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.

Do we or don’t we live in astonishing times? Our grandparents can talk of world wars and air raids and rationing, of course, but who has heard any of our living ancients mentioning a plague? _

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Making history ... George Floyd's death has an important part of our presentday drama-filled history. Thanks to Wikipedia. By 2C2K Photography -, CC BY 2.0,
And what will we tell our grandchildren about it – those of us not already pushing towards the departure lounge?

I often wonder how history books will see it, especially of a population gagged on buses and trains, and seemingly soon in supermarkets, too.

And it's not just an English or French plague, but a world-wide job, which already has sent more than 200,000 people heavenwards, and that’s just so far

Author James West Davidson has been pondering the question, too, and offers some very interesting points which are well worth reading on The

He sees now as a major turning point in history, one that will be studied for years to come.

Only twice before in American history, had a president been impeached, and none had ever been convicted ...

The US view

His view of history in the making is set mainly on events across The Pond.

‘Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller won convictions of several of the president’s associates for witness tampering, lying to Congress and the FBI, and bank fraud,’ he writes.

‘Donald Trump’s controversial phone call with the president of Ukraine led the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives to impeach him, though the Republican-controlled Senate failed to convict.

‘Only twice before in American history, had a president been impeached, and none had ever been convicted,’ the historian reveals.

Threat to its very existence

In the first half of 2020, within the space of a few months, the nation found itself drawn into two crises whose underlying causes threatened its health, wealth, and perhaps its very existence as a democratic republic.

Ruthless Covid-19 hit older people and those with health problems. People found themselves fighting for life as their lungs filled with fluids.

‘Thousands of cars lined up at drive-through food banks. By the end of May, about a fifth of the nation’s workers was either unemployed or working part-time.

‘The pandemic had produced the worst downturn since the Great Depression.’

On Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of the summer season in the US, the killing of George Floyd shook the nation.

‘He was a 46-year-old Black man, a six-foot seven-inch gentle giant.' He was killed by a police officer after being arrested, handcuffed, and pulled to the ground, where the officer pressed a knee onto his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Protests spread across the US, and soon many parts of the world.

It’s been quite a year for historians, and for all of us … and here's encouragement: we’re still only in July.

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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