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.

Dithering by our, er, lords and masters seems part of present-day political life, but to plan to exterminate creatures in our natural world, our noble badgers, which the government had only recently reprieved from slaughter, seems grossly cruel, insensitive, and nonsensical.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
In the crosshairs ... A badger whose species is under threat by a government that says they will be safe and then plans a massive slaughter. Photo by Hans Veth Hans Veth on Unsplash
What human in Britain didn’t have badgers among their imagination's companions as children thanks to tales like Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows?


They are wonderful critters in in real life, too, in their smart costumery, even if, as in Wind in the Willows, they are somewhat solitary.

But then singlehanded Cape Horners can be like that, too, I've heard tell.

Of course, that may be what allows some to achieve rather different goals than many in the population desire.

... as a keen member of the RSPCA and a respecter and admirer of our animal world, I offer an emphatic Yes! to the RSPCA's reminder that ‘there are far more humane and impactful methods of controlling the spread of bovine TB in cattle.
As author Kenneth Grahame revealed, they can be pleasingly accommodating. He’s referring to badgers here, of course. Lone Cape Horners were rather scarce back then.

Lost in the woods

In the story, Mole searches for Badger one snowy night, gets lost in the wild woods, and happily is found by concerned friend Rat.

Wikipedia reminds us, ‘Attempting to find their way home, Rat and Mole quite literally stumble across Badger's home – Mole barks his shin on the boot scraper on Badger's doorstep.'

Badger, in his dressing gown and slippers, welcomes Rat and Mole to his large and cosy underground home, providing them with hot food, dry clothes, and reassuring conversation.

True, I’m not a farmer concerned about the spread of Bovine TB in cattle, though love of the outdoors and the farming life during childhood certainly had me living and helping on farms in school holidays.

However, as a keen member of the RSPCA and a respecter and admirer of our animal world, I offer an emphatic Yes! to the RSPCA's reminder that ‘there are far more humane and impactful methods of controlling the spread of bovine TB in cattle.'

Devastating news

RSPCA vice-president Chris Packham says, ‘The devastating news of extension of badger cull makes very little sense.’

He refers to ‘the devastating news that up to 70,000 badgers could be unnecessarily shot as a result of the government extending the badger cull in 11 new parts of England.’

'Badgers are wonderful creatures which are a staple in the British countryside.

‘Ironically they are a protected species so we need to support them as best we can.’

‘We owe it to cattle to get this sorted, as the longer it takes for the cattle vaccination to be developed, more cows will be removed from herds around the country due to bovine TB.

'The welfare of cattle is just as much a concern as badger welfare in this sorry state of affairs.’

Give the badgers a voice

Chris’s statement is here. He says, ‘We need to give badgers a voice - and that time is now for the Government to listen.’

He invites readers to ‘Join our campaign network to receive emails about our animal welfare campaigning activities, updates and how you can get involved.’

It seems a very worthwhile campaign, which I'll also join.

Thanks very much for visiting the mostly Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure writing. The blogs (as they call 'em) 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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