The Mercy (2018) Movie Script

(Rachel) 'Are there horses
in the Horse Latitudes?'
(Crowhurst) 'No, sweetheart.
'Story has it that many years ago
when the Spanish sailed to the West Indies
'they brought their horses with them
to the New World
'and sometimes they ran out of wind and
then they ran out of fresh water as well.
'I can only quote the mountaineer
Sir Edmund Hillary himself:
'"Men do not decide
to become extraordinary.
'"hey decide to accomplish
extraordinary things."'
(Seagulls squawking)
(Horn whistles)
(Overlapping conversations)
(Camera shutter clicks)
Greetings. Welcome to the 25th
Annual Earls Court Boat Show,
brought to you by "The Sunday Times"
and John Courage.
Speaking of courage, without further ado,
I would like to welcome
one of our greatest heroes,
the first man to single-handedly
circumnavigate the globe,
and now a Knight of the Realm,
Sir Francis Chichester.
(Chichester) Thank you.
(Camera shutter clicks)
Thank you.
So the only thing that I can imagine
that would test a man
more than sailing around the world
in a boat alone,
stopping only once,
is not stopping at all.
And "The Sunday Times"
has asked me here today
to announce just such a challenge.
(Cheering, overlapping conversations)
(Camera shutter clicks)
There will be a cash prize
for the man who comes first,
and a prize for the man who is fastest.
And I believe the details will be
in tomorrow's edition of the newspaper.
Will you be entering, Sir Francis?
No, no, I've had my fun.
Wild horses wouldn't drag me
back to the sinister Southern Ocean.
I believe a man said that the waves there
measured not in feet and inches,
but in increments of fear.
A man alone on a boat
is more alone than any man alive.
(Man) Then why would anyone go?
Well, that indeed is a fair question,
because to only do
what has been done before
is to live one's life
in the shadow of other men.
And for that reason alone,
we are blessed by the size of the sea,
and its siren call to men
seeking adventure.
Thank you.
(Crowhurst) The question that any man
who's dreamed himself beyond the horizon
must ask himself is,
"Where am I going?"
Closely followed, I assume, by,
"How in God's name do I get back?"
Precisely, and this device answers
both of those questions
because it places the latitude
and the longitude
right in the palm of your hand.
The Navicator is every sailor's
most trusted companion,
The Navicator.
Developed and manufactured
by Electron Utilisation of Teignmouth.
Built by us. In our own backyard.
- How does it work?
- It's ingeniously simple.
By comparing signal strengths
of radio beacons on land,
you can tell where you are at sea.
James, over here, is a radio beacon
at Land's End.
And Simon, over here,
is transmitting from La Rochelle.
And you just point the Navicator
and fire like so,
and, hey presto,
you have your position.
And unlike other directional finders,
it has an incorporated compass,
and it is so compact that...
(Boys) It can be operated
with just one hand.
Leaving this one free to hoist
a spinnaker in a favourable wind.
Or hoist a drink.
- The possibilities are endless.
- (Laughs)
Captain Chichester might've benefitted
from this out in the Roaring Forties.
Perhaps. It appears Sir Francis managed
to find his way around fine without it.
We can't all be Captain Chichester.
It's very clever,
but we don't go out to sea much.
We tend to stick more
to the inland waterways.
Thank you.
What sort of vessel do you sail?
(Sighs) I was sure we very nearly
had one there, boys.
Do we need to sell all of them
before we go home?
Be nice to make Mummy happy,
wouldn't it?
Maybe that one looks better
on the stand.
(Seagulls squawking)
(James) South-southeast.
(Crowhurst) Towards the Azores.
- Gibraltar and beyond that. Africa.
- Oh, shall we go?
- I don't want to go.
- Said we'd meet the Milburns at the pub.
- I guess we'll be late.
- Can we go home instead of Africa?
Which way is home?
Due east. According to the Navicator.
- Very impressive.
- Tell your mother how it works.
The Navicator uses
coastal radio signals...
(Music over dialogue)
Is it really finished?
The latest stroke of genius
from Electron Utilisation of Teignmouth.
- And you think there's a market for it?
- Anyone who's lost.
- Hm.
- (Chuckles)
It's marvellous.
Someday I'll use the Navicator
to find an island,
or a whole new continent,
like in "Captains Courageous"
Be careful. The boy in that story
fell overboard, remember.
Be careful. Come back here.
The problem is
the entire planet's been handled.
Corners inspected, clouds perused.
Hillary had scaled the heights.
- Scott has braved the Pole.
- (Clare) Cost him his life, didn't it?
