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.

Treat adults as adults, history tells us. Prohibition didn't work and can't work. Politicians realised it eventually and got rid of it. If we rob banks, we know that's wrong, and we'll pay for it when caught. No need for politicians to go on and on about it.

In any case, the idea that the people we vote for know so much more than we do, are so much wiser, just isn't right as we see almost daily. Very often they are good public speakers, great thinkers on their feet, winners in an argument, and very often mean well. Many, perhaps most, really do want to serve the public as in public service.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
A Moghal emperor ... but Barbur, not Aurangzeb. By unknown artist - Victoria and Albert Museum, Museum no. IS.37-1972, Public Domain, ... and borrowed with thanks from Wikipedia.

But could they be such superior members of our species that they should wag a finger at us and tell us what we can and can't do?

If a law is a nonsense, and if it is obvious that it can't work, drop the law. From the constant haranguing over drugs, it is obvious it isn't working. The minority of the population who want it will get it, no matter what the law says.

The answer is to legalise it

The answer is to legalise it, and sell it from government approved outlets, as alcohol is treated.

But to send me to prison for several years longer than the sentence the Lockerbie airline bomber was serving shows the law's stupidity. Not content with that, they took my yacht, my home, my life savings ...

Because politicians can't make the drugs laws work, they have to make the punishment more and more crazy. To prosecute me for smuggling drugs to UK when I sailed no closer that 1,100 miles, in a totally unsuitable yacht, and on my own, shows how nonsensical the drugs laws have become.

But to send me to prison for several years longer than the sentence the Lockerbie airline bomber was serving shows the law's stupidity. Not content with that, they took my yacht, my home, my life savings and, perhaps worst of all, my reputation.

Yes, it's the nonsense of drugs laws - of Tricky Dickie's version of Prohibition - that is the topic here. (At least Nixon aimed the war at political enemies, those opposed to the Vietnam War.)

Treating adults as children

It won't work, and it will never work, and an article in that great daily email, Delanceyplace dot com today, carried a wonderful excerpt that shows treating adults as children won't work - even when you are a famous Mughal Emperor.

Today's selection from Delanceyplace dot com is an extract from 'Aurangzeb' by Audrey Truschke. For as long as there have been governments, there have been attempts to curb the use of alcohol and other drugs by the masses, says

They have invariably failed. Aurangzeb, who presided over the greatest territorial expansion of the Mughal empire in India, was one of those who tried ...

'Aurangzeb's attempt to reduce the consumption of alcohol across his empire was one of the more spectacular policy failures of his reign. Alcohol was widely condemned as un-Islamic, and Mughal kings had long been lauded across religious lines for en­couraging temperance. For example, the Jain monk Shanticandra wrote around 1590 about how Akbar 'banned liquor, which ought to be universally reviled.' Jahangir also claimed to have proscribed alcohol (despite being a prolific drinker himself). The repeated appearance of this ban signals that it was ineffective.

Imbibing alcohol was rampant

'In spite of the odds, Aurangzeb followed his forefathers and attempted to restrict the sale of wine and liquor. According to the testimony of the French traveler Francois Bernier, wine was 'prohibited equally by the Gentile and Mahometan [Hindu and Muslim] law' and was hard to come by in Delhi. More generally, however, imbibing alcohol was rampant in Aurangzeb's India. William Norris, an English ambassador to Aurangzeb's court in the early eighteenth century, testified that Asad Khan (chief vizier from 1676 to 1707) and other government ministers were 'fond of nothing more than hot spirits with which they make themselves drunk every day if they can get it.' Accordingly, Norris tried to influence Asad Khan by sending him some liquor and choice glasses with which to imbibe the 'strong waters.'

'While he personally declined to consume alcohol, Aurang­zeb knew that few of his imperial officers followed his exam­ple. Niccoli Manucci --unleashing his characteristic weakness for gossip and exaggeration -- wrote that Aurangzeb once ex­claimed in exasperation that only two men in all of Hindu­stan did not drink: himself and his head qazi, Abdul Wahhab. Manucci, however, divulged to his readers: 'But with respect to 'Abd-ul-wahhab [Aurangzeb] was in error, for I myself sent him every day a bottle of spirits (vino), which he drank in se­cret, so that the king could not find it out.'

'Aurangzeb's other attempts at censorship, such as curbing the production and use of opium, met with similarly dismal results.'

Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India's Most Controversial King
Author: Audrey Truschke
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Copyright 2017 by Audrey Truschke
Pages 72-73

To read more, the this is the Delanceyplace website: Delanceyplace dot com

Thanks to for the extract and to you for visiting the blog

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