Deep Water (2006) Movie Script

Ron Winspear: We are all human beings,
and we have dreams.
This voyage is Don's.
For him,
it was the adventure.
There may have been an element
he wanted fame and glory.
He wasn't averse
to taking risks.
But, when you're alone...
just you...
and the ocean...
it's the whole
of your universe.
It's totally indifferent.
It's there
waiting for you.
If you make a slip...
then imagination
is the danger.
It's no longer
about heroes...
and adventures
at sea.
It's about isolation...
and the delicate
of the mind.
Ted Hynds:
It was this new Elizabethan age.
It was the Beatles.
It was sexual freedom...
freedom of the seas.
It caught
the imagination.
Francis Chichester aboard Gipsy Moth IV
is now in sight
of home.
He's merely 15 miles
from Plymouth,
at the end of his epic
round-the-world voyage.
Thousands of people have been
pouring into the city.
They're waiting for their
first glimpse of a man
who set out nine months
and 33,000 miles ago.
There were signs, there was noise.
It was mayhem.
You stood and watched
and let it
wash over you.
Chichester had done a single-handed
and brought his vessel
back home.
Stirring stuff,
boys-only stuff.
Chichester had started the ball rolling.
People were looking for
"What was the new challenge?
What's the next frontier?"
Robin Knox-Johnston:
Chichester stopped halfway.
He pulled into Australia
and did quite-serious refits.
I thought, "That's it.
One thing left to be done...
go around the world,
single-handed, but nonstop."
Hynds: The general public
got into the spirit of it,
and newspapers
as well.
And of course "The Sunday Times"
came up with the idea
of a nonstop race around
the world.
Donald Kerr: There could be
no greater challenge.
The first part, down to
the South Atlantic, was fairly kind,
but then your
troubles started.
Once you rounded
the Cape of Good Hope,
you were into
the Roaring 40s,
that endless band of storms
that circled the world.
Then, thousands
of miles later,
you pass south
of Australia,
New Zealand, and across
the rest of the Pacific,
to Cape Horn.
The seas became
narrow there,
and as they
fall together,
they grew wilder.
Then up past
the Falkland Islands,
cross the equator,
back into the North Atlantic,
and you were
on your way home.
Tilda Swinton:
In the spring of 1968,
some of the world's most
experienced sailors
began to gather
in the ports of Britain.
They were stepping forward
as contenders
in the greatest
endurance test of all time.
Kerr: This wasn't a race in
the normal sense of the word.
You could leave
whenever you liked,
but you had to leave
before October the 31st,
to avoid the really severe
winter weather
at Cape Horn.
The first man to do it
would get the Golden Globe.
The boat that went
round fastest
would get the big prize
of 5,000.
Knox-Johnston: This was something
that a human hadn't yet
attempted to do.
First of all, we didn't know if
a boat could take it.
Secondly, there was considerable doubt
if a human could take it.
Psychiatrists said
that a human would go mad
if they tried
to do it.
We're talking about
10 months of Ioneliness.
But the more people
told me it wasn't possible
and I couldn't do it, the more I was
convinced I could do it.
The one I thought would
prove real competition
was Bernard Moitessier.
He was highly experienced.
Swinton: The French adventurer,
Bernard Moitessier,
and the British Merchant Marine Captain,
Robin Knox-Johnston,
were among nine men
announced in the final line-up.
Each knew the winners would
earn their place in history.
Hynds: They were proper seamen,
experienced sailors,
and then...
there was the mystery man:
Don Crowhurst.
What sort of attitude of mind
does a single-handed
sailor have to have?
I think one's psychology
has to be fairly stable...
and one has to be
constantly aware
of the risks
one is running,
Nee... need not necessarily
be much greater.
I just thought, "It's too enormous
to take on something"...
I thought... I didn't
give it some serious thought.
But there is a moment
when an opportunity arises,
and if you don't
grasp it,
that's it.
The first time
I saw him,
we were at a party
at my flat.
I thought what
a wonderfully warm,
vigorous and lively
person he was.
I had a red dress on,
and he immediately said,
"Who's husband
did you arrive with?"
He started
telling my fortune,
and he said, "You're going
to marry an impossible man,
but you're going to
be greatly loved."
That was a ploy,
I'm sure.
He may have used it
with several others.
But it worked.
Don started his own
small electronics firm
making navigational aides.
They were very very slow-selling,
but we were able to eat from it.
It didn't bother us very much
that we couldn't have
a very exotic life.
But really,
we were skint, as it were.
Simon Crowhurst: Things were difficult
and the business was struggling.
My father was at
a stage of his life where
he needed to take on
a challenge that would show
the skills that he had
and the abilities that he had,
which he had somehow
felt frustrated,
unable to
show in his business.
My father had grown up
with the Kipling stories of adventure
and of heroes
overcoming challenges.
Chichester had achieved
something on a heroic scale
and was
recognized for it.
He had performed
a tremendous feat
that everybody
could see and admire.
In a sense, my father wanted
to take on that role
and take on
that persona.
This was the greatest
challenge possible.
It grabbed my father,
made him, almost compelled
him to take part.
He asked me how I felt about it,
and I said, "Well, if you
can raise the money,
I think you
deserve it."
I didn't think he would
raise the money,
but all of a sudden the thing took on
its own momentum.
Kerr: Many of the competitors
didn't have that long
to get a boat ready.
But Crowhurst was
starting from scratch.
Don chose a trimaran.
He started off
purely concentrating
on the idea that
a multi-hull was fast
and that he could win.
The idea was
he could win.
