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MOORED at Aldi, a discount supermarket, in Ewell, Surrey, a regular anchorage for struggling former mariners after they have been cleaned out by the State. Welcome to Sailing to Purgatory's first blog, logged at this smart discount shop, within sight of the (almost) lighthouse-like Tolworth Tower.

Ship's Log 01 February 2017 1800:
Anchorage Aldi: 'My bike' 51° 0' 21° N x 0° 32' 57°E
Wind S 12.1 knots | Barometer 1004 millibars falling
Moon declination 1°34’ N day 4 | Venus 1° 06N

In breaks in London's cloud cover, a gorgeous four-day moon near Venus made the cycle ride here almost as magical as being at sea again. In reality, nothing on our planet can match the astonishing pleasure of sailing, particularly on a fine night.

At the checkout, a young woman who might have been related to the trial's prosecuting team shared a buccaneering joke with a friend. 'How do you make a tall pirate short?' Her companion obviously didn't come from a lawyer's family. She couldn't say. 'You take all his money.' The girls screamed.

Now I wait to hear when Sailing to Purgatory is to appear this month. All that writing, and editing and rewriting, and the endless search for a brave publisher. And now - suddenly - just days to go before it will be a reality.

Thank you for visiting the website for my (adult) sea travel book, Sailing to Purgatory.