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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just come across an interesting do***entry posted to YouTube entitled 'The two voyages of Donald Crowhurst'. As well as telling the story of Crowhurst, it has a couple of bits of film of Portishead Radio and some words from R/Os Charles Mander & John Lamb.
A fair amount of radio related material is also in the film.

Apparently, the Colin Firth/Rachel Weisz film titled 'The Mercy' about Crowhurst is due to be released around October time.

I did also note a familiar name in the credits!

Cheers
Jonathan
 

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Please,

1. Can anybody remember the name of the Royal Mail ship which found the derelict Teignmouth Electron and

2. Where the derelict was landed?

Was the ship Eleuthera? Or Loch Something? I have a vague recollection of being aboard the ship shortly afterwards (inward bound for the Mersey -and probably the Manchester Ship Canal) but I cannot for the life of me recall whether she still had the derelict on board.

My recollection of being aboard the ship is clear enough. It is whether she was still carrying Crowhust's boat which is unclear. Was it landed somewhere in USA?
 

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A very sad story presented in an understated way that fits the event. Quite disturbing to watch and listen to a man descending into depression and possibly insanity.
 

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I have a copy of the book about his voyage. I have always thought it should be compulsory reading for politicians. A man with some talent, carried along by others wishes to attempt more than he believed he could do, and forced by developing cir***stances into a tighter and tighter bind involving more and more deception. When the end of the race developed unexpectedly with him moving into a winning position, he cracked and broke. Extremely sad, a good society would have said, never mind old chap, at least you went, don't worry about it.

I did get directions to see the hull of the Electron on Google earth, derelict somewhere, but I can't remember where. It could quite clearly be seen.
 

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If you Google it there are lots of articles about the voyage and what happened to the vessel thereafter...sad story all along..one thing you won't find is the name of the ship that took her in tow.

Like Farmer John I too have had a copy of the book, can't find it when I want it though!

geoff
 

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Found the site on Google Earth and there are some photographs of it taken in 2010. On the island of Cayman Brac.
 

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#6

Hi, Geoff,

My recollection of events is that the Royal Mail ship hoisted Crowhurst's boat on board, rather than took her in tow.

I seem to recall a photograph, in one of the books, showing the hoist taking place, at sea.

Was it Nicholas Tomalin's book?

The ship might even have been the Somers Isle. Will need to check my own log book - presently in the loft!

PS

Got it (via Google)! It was the Picardy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll have a watch again of 'Deep Water' to see if the ship is mentioned there.
The Electron was bought by an artist, who then had it deposited on Cayman Brac if I recall correctly. I also seem to remember the captain of the ship that hoisted the catamaran on board also wanted Crowhurst's log books to remain secret to avoid further pain to his family, but Halworth, the press agent, had other ideas and they were published.

Having a collection myself of small and handheld radio direction finders, I have tried in vain to get hold of one of Donald Crowhurst's 'Navicators', but have never found one.

Not much left of the Electron now apparently - even the name has been cut out and is doubtless decorating some wall somewhere.

Jonathan
 

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The other thing I always felt after reading the book, there was a lot of myself in there, making it a terrific lesson. I don't think I would have liked the man, but I would have recognised his personality.
 

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#10

Most profound, FJ.

I'm sure that there's at least something of the Crowhurst in most of us - and it's simply that most of us, thank God, are not subjected to the dreadful Corryvreckan of personal and financial pressure which overwhelmed him. Lead us not into temptation.
 

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Oh, let's be led into temptation, give us the wisdom not to give way to it. A life without temptation would be pale.
 

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#12

Ho, Ho, Bloody Ho!

A life without temptation would indeed be dreadful! For my own part I've suc***bed all too often, although not yet as far as poor old Crowhurst, or dear old Oscar, who famously could resist anything but.

Temptation? Bring it on! But lead me not into it!! Grant me the nous to avoid it.
 

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While I understand the desire for temptation and let's be honest we all embrace it, one way or another, but I feel sorry for this man who seems to have been overcome by the idea of the deceit he was about to perpetrate, plus the fact I feel sure he realised he would be found out.

Temptation aside, that would really drive you down into the hole of despair. That's why I find the story disturbing. A clearly intelligent man trapped on a downward spiralling path to hell.

OK, I realise that I'm speculating from the evidence presented, which is not complete. So I'll take my temptation in more Earthly things that don't involve those overheads, just me and a bit of semi-predictable physics.

But your are all right. There's a strong lesson to be learned here, and it seems to me the teacher paid a terrible price for teaching it.
:mad:
 

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Saw a catamaran in, if I remember correctly, Kingston harbour, Jamaica, in the mid '70's, which I was told was the 'Electron' by those who knew about such things. It was a bit sad, seeing that. A bit like seeing the burnt out hulk of the 'Queen Elizabeth' in Hong Kong harbour in the early '70's.
 

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#15

Bob,

You hit the nail on the head, I think, with your observation that Crowhurst knew that he would be found out, even at the very moment when he left the berth in UK. What a complete, complete tragedy.

Most of us who yield to temptation (who doesn't?) do so in the (usually realistic) expectation that we will get away with it on those occasions when we do yield; and if we really don't think that we'll get away with , then we simply don't yield. It is necessary only to think of the simple matter of breaking or observing the road traffic speed limits- and nothing more insalubrious or salcious than that. If we don't think that we can get away with it, we simply don't do it.

But poor old DC knew from the moment when he let go his last mooring-rope in Plymouth that he was on a hiding to worse than nothing.

As I recall the saga as told, he knew from that moment (and certainly from the night beforehand) that he was not being honest with himself - and no man can live in such a state for long.
 

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And what a terrible burden to bear.

Watching this do***entary I understand he was something of an electronics expert, but look at the spread out of his equipment aboard the vessel. Bare, exposed, utterly disorganized, I feel sure he knew that, he was certainly not an idiot.

Yet he had to ride with it, part of the deception. Eventually the deception takes over your existence, particularly when you are so isolated.

I know, I know, I'm speculating again. But I'm trying to put myself in his situation, which admittedly is likely to be far from what happened. You have to use the outcome of such an event to try and figure it out as best you can.

But all this aside, you are right ... a complete tragedy. The story of the destruction of a man and not anything else. If they are making a film of it, and I believe they are, I hope they look at the philosophic side of the story rather than just the drama (I would have thought the drama would come naturally.)

I'll watch the film, I'm a film buff. But I'm likely to watch it with a very jaundiced eye. :(
 

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I also read a book about this unfortunate man, many years ago but, I cannot remember the author. The one character I do remember is the journalist who was hell-bent on furthering his own career at the expense of Crowhurst, by filling Crowhurst's head with the urgency of a hasty departure, in spite of C's own misgivings and unpreparedness. It was among the saddest stories I have ever read.
 

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I have the book, its called "The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst" published in 1970. The authors were Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall. In it there is a picture of the trimaran being offloaded from the RMV Picardy on arrival at Santo Domingo.
What a sad end to a very complex and disturbed man.
 
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