His head was full of ideas,
advanced technology,
what he could do "if."
This was part of his
great visionary dream, really.
Simon: It was going to be an
innovative and advanced vessel,
equipped with all
the latest electronic devices
that would make it better,
would make it safer
and would enable him
to sail faster.
That was the idea. And then Don went off
to find some money.
Kerr: Donald had tried
a number of careers,
but they had come
to nothing,
and he wanted more.
He believed
in himself.
He was inventive,
he had real brains,
he had a great deal
of charm.
...sort of blown up...
It's all right.
No, I don't mind.
He'd read avidly of these
long-distance exploits,
and he could talk
the talk.
The nearest you get to
a tranatlantic route is the southern...
All he needed was someone
to put up the money,
and he carried along
an entrepreneur, caravan-dealer...
Stanley Best.
It really was
an exciting adventure,
and I'm not an adventurous person,
so far as I'm concerned.
But it was interesting,
compelling, to join in.
Kerr: The... the paddles of
sponsorship are enormous.
Stanley Best knew
nothing about sailing,
but as a hard-headed
he wanted a contract.
Simon: Stanley Best made my father
sign an agreement.
If he dropped out
before the race began
or dropped out
early on in the race,
he would be forced
to buy the boat back.
In effect, my father
would be bankrupt.
The house we lived in
would have to be sold.
He was gambling
He had staked everything
on being successful
in the race.
depended on it.
As the construction of Crowhurst's
revolutionary boat began,
his rivals, one by one,
were setting sail.
With the prize
for the fastest voyage
as well as
the first man home,
the men were free
to leave at any time,
so long as they sailed
by the race deadline...
October the 31st.
Knox-Johnston: I think there were
some similarities between us
and astronauts.
People were just beginning
to go round the moon
at that time, in fact the first trip
around the moon.
There was a lot of interest
in what happened to people
when they're suddenly
shoved up clear of the earth.
And I suppose they looked
upon us the same way.
You know, we're basically
in a small capsule,
we're setting off to go round the world.
It's extremely dangerous.
Anyone who goes to sea
and says they don't
feel fear is a liar.
Of course
you're frightened.
Bernard Moitessier:
When I left Plymouth,
Franoise was onboard
the launch following me.
She was not very happy
with that.
It's always a case of having
to sacrifice one thing for another.
You have to choose between
your life and a woman,
and it's got to be
your own life, hasn't it?
Without hesitation.
Around the world without stopping,
it's an enormous challenge.
It's incredibly demanding.
No one had
done it before.
Anyone who tries it
just for the money
or the prestige
is going to
break his neck.
There was this extraordinary
pretty ribbon
that I had to pull.
And it would swing
the bottle into the hull.
It had to be
smashed by hand.
And of course, that's got all sorts
of connotations in sailing circles.
But Donald wanted
this thing.
He wanted
to have a go.
I thought, "Well, if
anybody has a chance,
he has a chance
because he is so innovative
he'll do it."
Hynds: This was a classic tale
of English derring-do
on a shoestring,
the homegrown
British hero.
There will be TV deals,
there will be newspaper deals.
I mean, it's... sort of that
feeding frenzy start.
Rodney, my boss,
was a businessman
as well as a journalist.
He was a Dickensian character...
the Artful Dodger,
perhaps even a Fagin.
He immediately
saw the potential
to make a lot of money.
Rodney Hallworth: A press agent's job
is to get hold of the package
which could be as dull
as an old tin box.
Many people who do
great things are often,
as personalities,
rather dull.
So you got to dress it up...
a bit Christmassy...
so that it
appears attractive.
Donald decided
to start down
beyond Penzance.
But here in Teignmouth,
we have a fairly active publicity setup,
and we've persuaded him to
come 150 miles backwards
to start here and enjoy
the delights of Teignmouth.
All the hoteliers immediately
saw the potential,
Crowhurst's journey to Teignmouth
was the first outing
for his revolutionary boat.
It should have taken
three days to get there.
It took two weeks.
It was pretty embarrassing.
We'd been promoting Crowhurst
as "the dark horse of the sea."
We initially thought
that this was a man
who had made
transatlantic voyages.
He wasn't.
He'd messed about in boats,
but he was almost
a weekend sailor.
But everyone loved the idea
of this boy's own hero.
We wanted him
to succeed.
The public,
the town of Teignmouth,
and Fleet Street
wanted this to work.
Swinton: But Crowhurst was now
dangerously behind schedule.
All but one of the other sailors
were underway.
He'd lost any chance of winning
the trophy for first man home.
And to win
the 5,000 cash prize,
he'd have to sail
the world faster
than any of the racers
ahead of him,
through a southern ocean
that was already claiming casualties.
Chay Blyth and John Ridgway
had been knocked out
of the race.
Big seas
had seen them off.
It was the first inkling
that this was not
just an adventure,
but a very dangerous
Don was showing a lot of courage.
He was well aware
of the risks.
But he felt he was capable of...
of getting through it.
Kerr: Here now was a publicity
machine at full blast.
I was there
as a journalist.
I was producing a film.
I could see that
the schedule was tight,
and when I got
to Teignmouth,
it was chaos...
total chaos.
It took far longer for you
to come around
from the east coast
than you had
originally planned.
What sort of pressures has
this put on you as a result?
Well, it's a week less.
It means less time,
you know.
The schedule
is that much tighter.
Clare: I thought, "There's chaos here,
you know, and that's worrying."
Can you bring the dinghy
around this side?
The BBC people were watching it.
You could see that they saw that
this wasn't how it should be.