But he made it.
In his diary he said,
"All daydreams must go." Pity that.
"Dreams are the seeds of action."
We'd all do well to remember that.
Prepare to come about.
(Seagulls squawking)
(Crowhurst) Read it.
A single-handed race around the world.
- (Ian) It sounds miserable.
- It sounds profound.
Heroic. Never attempted before.
No stopping this time.
This is the highest rung.
(Woman) Anyone who enters
needs their head examined.
Examine it till your heart's content.
I've already sent in my entry form.
(Woman) Clare, did you know this?
Examine it or give it a proper thrashing?
Donald, what do you mean...?
I shall claim the prize for you, my love.
5,000 quid.
(Clare chuckles)
Alone on a boat for nine months?
You're either drunk or mad.
We should have another drink,
so that we can rule out madness.
As Chichester said, "Any damn fool
can circumnavigate the world sober.
"It takes a really good sailor
to do it drunk." Same again?
- Why not?
- Yes, please.
- Er, three quid's worth, please.
- All right, sir.
- (Crowhurst) How's business, Mr Best?
- Huh!
Er, these things seem
to sell themselves.
Everyone wants to go somewhere else,
and have somewhere to sleep
when they get there.
Brilliant product, the caravan.
Makes anywhere your home.
Yes, I suppose it does.
- How far are you going today?
- Staying locally.
- Practising for a longer haul, though.
- Really? Any place in particular?
Round the world.
Darling, may I point out a few things
about this particular adventure
that may prove problematic?
Well, firstly, you don't have a boat
capable of such a voyage.
(Crowhurst) Not yet,
but such matter is subject to change.
I didn't have a wife at one time.
- And now I have a beautiful one.
- (Chuckles)
Secondly, you have never been
much further than Falmouth.
I've also never walked to London,
but I imagine the same stride
I employ daily would carry me there.
Given enough time.
Sailing is no different.
Well, then there is the fact that
this man who is "striding to London"
has a wife and children,
who have come to rely on him
for this roof over their heads,
and plates of food in front of them,
three times daily.
Of course.
But those are the givens in the equation.
One's obligations.
How romantic,
says the "obligation" sitting here.
What have I done in all these years?
(Clare sighs)
You have done so much.
You've served your country.
You've held a post on the borough council.
You've... invented things.
You've engineered them into existence
from pure imagination.
I don't want to make devices that
allow others to have all the adventures.
All right,
but then what about the company?
What happens to Electron Utilisation
if you just sail away?
Well, consider for just a moment
the recognition of such a voyage.
Would not all that accrue directly
to the value of the company?
- Hmm.
- To us?
Larger house, larger bank accounts.
Oh, Don, we hardly need
a larger house.
More than the material gains,
it would result in children
who are proud of their father
for doing what no other man
in the county would even contemplate.
I think I can win this race, Clare.
(Woman) 'Don's not still talking
about making a boat?
- (Clare) 'Yes.
- 'Clare, you have to stop him.'
Stop him from... dreaming?
Well, how would you suggest I do that?
(Woman) 'No, not from dreaming.
Dreaming's one thing.'
But leaving in a boat on some sunny day
is quite another.
Well, I have complete faith
that he will wake up from this dream
before that sunny day actually arrives.
- 'He usually does.'
- 'You think he'll change his mind?'
Well, that's what I admire about Don.
He has a mind that's
capable of change.
You want to build a boat?
This boat, it'll be a trimaran.
A three-hulled vessel
based on the Piver design.
It'll feature a treasure trove
of technical innovations,
all pioneered by Electron Utilisation,
incorporating the Navicator
and a dozen other major innovations.
It'll feature an inflatable buoyancy
device at the top of the mast.
So, if she gets into trouble,
the CO2 cartridge is triggered
by the capsizing event,
shoots up the mast,
and inflates the buoyancy bag at the top.
So if she goes over,
she'll just pop back up again.
Without question,
it'll be the fastest boat in the race.
We enter it in the Golden Globe.
The biggest sailing race ever
becomes our advertising campaign.
"We" enter it?
I didn't come here
asking for charity, Mr Best.
I'm offering something new.
- Who pilots the boat?
- I do.
You? Have you ever done anything
like that before?
No, but that's the point.
That's the business proposition.
If I can do it, then so can the bloke
who stares at the horizon in wonder.
If I'm putting in the money...
...what are you putting in?
Everything else.
(Hallworth) So you're not really a sailor?
(Crowhurst) Seems to me
the act of sailing makes one a sailor.
How about you, Mr Hallworth?
