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19° 41' 11.33"N 79° 52' 38.6W
Copy and paste to google earth.
Regards, John.

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Really, strange things do happen at sea. Anyone who thinks otherwise has never been there.
 

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I also have the book by Tomalin and Hall, and have read it several times. I also worked with some fellows in the old Morgan Giles yard at Teignmouth, who had seen the Teignmouth Electron. Their professional opinion of it, as builders themselves of many fine motor cruisers and sailing yachts, was that either Mr Crowhurst was very brave, or very foolish.

The person who deserves a huge amount of sympathy is his widow. I hope the forthcoming film treats the whole subject with respect. The story doesn't need any dramatic embellishment.
 

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#23

Amen to that.

Let us hope that Mrs Crowhurst and family might even gain some comfort from the anguish for poor old Donald, which is clearly widespread amongst all who know the story. It's difficult to see that anybody could feel anything other than sympathy for his family.

I seem to recall that there is a passage in Tomalin's book which reports that, in bed with Mrs C on the night before he sailed, DC expressed his worst fears about the whole bang shoot.

Let's hope also that the Crowhurst family might at least reap some financial benefit from the film. There are some major box-office names involved.
 

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I checked out the film on IMDB and it's now in the post production stage. I'm a bit uneasy about the writer (previous credits include The Bourne Ultimatum) but I wont pre-judge because yes the cast and the director look good.

It's going to one of those 'must see' films for me having been introduced to this sad sea story by this thread.
 

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My wife was aged ten at the time of these events. I asked if she might have heard of the story, or might just remember it?

"A bit" was the answer. I told her the basic facts.

"Holy Jeepers" was her next answer, "Anything with Colin Firth in it is a must-see for me" - thus confirming, as others have observed, that the sad facts call for very little - if any - dramatisation.
 

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I offer a further observation which some might find callous and others might find irrelevant:

The entire Crowhurst story occurred less than twenty years after the Flying Enterprise incident. A very short period of time in which the sea changed from being a place of strict migratory, mercantile or military use to a place which is, in effect, nothing more than a stage upon which heavily financed yachtsmen can perform for personal glory. A quantum leap indeed.

What does it say about any change in global moral values?

Has there been any change? Or has there not?

Generally, I adhere to the view that moral values do not change in any event - but resurrection of this story reminds me that I might very well be wrong.

As a nine year old boy in Birkenhead in 1952, the Flying Enterprise saga confirmed my belief that a career at sea was an obligatory thing for any boy who wasn't a complete girl's blouse.

By the time of the Crowhust incident in 1969, that belief had changed quite significantly.

In following the glory granted to Carlsen of the Flying Enterprise, was I as weak as Crowhurst of the Teignmouth Electron, eighteen years later? Possibly so.

But it seemed right at the time (i.e. the defence used by Blair, today). On the other hand, Carlsen remains adulated today - and still quite rightly in my absolute view.

Whaddaya know?

To go to sea? Or not? In what capacity?
 

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#28

Of course that is right. With the benefit of hindsight, nobody would dispute it.

The qustion which I raise is that Crowhurst used the sea for money and gave his life in doing so.

Most of the rest of us (including Carlsen) used the sea for money, but didn't give our lives to that avaricious end. Is it open to any of us to criticise Crowhurst in any way? He took no other life with him.
 

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You are quite right that Crowhurst was a charlatan. Even he knew that much. He was no fool. Am not at all sure that it is the end of the story, though.
 

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Crowhurst was inspired by Sir Francis Chichester, and tried to "charter" Gypsy Moth IV to sail himself. Sir Francis has expressed unfavourable views on the suitability of Gypsy Moth IV, saying she was difficult to sail single handed. He also expressed great reservations about Crowhurst's experience and plans for entering the non stop Round the World race.

A little known (at that time,) professional ,entered one of the smallest craft to take part, the 32ft Suhaili. Robin Knox Johnston ultimately won the race, and donated his prize money to Mrs Crowhurst.

Most of the other entrants were experienced long distance sailors, or had served in the RN with sea going time under their belts. Crowhurst, the amateur, did manage to sail his unsuitable trimaran to South America, and if he hadn't embarked on his deception and returned home safely, without completing the course, he may have got a "sympathy vote," and ultimately the publicity he craved to try and save his family business, and ultimately his family home.

Sometimes, discretion truly is the better part of valour.
 

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Chay Blyth wasn't an experienced long distance sailor, he had barely sailed at all before. He couldn't navigate either. He said that when he first got his boat, his mates left him to go and prepare it for his voyage, and all he could think to do was clean the cooker. He had the sense to realise his boat wasn't up to it, but he nearly did go on.
 

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The moral is, I suppose, that when you can see that something is right, then you should do it and do it right away.

He who hesitates is lost.

The mystery is, as Roy points out, why Crowhurst did not bow out gracefully, when he could easily have done so?; and the tragedy is that he drove himself to enter into such a gross deception.

Hate the sin but love the sinner.

That is exactly what has happened in this case.
 

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Chay Blyth wasn't an experienced long distance sailor, he had barely sailed at all before. He couldn't navigate either. He said that when he first got his boat, his mates left him to go and prepare it for his voyage, and all he could think to do was clean the cooker. He had the sense to realise his boat wasn't up to it, but he nearly did go on.
Quite right FJ, I had forgotten that both Ridgway and Blyth had entered the race individually. Rowing the Atlantic with a following wind and weather is one adventure, around the World alone is a completely different challenge indeed.

(On a lighter note, with reference to your remarks about Chay Blyth's skills as a sailor, when the passenger trip boats on the River Dart passed Philip's ship yard at Noss, the commentary always pointed out that the yacht British Steel was built there for Chay Blyth, and it was the only boat he didn't sink or run aground!)
 

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Blyth did extremely well to cir***navigate single-handed and westabout at such speed, with such limited experience!

I recall that in the account of his Atlantic crossing with Ridgway, with oars, it was reported that he addressed Ridgway as "Sir" throughout. With hindsight, that small point is astonishing. I rather think that it led to the abolition of the BEM shortly afterwards, to be replaced by MBE for all. The BEM has of course been reinstated, but that is another matter.
 

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Blyth eventually learned from his seagoing challenges, and gained a decent level of competence. (Even if one of the Transatlantic Challengers sunk as well!) I don't think that Ridgway ever went in a small boat again after abandoning his attempt at the Round the World race, preferring to develop his outdoor adventure business in Scotland. One fellow who very quickly appreciated the challenge of going to sea alone was Tom McClean. I saw him and his boat (A Yorkshire Dory, just like Ridgway and Blyth's craft,) at the London Boat Show, and got his autographed photo. He seemed quite shy at that time, and hardly said a word! For an ex Borstal boy,and ex Parachute Regiment, with no experience of the sea, he was one who did make good.

Roy.
 

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I recall that TV programme - I spent the whole day with the BBC crew and arranged the interview with Charles Mander (who had long since retired). We tried to re-create a 1960s console with old tables and defunct equipment I found lying around in the engineering stores at GKA which is where you see the interview with John Lamb. There have been other do***entaries about Crowhurst in which the film makers have visited GKA, and of course the film "Deep Water". Looking forward to seeing the new film when it hits our screens. There were of course many other R/Os at GKA who were involved at the time but sadly the majority are no longer with us.

Larry +
 
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