I told the cameraman,
"This is a voyage
that's not gonna happen.
It's not gonna
Just film what is really happening...
film the chaos of it all."
Which he did.
With three
or four days to go,
there was so much
still to be done
by so many
different people
who got in
each other's way.
He had lost track of what
was happening on his boat.
Of course you realize I've got to have
the equipment tonight.
It won't be on the boat
if it's not put on tonight.
At that stage,
people were beginning to say to him,
"Are you sure
everything's all right?
Have you really considered
what you're doing?"
Kerr: He was getting more
and more exhausted
and more rattled.
He was bright and cheerful
for the interviews,
but the minute
the cameras stopped
his face dropped.
Interviewer:'Cause they sense
that it's a personal story.
And if I can ask you...
do you feel you're up against it
with the time limit?
I don't think
there are too many things
that are of any importance
that remain undone.
most of it is...
is taken care of.
And I think that...
I'm not lacking in
any great...
You know, there's nothing
essential that's missing.
The last day in Teignmouth,
Clare and I took him off for a walk
along the seafront.
He just sat there,
withdrawn and trembling,
saying, "It isn't ready.
The boat isn't ready."
And as we walked back
we met Stanley Best,
the sponsor,
and Rodney Hallworth
who stood to make a lot of money
if he succeeded
and nothing
if he failed.
So when he told them
he couldn't go,
the boat wasn't ready,
they said, "Donald, tomorrow
it's October the 31st,
the very last day to go.
You have to go."
What do you think of
the weather tomorrow?
I don't know.
I would think at this time of year
the southwestern winds...
Yes very nice.
It was unstoppable.
There was so much
at stake.
How could he say,
"I can't go"?
At the least, he faced ridicule
and embarrassment.
What would he be,
in his own eyes,
if he didn't go?
Radio announcer: Now we turn
to Teignmouth in South Devon,
on the last day in which
Donald Crowhurst could start
on his round-the-world
The rules of "The Sunday Times" race
said that all competitors
must have started
by the end of October.
And at 3:00 this afternoon,
after innumerable delays,
start Mr. Crowhurst did.
How many
can you manage?
- What about?
- Donald: The kids? Yeah, all right.
We're terribly short of time.
The pilot is waiting.
I'm awfully sorry.
I remember going on a small rowboat
with my brothers
and my sister,
and my father
kissing us goodbye.
It wasn't
a feeling of sadness
so much as excitement.
But I suppose there was a feeling also
in the back of my mind,
"Well, you don't quite know
what's going to happen next."
Clare: The children were oblivious
to the danger,
without any doubt.
And it's just as well,
Well, she's left Teignmouth at last.
The 41-foot trimaran,
"Teignmouth Electron,"
at the helm...
Donald Crowhurst,
this 36-year-old
who even at
this last stage
hasn't given up the idea of recording
the fastest time.
Yes, he's got this yellow
one-piece suit on,
and still his tie.
And out here too is his wife Clare
and four young children.
They're all very small,
"Bye-bye, Daddy."
Oh, something's
gone wrong out there.
He's taking a tour again.
Something I think has
gone wrong with the sail.
She's being towed back.
Oh, this is a tragedy.
Clare: The buoyancy bag at the top
of the mast was fouled.
The sails wouldn't go up.
Man #2:
Well it was a delay of only two hours.
By 5:00, Mr. Crowhurst's trimaran was
being towed out a mile from the shore,
and a cannon shot marked the official
start of his race around the world.
All I could see was this tiny figure
on what seemed to be
a minute boat,
over the horizon.
Nowadays with GPS
you can pinpoint your position
to within a few feet
on any portion
of the globe.
In the'60s, that just
wasn't the case.
Don Crowhurst sailed
over the horizon
and effectively
into oblivion.
I don't think people understand
what it was like
in those days...
pre-special foods,
pre-weather forecasts,
Bernard: You can't imagine
how intensely I was living,
how good it is to
be on your own.
You climb up
and you look back at your boat.
There is the sea, the wind,
the sound of the water...
above all, the beauty of the boat
surging forward.
On your own you can discover
who you really are.
Bernard Moitessier had now been at sea
for two months.
He was sailing faster
than any of his rivals,
averaging speeds
of 120 miles a day,
and closing rapidly on the race leader...
Robin Knox-Johnston.
Behind them, at the back
of the field of seven men,
was Donald Crowhurst.
The voyage he'd staked
his future on
was finally underway.
Donald: I've been at sea now
very nearly 14 days.
And I'm on my way
to a rendezvous
with Cape Horn.
That explains
why I'm here,
in the North Atlantic
in the middle of November
making tape recordings
in a small boat.
I wanted film of him at sea
and I wanted
his thoughts,
so I got him
a 16mm camera
and a tape recorder.
Like in Teignmouth,
when the camera was on,
he was the bold,
outgoing confident figure.
He was playing
the character
of the long-distance
The thing about single-handing is,
it puts a great deal
of pressure on the man.
It explores
his weaknesses
with a penetration
that very few other
occupations can manage.
Don was always totally positive
and confident...
on the surface.
But the log revealed
a totally different story.
"November 5th, Tuesday:
Rachael's birthday.
Happy birthday, Rachael.
Hell of a morning
for me, though.
I was feeling pleased
with myself
when I noticed bubbles were blowing
out of the port forward hatch.
All the evidence was
that the compartment was full of water.
November 7th,
Saw that more screws had fallen out
of the self-steering gear.
That's four gone now.
The cockpit hatch
has been leaking,
and it's flooded the engine
compartment and electrics.