How did you come to be a press agent?
Oh, I was a reporter for a time.
A crime reporter.
So your experience as a press agent
appears to rival that of mine as a sailor?
Touch, Mr Crowhurst.
But, you see, publicity can be done
from the safety of a desk chair
whereas your competitors have a great deal
more experience at the helm of a boat.
Nobody has experience of sailing round
the globe single-handed without stopping.
And the proof of that is the simple fact
it has not been done before.
(Chuckles) It's a good point, that.
Yes, but then there's, you see,
for example, there's this Frenchman.
- Moitessier.
- Moitessier.
Now he sailed from Tahiti to Cape Horn,
through the Southern Ocean.
Two of these other bastards rowed
a bloody boat across the Atlantic.
Another commanded a submarine
in the war.
Moitessier, Knox-Johnston, Tetley and
the others, they're accomplished sailors.
- But when I win the Golden Globe...
- You can't think you're going to win?
Making it out to sea
is a feat for you, isn't it?
Chichester averaged
131 miles a day in his ketch.
- I believe I can make 200 in a trimaran.
- (Laughs)
I tell you what I see
when I look at you, Donald.
I see a part of England that's been lost.
The intrepid part that Churchill convinced
us of when the bomb were falling.
That "never say die" England.
I tell you, you're a story of derring-do
waiting to be told, Donald Crowhurst.
(James) When do you set sail?
Well, the rules of the race state that
competitors leave by October 31st.
So, before then.
- (Simon) And how will you go?
- The clipper route.
Down the Atlantic past Cape of Good Hope
and into the Southern Ocean.
Not really a place
for our little Pot Of Gold.
Streaking across the Roaring Forties
south of Australia, north past Cape Horn,
and back into the Atlantic again.
Trudging across the Horse Latitudes
before getting a last puff
from the Westerlies.
(James) Wow! What an adventure!
(Hallworth) So far we've got plenty
of tinned goods from Crosse & Blackwell.
We've got a commitment from Whitbread
for barley wine. Looks nice.
Now, also, the BBC are going to provide
you with a camera and tape recorder.
They're wanting you to keep an audio
and visual record for a film piece
- they're planning on your voyage.
- Film?
They want you keep
a daily written account, as well,
so you'll come back
a sailor and an author.
Golden Globe, slate one, take one.
Your husband will be gone for six months
with only intermittent contact.
Is that daunting to you?
I'm going to need you
to send me frequent updates.
I can drum up all the publicity
and whatnot,
but I want you to help me feed the beast.
The beast?
Well, naturally, I shall miss him because
he's the most marvellous company, but...
Well, I told myself it's only six months,
and we're going to manage in that time.
And I have no reservations whatsoever
about his safety,
because he's the sort of person
who will think of 1,001 ways
out of any situation.
I want you to make it real for all of us.
The wind, the waves, the whales, the...
All of it.
We're going to make you famous.
(Radio) 'The third competitor of the
Golden Globe race, Robin Knox-Johnston,
'is leaving today.'
'The Golden Globe trophy
will be offered to the first person...'
He's leaving today,
and we're not even in the water yet.
He may get back before I do,
but the question remains,
who can make the trip the fastest?
So, when are we leaving?
August at the latest.
Don't want to give them all
too much of a head start.
I am not going
to ask Mr Best for more money.
That's out of the question.
With all the new ideas, we seem
to be getting further and further behind.
Are you telling me August 1st
is no longer possible?
- Don, it never really was.
- September 1st?
Aiming for October 1st,
more realistically.
Or we need to put more people on,
double our shifts.
- No, no. The success of the project...
- Associated costs...
(Best) Two more left this morning.
I don't believe any of the three can
average more than 4.5 knots per day.
Maybe 100 miles. Lucky to complete
the route in less than 300 days.
- And you?
- Closer to nine knots and as high as 15.
That's the great advantage
of the trimaran.
130 days for the entire trip.
So, a departure in October...
What, October? It's October now?
What happened to September?
(Sighs) We've had delays.
But we can still make the deadline
with one last push. We're close.
How much more money do you need?
(Solicitor) This amendment
commemorates the new agreement
between you and Mr Best.
If you fail to complete
"The Sunday Times" race,
he is entitled to the deeds
to your property at Higher Brimley Road,
in addition to the previous agreement,
involving the rights and assets
of the Electron Utilisation Corporation.
You understand, Donald.
I just need some assurances that...
...we're not throwing
good money after bad.
(Signs agreement and pen clicks)
(Paper rustling)
(Door opens)
Are you sailing around in your brain?
