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.

Haven't we been treated to some astonishing news so far this year?

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Bare bones protest ... A very brave nudist stops the riot squad from firing on demonstrators, the most outstanding news story of the year, and captured brilliantly by the New York Post.
A real headliner with far-reaching repercussions told of the police murder of an unarmed man right in front of the cameras, and this happened over the Pond in allegedly the most democratic part of the world.


Remember, too, and also right in front of the cameras, the US zapping - the assassination - of a top Iran general by drone?

And perhaps nearly most astonishing of all, was this.

The surprising news of the gross exaggerations of the world's most powerful clown - er, um, leader - downplaying the importance of the virus in the US, and mocked now by the pandemic's incredible death toll all around him.

However, for me - a journalist for half my working life - the story of the year so far, which also is very American, was the unarmed woman who posed in front of riot police stark naked.

How astonishingly, well, human, that as the line of police prepared to attack unarmed civilian rioters, the woman squatted her almost perfect body on the road right in front of them.

Surely this one naked unarmed human's efforts must rate as the most astonishing and encouraging news of summer, of the year ... it reassures us somehow of our rather special status on this planet. ...
Surely this one naked unarmed human's efforts must rate as the most astonishing and encouraging news of summer, of the year. (So far, of course.)

Our special status

In a way, it reassures us somehow of our rather special status on this planet.

Can you imagine any other mammals involved in aggression stopping because a female member of their species posed in front of them?

Our species has the intelligence – if the word can be used in this context - to destroy Earth, to find other worlds in Space, and yet put to the test, we are just as susceptible as Adam was in the presence of Eve.

Columnist Sarah Ditum wrote in the New York Post, 'Here she is, gleaming in the dark, all skin as she advances on the armed police sent to flatten the Black Lives Matter movement in Portland: a female protestor wearing nothing but beanie and facemask.'

She quotes photographer Donovan Farley who captured this stunning scene. He tweeted, 'And then? Naked Athena appeared and the little boys didn't know what to do.'

Shamed the officers

Sarah writes that it seemed the woman's nakedness alone was enough to shame the armed officers.

'Actually, they fired pepper balls at her feet, but she remained on the street doing yoga, and according to another witness, the officers dispersed about 10 minutes later.'

The utterances and actions of currrently the most powerful human are very far from encouraging. However, Donovan Farley's photo and Sarah Ditum's story shows there's hope for humans even yet.

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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