This bloody boat is
just falling to pieces."
Kerr: There were a lot of hatches
on these outer hulls,
and they were
all leaking.
While he was in
these calm waters,
he could walk out
to them and bail them out with a bucket.
But once he got
into the southern ocean
the boat would be
swept by waves.
There was no way
he could empty them.
The hulls would fill
and he would drown.
"November 15th:
Racked by
the growing awareness
that I must soon decide
whether or not I can go on
in the face
of the actual situation."
I think doubt started to set in...
When reality started
to set in.
And that reality wasn't quite
as perfect as the idea.
This is why
ideas are dangerous.
Donald: "As the boat stands:
In its present condition
my chances
of survival would not,
I think,
be better than 50-50."
Winspear: He knew the risk of going
to the southern ocean
was very very
high indeed.
Swinton: Crowhurst was now heading
into that ocean
in a leaking boat
he had to bail by hand.
And confirmation of just how dangerous
those seas could be
came later
that November.
I'd heard about Ridgway and Blyth.
Next news I got
was off New Zealand.
And I learned about
King and Fougeron.
Bill King got turned over by a big wave
off South Africa
and lost his mast.
There was the Italian.
The stress made him
so ill,
he had a stomach ulcer.
There was another
French sailor.
He had 27 days
of the most appalling weather,
and he packed it in.
It came down to the last four:
Tetley, Knox-Johnston,
and Don Crowhurst.
Only four.
The odds were shortening on Crowhurst
all the time.
But his progress
was painfully slow.
His only communication with land
was through occasional
telephone calls
patched by radio operators
and through
Morse code cables,
and the cables
catalogued the problems.
Crowhurst was averaging
barely 60 miles a day,
half of the speed
of Moitessier,
in a boat that would not
stay afloat in heavy seas.
The pressure was building.
If Don went forward,
he was committing suicide.
But the financial
situation was desperate.
If he came back,
he was ruined.
"Time and money:
If one considers
time only,
the thing to do
is turn back now;
but money...
this area is
the most worrying.
If I stop, I will disappoint
a lot of people...
Stanley Best...
most important...
Rodney Hallworth,
the folks at Teignmouth.
In the final analysis,
if the whole thing
goes quite sour,
the business bankrupt
and the house sold,
I would have Clare
and the children still.
What a bloody
awful decision,
to chuck it in
at this stage.
What a bloody
awful decision."
Simon: This was the point
in mid-November
at which his instincts
should have told him
that it was right to give up
and he should come back to us.
somehow he couldn't
bring himself to do that.
Donald was brought up in British India.
Home was wonderful.
The house full
of animals.
He loved
his father dearly.
But I think he had quite
a nice little childhood.
There were always
people around,
but he was isolated.
His mother regarded
England as El Dorado,
and they came back and found
they didn't like it at all.
They had little more
than 5,000
and they thought they'd be able to live
off that for a while.
But as things turned out,
the money went in weeks
and they literally found
themselves destitute.
One day his father just
keeled over with a heart attack
and that was it.
Donald was about 15.
Simon: He had seen the consequences
of financial disaster
on his own family.
He knew what the implications
might be for us.
He would have had a real
emotional gut reaction
to do whatever
he possibly could to avoid that.
Maybe he could find a way
out of this situation.
Every time he woke up,
it was the same problem.
He got no peace.
He couldn't
walk away from it.
If he came back,
he was ruined.
If he went forward,
he was dead.
Is there
a third option?
There was
a third option...
a very interesting
third option.
Suddenly, everything changed.
Now we were
all excited.
Here was a man
who was going so slowly,
and now he was setting
record speeds.
People who had been cynical,
people who had been disinterested
felt differently now.
Simon: We just had this enormous
confidence in my father.
He could do what
he set out to achieve.
And then suddenly,
there he was,
and it was really
coming true.
This is vindication
on a grand scale.
243 miles
in one day...
the new sailing record.
And of course, Rodney is,
"Yes, I've always believed in my boy,"
all that sort of stuff.
Kerr: Rodney Hallworth is a good
Fleet Street journalist...
"Never let the facts get
in the way of a good story."
He would add a little color
and add quite a distance
to the records
Crowhurst was setting.
So Donald was
passing messages
to Rodney,
and Rodney was
embellishing them for Fleet Street.
In the middle of December,
a month and a half
into his journey,
Crowhurst's reported position advanced
rapidly towards the southern ocean.
Suddenly it seemed
that Donald Crowhurst
was a contender in the contest
for the fastest voyage.
Nigel Tetley,
Bernard Moitessier,
and Robin Knox-Johnston were
now his only remaining rivals.
Man: I wonder what you'll do
when the voyage is over?
Hot bath.
- Man: Anything else?
- Steak, egg and chips
with new-boiled potatoes,
fresh peas, a beautiful,
juicy, sirloin steak.
But first thing,
a pint of English beer.
Christ, I miss
English beer.
I think it might have started as a game.
Knowing Don,
he had a playful nature...
And game playing would
come naturally to him.
He started
playing games.
Maybe he just thought,
"Right, give them
some boost back home.
Lift their spirits..."
"and they'll all think
something's happening here."
My father was starting to claim
that he had sailed further
than he actually had.
He took the decision
to begin charting
his actual positions
in a second logbook.
Swinton: Crowhurst knew the race
judges might ask to see
the logbook of any sailor
who made it home.
So in this second log,
he began to keep a secret
record of his true journey,
while gradually the cables
he sent back to London
mapped out the story
of a fake journey.
