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.

Who would have imagined that our unimaginative Confined to Barracks government ruling is affecting more than our way of life, and very much our lives in almost every way, but also those who are no longer living.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Sad blooms ... The government lockdown has stopped Joey's almost famous roadside monument from being decorated, perhaps for the first time in its fifteen-year history.
It's probably a good bet that cemeteries and their occupants are experiencing far less visits by relations currently.

However, the proof I see involves that astonishing memorial for a promising young sportsman beside the ultra-busy A3 near New Malden, just north of Kingston.

For the first time since the memorial to 22-year-old Joey Evans was erected on pedestrian railings - on the London-bound side near the turn-off for New Malden - following his death in a crash there 15 years ago, the almost daily floral tributes have stopped.

As I observed last year, the promising young boxer, from the nearby Swallow Park travellers' site, is remembered with fresh flowers whatever the season.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
The usual floral tribute ... Usually the memorial is bedecked in remarkably fresh flowers, as this shot from last year shows. Lockdown means that's far from how it looks today.
The flowers are replaced with fresh blooms every couple of days. Always.

The lockdown has meant for the first time, probably ever, the flowers have not been replaced. The carnations look well past their best in the pic I took a few days ago.

Today, walking from Surbiton to New Malden and back for exercise, they were lifeless.

It was an odd reminder of the very odd times we are living in.

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 and on Blogger,

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The blogs for Sailing to Purgatory are introduced on Facebook and Blogger.

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