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.

Just when it seems we've learned all we might about the plague of the 1600s, the great-great-grandfather of our current killer, Wikipedia reveals that Daniel Defoe’s reports may well not be exactly an eye-witness account.

Image of part of  a Sailing to Purgatory webpage to illustrate the article.
Eye-witness ... Prolific author Daniel Defoe is an authority on plague of the 1600s, even if he was just a five-year-old at the time.
By Unknown, style of Sir Godfrey Kneller - Many thanks to Wikipedia.
Daniel Defoe’s reports are stunning and scary, particularly given the increasing number of victims now of our own present-day plague.

Perhaps, though, the eye-witness observations I mentioned last week may not really be entirely his, Wikipedia reveals.


For example, the gifted writer was actually just a five-year-old at the time.

Still, Wikipedia accepts that A Journal of the Plague Year’s listed facts are likely to be correct.

Presented as an eye-witness account of the events at the time, it was written in the years just prior to the book's first publication in March 1722, we learn.

Defoe was only five in 1665 when the Great Plague happened, and the book itself was published under the initials 'HF' and is probably based on the journals of Defoe's uncle, Henry Foe, a Whitechapel, East London, saddler.

Historical accounts from ancient China and medieval Europe detail the use of infected animal carcasses, such as cows or horses, and human carcasses, to contaminate enemy water supplies. ...
Wikipedia notes, 'Defoe goes to great pains to achieve an effect of verisimilitude, identifying specific neighbourhoods, streets, and even houses in which events took place.

Casualty figures

'Additionally, it provides tables of casualty figures and discusses the credibility of various accounts and anecdotes received by the narrator.

'The book is often compared to the actual, contemporary accounts of the plague in the diary of Samuel Pepys. Defoe's account, which appears to include much research, is far more systematic and detailed than Pepys's first-person account.'

It's not a pleasant surprise to learn that the plague has been manipulated by humans as a biological weapon for a very long time.

Historical accounts from ancient China and medieval Europe detail the use of infected animal carcasses, such as cows or horses, and human carcasses, by the Xiongnu/Huns, Mongols, Turks and other groups, to contaminate enemy water supplies.


Plague victims have been tossed by catapult into cities under siege ...Given the situation in Britain at the moment, perhaps that's just about enough plague history for one day.

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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