I suspect that he might have said,
"Well, let's carry on
a bit,
let a little water
pass under the bridge."
And then
the game develops.
Crowhurst may only have intended
to exaggerate
his progress
before retiring from the race with
a little pride restored.
But that first decision
became a trap of its own.
The option of pulling out of the race
became even more formidable.
Because the difference between where
people thought my father was
and where he actually was
became greater and greater.
So to pull in at a port
would bring home
the fact that
he was not at all where
he was supposed to be...
that he was much much
further behind.
That's where he got trapped, wasn't it?
He'd made a mistake.
Whatever fears he had,
he had to go through with it.
He couldn't go back.
He couldn't
go home.
Around Christmastime,
my father managed to get
through on the telephone
to my mother.
He couldn't tell her
the problems that he was facing.
She thought
he was doing well,
and that her job was to convince him
that she was coping.
They were trying
to protect each other.
We tried to have
a good Christmas,
but there was still a great sense
of something missing.
I remember one of the children
sitting on
the staircase crying
that he wanted
his daddy.
And that...
I think
brought it home to me
what a dreadful thing
we had done.
Donald: "There is a spirituality
about this place,
and about the time...
that does tend to make one
a little bit melancholy.
And one thinks
of one's friends and family,
and you know that
they're thinking of you.
And the sense
of separation
is somehow increased
by the Ioneliness."
Man: What about the children?
How are they reacting?
They're all right.
They're healthy enough
about it.
One of them has nightmares,
and this is a bit worrying.
He walks in his sleep
and he shouts
and he sees his father.
And because he can't...
he sees him,
but he can't
communicate with him,
and he can't feel the warmth
of his personality about,
he worries
about this, of course.
But the others are
very blas about it,
and they think of "Daddy's going to win
the Golden Globe," you know.
Early in the new year,
a newspaper photographed
Clare with the wives
of Tetley and Moitessier.
They were christened
"The Sea Widows."
For weeks now,
Crowhurst's publicity agents
had tried to report
news of his progress.
But after the cable claiming
the world's speed record,
his messages were rare
and hard to decipher.
There were many
telegrams from him
where we couldn't
put out a story
because even stretching
our imaginations,
we couldn't decipher...
we couldn't figure out
what he was talking about.
They were cryptic
beyond belief.
One came through
"off Brazil."
Well, where off Brazil?
Sometime in the middle of January...
I think it was the 18th or the 19th,
we got a message saying
he was having trouble
and, in future,
we would not be receiving
any messages from him.
Rodney was facing
the prospect
of no information
at a crucial stage
in the race.
Swinton: Crowhurst's last cable claimed
he was 500 miles
into the southern ocean,
and closing on Tetley.
Ahead of them,
Moitessier and Knox-Johnston
were approaching the most
dangerous part of the course...
the last stretch
of the southern ocean
before Cape Horn.
Cape Horn becomes fixed in your mind.
"Once I'm round
Cape Horn,
I can turn north.
I can get out of
this bastard of a place."
'Cause it is
a bastard of a place.
Imagine yourself
in something about
the size
of a small truck,
and coming towards you is
a 12-story high building.
That is the size
of the waves down there.
A great cape has a soul
with very soft,
very violent shadows
and colors.
A soul as smooth
as a child's,
as hard as
a criminal's.
And that is why we go.
One forgets everything,
seeing only the play
of the boat with the sea,
the play of the sea
around the boat,
leaving aside everything
not essential to that game.
One has to
be careful, though,
not to go further
than necessary
to the depths
of the game.
And that is
the hard part...
not going too far.
Donald: "You look out
on this wild landscape
stretching away as far
as the eye can see,
streaks of spume
blown down the face
of these immense waves...
and froth-white foam
sending a great flurry
of spray and heavy water
all over everything.
And it's all
tremendously exciting,
and a tremendous
challenge, of course."
Swinton: Crowhurst was drifting off
the coast of South America,
preparing a record
of his false journey,
film and audiotapes
that would be broadcast on his return.
In two months' time,
the race route would
bring the other sailors around Cape Horn
and past him.
At that point,
he could slip in beside them,
and sail for home.
Until then,
he could only wait.
He'd stopped all radio communication
to avoid detection.
His isolation
was complete.
Winspear: There you are,
you're alone on your boat,
just you...
and the ocean.
It's the whole
of your universe,
it stretches
to the horizon.
It's totally indifferent.
And it just accentuates
the isolation.
From that moment,
the time bomb was ticking.
He had no longer
one enemy
which was the sea,
he had himself...
this problem
of imagination
and the delicate mechanism
of the mind.
Keeping a sort of watch
on sails by night.
The rigging sighs a sigh
of cosmic sorrow
for weeping doves that die
maybe tomorrow.
On 12.7
by 10-to-the-five
irradiated olive trees.
A sigh to fill man's
soul with melancholy.
Waves, sweep away
my melancholy.
Then in the last week of February,
Crowhurst discovered
he had another problem.
His float splits.
He needs help.
But he's not where
he's supposed to be.
He's not in
the southern ocean.
He's just off
the coast of Brazil.
This is the trap
he's in.
Swinton: If Crowhurst broke radio
silence to call for help,
his radio transmitter would
give away his true position.
For seven weeks now,
his family had heard nothing.
Simon: It just became
more and more apparent
that something should have
been heard by now,
and it hadn't been.
And people began
to fear for the worst.
You think, "Well, I didn't stop him
as I should have done."
The last night
at Teignmouth,
he did weep
for a long time
in our bedroom.
I knew that it
would be very easy
to say, you know,
"Don't go."
