, healthy and fit humans.

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.

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