That's the awful thing,
you know?
You know
you could stop it,
and yet you know that it could be
disastrous if you did.
It's a bit
like children
who know that if you
squeeze them too tight,
they'll do
the exact opposite.
But you can't
ever know at the time
which road is going
to be the right one.
I remember in...
in Teignmouth,
shortly before
my father set sail,
listening in the hotel
to the sound of a gale.
I hadn't
realized before,
just how dangerous
the sea could be.
And I remember lying
in my bed in the hotel,
and listening
to these huge winds
and great waves
and thinking,
"That's the sort of weather
that he's going to have to be coping
with in his boat."
"March 4th:
Immediate problems:
One, establish
visual contact
Rio Salado entrance,
30 miles;
Two, repair float...
mo proper materials...
large sheet ply,
screws, glue;
Also require
oats, meths,
vindaloo paste."
He knew what it was like
to come in contact
with people again.
And they responded
to him with warmth.
And yet, why he
didn't telephone home
is an overwhelming
He must have known
we were desperate for news,
but he didn't.
He didn't communicate
at that stage,
which is, to me,
quite a shattering blow.
Winspear: I think if you were
in the real world,
at that stage you would have
picked up the telephone...
and said, "Look,
I've had to stop."
Because landing
was a flagrant act
for disqualifying himself
from the race.
He was slowly but surely
getting himself exposed.
He had made
his first mistake.
That mistake was very likely
to be revealed,
particularly if the coastguards
had noted his presence.
Why didn't he stop then?
Why did he go
back out to sea?
I can only assume he was
half-in and half-out
of the real world
at this stage.
As Crowhurst sailed away from land,
the other sailors were
coming round the Horn
and racing north
for Europe and home.
Bernard Moitessier
had now been alone at sea
for nearly six months.
And the isolation was beginning
to affect him profoundly.
After Cape Horn, I felt I knew
I didn't want
to come back.
You see, it didn't
seem worth it.
I could feel it.
I didn't say so
to anyone.
I didn't dare to.
I hardly dared
admit it to myself.
Bernard: Around the world
without stopping...
eight months alone,
completely alone,
with all that
the entails,
it had never
been done before.
Everything revolved around
that word, "alone"...
the nervous tension,
the food, the exhaustion,
my whole outlook.
Things which
mattered at the start,
didn't matter at all.
The rules of the game
had changed now.
The rules within me
had changed.
I'm drunk, you circum...
You silly old circum...
You're as drunk as
a circumnavigator can be!
Hey, I'll tell you
I think the director-
general of the BBC
is probably slipping some buckshot
into his 12-ball, as it were.
Oh, why should I worry?
He's given
this lunatic Crowhurst
a tape recorder, yeah.
And 74,000 miles
of tape.
What can he do?
He's got to deliver a load of gibberish
in order to fill up
the space, matey.
Do you see?
I think I'll just have
another little swig of this bottle here.
For Crowhurst, after four months,
the waiting was
coming to an end.
And like Moitessier,
the prospect of
his return was troubling him.
Within days, the route
of his fake voyage
would come past
his actual position.
He had to plan
how and where
to rejoin the race,
when to break radio silence.
Above all, he had to prepare
the written evidence
of a circumnavigation.
Once he'd arrived successfully,
the panel of judges would
want to see his logbooks.
They would want proof that he had
been round the world.
He would have
to fake his position
for every day he was supposed
to be in the southern ocean.
That was an amazingly
difficult thing to do.
That would create enormous pressure.
He might think, "Well,
I don't think I can go through with it."
By this stage, I think
Don genuinely felt
that winning the race
wasn't part of the plot.
All he wanted really
was to come in quietly
as the man who came forth.
Nobody wants to see
their logbooks...
not too much scrutiny.
The interest in them
wouldn't last long.
Winspear: Don was very much at risk
in his game here.
But he just wanted
to go back.
He was coming home.
Hynds: One morning, Rodney
calls into the office
and said,
"Ah, he's back!"
I said,
"Oh, who's back?"
And it was,
"Donald Crowhurst is back."
There's a phone call
from Portishead
saying Crowhurst is
back on the air.
Clare: Rodney Hallworth phoned me
very early one morning.
He said, "My face is covered
in shaving cream,
but I've had a message
from Donald saying he's safe and well,
and on his way home."
Young Clare: L... I don't know...
I just don't know what to do.
Quite frankly,
I'm absolutely stunned.
I thought that when I heard,
I would go absolutely crazy
and I would go off
buy lots of champagne
and, you know, do all sorts
of mad things.
But at the moment,
I think I just want to keep the news
a bit to myself
and sort of absorb it
before l... I completely
lose my head.
Clare: The feeling that the whole
world was different...
didn't matter there
wasn't enough money for this or that.
Everything was different
all of a sudden.
Young Clare: Then l... I picked up
the telephone to tell a friend
and suddenly I was
absolutely overwhelmed.
I couldn't... I couldn't talk
for a long time.
Simon: It was as if a switch
had been thrown.
Suddenly this elation...
not only was
he alive and well,
but he was actually in...
still very much in the competition.
Our faith is deserved.
He's back with us.
Crowhurst turned for home,
slipping in behind
Nigel Tetley,
who'd passed just
100 miles to the east of him.
Everyone believe Moitessier
was ahead of them,
chasing Robin Knox-Johnston
to the finish...
until a message
arrived in Paris.
After seven months at sea
and barely six weeks
from home,
Moitessier abandoned the race
and turned south again.
He was sailing on
around the world
a second time.
Bernard: I do not know how to explain
to Franoise and the children
my need to continue
towards the Pacific...
to be at peace.
I know I am right.
I feel it deeply.
I know exactly
where I am going.
How could they
understand that?
It is so simple.
But it can't be
explained in words.
The pictures of my children
blur before my eyes,
though God knows
I love them.
Morning of Tuesday, April 22nd.
Plymouth awaits the arrival
of Robin Knox-Johnston
aboard his 32'
ketch "Suhaili,"
now only a few miles
away from the finish
where he'll become
the first man
to sail around the world
on his own, nonstop,
a journey which has
lasted 312 days.
The crowds now pouring in
all around the Cornwall Coast;
Binoculars and telescopes
are out.
As his bows cross
the line,
a cannon should be fired,
and the voyage
will be over.
There he is.
Look at the smile.
He really is enjoying this.
This is tremendous.
And the cannon is gone,
and Robin Knox-Johnston
and "Suhaili"
have sailed nonstop
around the world.
It was all a bit of a dream.
You look at all
these people and say,
"I've done this, this thing that people
said you couldn't do.
I've done this now."
I don't have to
come yell, scream, shout about it.
It's inside.
Man: Robin Knox-Johnston
came out onto the balcony
to acknowledge the cheer.
He's the first ever
to round the world alone nonstop.
He's averaged
92 miles a day
on this marathon voyage.
It's not enough to
win him the cash prize
for the fastest time,
because Nigel Tetley
and Donald Crowhurst
are still battling it out
in the Atlantic.
All eyes now turned to the contest
for the fastest voyage.
Either Nigel Tetley
or Donald Crowhurst
was about to become
the most famous man in Britain.
Right, the game playing is over,
We're back
to real life now.
How are we gonna
match the two?
Not a very easy
thing to do.
Whilst he was out on his own,
that's one thing.
But he has now got to
continue playing his character.
He's got
a role to play
and he mustn't drop
a line.
Donald: "I think my effort will be
faster than Chichester's
and should be quite fast enough to give
me'The Sunday Times' race."
So I'm feeling
fairly bucked,
fairly chuffed
with myself.
The whole plan, in reality,
depended on Tetley
coming in first
with the fastest
Then his notebooks would
be closely examined,
while Donald Crowhurst's
wouldn't need to be closely examined
at all. He's just a runner-up.
Winspear: He was going strong
and it was looking great.
Then we got the telegram
that there's no chance...
of catching Tetley.
We're thinking,
but not devastation.
As far as we're concerned,
our boy has done good.
He's gone through
some of the Ioneliest,
toughest seas
in the world.
Even the most skeptical folk
are saying,
"He has come in good
and fair play to it."
It was bloody marvelous.
And then suddenly,
out of the blue...
Tetley sunk.
I heard Nigel Tetley had been rescued.
I heard that
before I heard
that his boat
had gone down.
That finished it, basically.
He was going to win.
Donald was not a stupid man.
He knew what
it would mean.
He couldn't glide
into port and fade away.
He knew that everything
would be scrutinized.
Winspear: There was going to be
a committee of reception.
What did you think about
when you went round the Horn?
Everything would
be verified.
Tell us about some of the problems
that you found on this voyage?
And Don knew very well
that it would end up
in total humiliation.
Could you do it again?
That's not an option
you go through.
And he's running out
of options by now.
"When I was five years old,
I knew
all about God.
He was an old man
who would punish me
if I was naughty.
By the time
I was 20,
I decided there was
no reason to expect
any assistance
from God...
if he existed at all.
Man was evading
his responsibility
by constantly looking
to God...
for assistance.
The cosmic integral,
the sum of man...
adds up to nothing."
In the days after Tetley's sinking,
Crowhurst repeatedly
tried to get a call through to Clare.
But his radio transmitter
was failing.
If you are, I will come back to...
The transmitter failing at that point
was something
that plagued him.
He became almost
obsessed with fixing it.
He wanted to talk
to my mother.
Mike-Zulu-Uniform-Whiskey calling GBC-3.
I have heard nothing.
I have heard nothing.
I think he just wanted human contact
that he felt would
be warm and responsive,
whatever he had to say.
Mike-Zulu-Uniform-Whiskey calling.
He could have trusted me...
but there was nothing
he could do.
"There are close similarities
between sailing
a small boat and living.
You start off
a long journey ahead of you that
you think will never end.
And you go through
a series of triumphs and disasters.
And suddenly
you realize
what's done is done.
The mistakes you've made
stand forever."
Hynds: There were 100,000 people
expected to meet him.
100,000 to say hello to you
on your way home.
There was going to be
a razmataz.
There would be
triumphant processions.
It was euphoric.
This almost outdoes
Hallworth: We're hoping this
will be a great gala affair.
Newspapermen from abroad
have all booked in hotels.
Over 1,000 arrangements have been made
to welcome him home.
It was beginning to build up to be
really lovely.
It was so close
to the end.
Everybody was
in such high spirits.
All of a sudden,
everything was all right.
His dream, it was there.
It was going to
come true.
Everything a hero
could want.
But he knew
it was false.
On Tuesday, 24th of June,
Crowhurst turned
away from England
and let his boat drift through
the weed-infested waters
of the mid-Atlantic
Sargasso Sea.
Then he opened a logbook
and began to write.
He called it
his philosophy.
"The explanation of our troubles
is that cosmic beings are
playing games with us.
During his lifetime,
each man plays cosmic chess
against the devil.
God is playing
with one set of rules,
and the devil
with the other,
exactly opposite
set of rules.
The shameful secret
of God...
the trick He used,
because the truth
would hurt too much...
is that
there is no good
or evil.
Only truth."
Clare: He was in the most
extraordinary feeling
of "I've failed
There was nobody there
to talk to.
He tried to contemplate ways
of dealing with this race
and the money
and the family back home,
and eventually his brain said,
"Enough. No more."
"Do we go on clinging to the idea
that God made us?
Or realize that
it lies within us
to make God.
By learning to manipulate
the space/time continuum,
man will become God
and disappear from
the physical universe as we know it."
Clare: Somehow he just had
given up on his family.
We had vanished from
his mind at that stage.
Mrs. Crowhurst, unless he sinks,
your husband is going
to win the 5,000
for the fastest time.
What will this mean
to you and your family?
Very little change
in our way of living, I should think.
He won't sink,
I don't think.
Donald: "I have become a second
generation cosmic being.
I am conceived
in the womb of nature,
in my own mind,
in the womb
of the universe."
Man: You've told me that you
haven't had any fears
during the voyage,
but what about when he returns?
Yes, I am a bit concerned about
the change of personality.
I think it's inevitable that he will be
a very different person.
Somebody who faced
every day
as though it was a new danger
and a new feeling of excitement.
"I was forced to admit
that nature forces
on cosmic beings
the only sin
they are capable of...
the sin
of concealment.
It is a small sin
for a man to commit,
but it is a terrible sin
for a cosmic being."
Winspear: He is living totally
in his internal world.
He's invented,
in his mind,
a relationship
between him
and the universe.
He's found refuge there,
in a sense.
"I am what I am.
And I see the nature
of my offense.
I will only resign
this game
if you will agree that
on the next occasion
that this game
is played,
it will be played
according to the rules
that are devised
by my great God.
It is finished.
It is the mercy.
11 hours, 15 minutes,
no seconds.
It is the end
of my game.
The truth
has been revealed
and it will be done as
my family require me to do it.
11 hours, 20 minutes,
40 seconds.
There is no reason
for harmful..."
I'd been out for a walk,
and I came back
with the dog.
My sister was
with the children.
And she said,
"The boat's been found."
Then I became aware
there were several complete strangers
on the front lawn
and a couple
of police cars.
Just my instant
reaction was,
"Get the children
out of here."
You can imagine the atmosphere,
the feeling of shock.
Clare didn't feel
she had the courage
at the time
to tell the children.
So I went to them.
My father's boat had been found,
but he wasn't in it.
It was so different from the homecoming
that we'd expected.
It was just like,
"This is the wrong story.
This is...
this is not what's
supposed to be happening.
This is...
it can't be."
Swinton: A British cargo ship
found Crowhurst's boat
drifting in
the mid-Atlantic
700 miles from land.
A surprise development tonight
over the missing yachtsman
Donald Crowhurst.
Crowhurst's trimaran,
"Teignmouth Electron,"
was found drifting
and deserted.
He'd been a competitor
in the Round-the-World yacht race
organized by
"The Sunday Times."
Man #2:
The pale blue weather-beaten trimaran,
which was a certain
winner of the race,
was in good condition.
The mystery of his
disappearance, therefore,
is still inexplicable.
The film and his tape recordings
may provide other clues,
but for the moment, this Ionely yacht
without her Ionely captain
is not giving up
any of her secrets.
Swinton: When the boat was brought
ashore in the Caribbean,
Crowhurst's press agent
Rodney Hallworth
was there to meet it.
I went into the captain's cabin,
and I remember saying
to him that...
"I don't suppose, Captain,
we'll ever know
the end of this saga,
this riddle?"
And I thought his face
dropped a little
and he said, "Well, I think
we do, Mr. Hallworth."
And he led me over
to his desk,
he unlocked a drawer
and took out the logs.
We decided
there and then
that we would never tell anybody
for the rest of our lives
what had happened
in the last hours
of Crowhurst's life.
In fact,
Rodney Hallworth
had already sold the logbooks
to a London newspaper.
And piece by piece,
the truth of Donald Crowhurst's
voyage was uncovered.
Clare: Rodney Hallworth stumped
through the front door,
and while I was sort of
staring in amazement
he said, "Donald didn't
sail around the world
and he committed suicide."
And I think that
is the most appalling
thing to do to anyone.
I will never forget
those words.
But that was Hallworth.
No one likes to be conned.
We were sharp newspapermen
and he conned us.
Kippered us.
I felt like a kipper.
For me, it's all one regret.
I never did speak
to Clare again.
I never could face her.
I felt I was party to it.
We were all party to it.
If only I had said,
"Don't go, Donald.
It's crazy."
I should have said that.
He made the wrong decisions.
In a way, he turned
the initial difficulties
into something
much worse...
into a disaster for himself
and for the rest of us.
But he was trying
to do the best he could
to get back to us.
And that's all
he could do, really.
Everything angered me at that time.
Anger just boiled over.
And I blamed everyone
and everything.
I feel that I failed.
I didn't stop him
from going
and I didn't help him
when he needed it.
But people
need to dream.
I think
Donald needed that,
and he had
a right to have it.
The crowd criticized him.
The crowd mocked him.
And I didn't want
that to happen.
When somebody
has risked
and failed,
and when somebody
has fallen
from the tightrope
they've been walking on,
somebody has to
pick them up
and give them a burial.
The best thing is that
a friend should do that.
Don wanted to make
a success of his life.
He just wanted to see
a bright future
for himself
and his family.
In my mind,
I gave him a hero's...