(Donald sighs)
I was, erm...
I was talking to Mr Best.
And, and we decided that...
We decided...
...we'd push the departure day
back a couple of weeks.
So, not October 1st.
No, a little later.
Is that still safe?
Donald, are you really going to go?
That's still the plan.
I see.
Do you know, I think I fooled myself into
thinking we were just building a boat?
I... I didn't think
I'd actually have to... you sail away on it.
It's what boats do. They sail away.
But then they sail back again.
Will you promise me that?
I won't have you worry.
- Never.
- Hmm.
That's good to hear.
What's happening?
Well, we're, we're up against it.
Er, yes,
Don, now we, we haven't managed
to get our hands on the preferred
rubber gaskets for the hatch covers.
The best ones come from a supplier
in Scandinavia in my experience.
It seems they are completely out.
We've had to go with second choice. Sorry.
Well, second choice hardly seems like
optimal circumstances from which to begin.
No, well, I would prefer
a bit more time to get things right.
It's not really an option, is it,
more time?
The calendar does not negotiate.
In my experience, nor does the ocean.
Tomorrow's the last day.
Are you ready?
Well, I don't think there are
too many things of any importance
that will remain undone.
Erm... I'm not lacking
in any great respects.
There's nothing essential
that's missing.
(Elliot) 'Face it, Don.
The boat isn't ready.'
You don't have to do this.
(Overlapping chatter)
Here's to the good people
at Whitbread,
who have been kind enough
to put beer in bottles for your voyage.
- Hope you don't run out.
- Er, yes, well, about all that. I...
I wanted to say, with a heavy heart...
...that I all think we gave it a good go.
There were unforeseen events,
unexpected cost overruns
on this project.
If we'd had a couple more weeks,
I think we would've made our mark.
- Maybe even come out on top.
- Don...
My suggestion is
I leave in the spring instead.
Not as part of the race,
obviously that won't be possible,
but we can still make a big splash
with the new boat.
Make Mr Best here his money back,
and then some.
(Hallworth) Don...
I think on the eve of his departure,
any sane man would want to pull out
of such an endeavour.
I think your apprehensions are...
Well, they're normal, they're healthy,
and if you didn't have them,
then I'd be truly concerned for you.
And I'm sure you've contemplated
the consequences, if you withdrew,
reneging on the contracts
with your sponsors,
to say nothing of your arrangements
with Stanley here.
I'd hate to, er, enforce it.
Handing over your house
and Electron Utilisation in full.
Nobody wants to see that come to pass.
I don't. Stanley here doesn't.
(Best) No. No, no, I don't.
And nor do the people of Teignmouth,
who have invested their hearts
in your mission.
Leave your doubts with us,
here on the shore.
Take your dreams out to sea.
(Best) Ultimately, you know,
it's your decision.
You're the one taking the risk.
(Seagulls squawking)
(Reporters clamouring)
(Reporter) Oh, Mr Crowhurst,
how are you feeling?
(Crowhurst) Hello, everyone.
We need to come.
(Brass band plays)
(Crowd applauds)
Right, this way.
I'll just introduce you
to the, er, Mayor.
(Clears throat) Donald Crowhurst.
Morning, Mr Crowhurst.
The very best of luck.
Lady wife.
Good luck, Donald.
Er, keep in touch.
You're looking dashing.
Erm, rugged even.
- Stanley.
- Godspeed, Donald.
I shall think of you daily.
Last few words, sir?
Sir? Mr Crowhurst?
(Overlapping chatter)
Why don't you wave, children? Wave.
You too, Donald.
(Clare) All right. Hold on tight.
Come on, children. Come.
Mind your fingers.
Looks like a damn hurricane hit it...
...before I've even gone a mile.
What's that rope for?
Well, in case I get a clumsy moment
and stumble over the side,
I can pull myself back in
with this trailing line,
before the boat circumnavigates
without me.
But that's not going to happen,
because you won't be falling in, will you?
(Simon) Can I come aboard?
Not a good idea just now.
You're free now.
(Engine starts)
(James) Goodbye! Good luck, Daddy!
(Crowhurst) Bye, everyone!
(Cables clanking)
(Pegs clinking)
Oh, bloody hell.
(Indistinct radio signal)
(Reporter) Is there a part of the voyage
that most excites you?
Well, I suppose that would have
to be the day of my return.
Hello? This is Donald Crowhurst
calling from New Zealand.
'I'd like to speak to a girl
in England called Rachel Crowhurst.'
- Erm, putting you through. Ring, ring.
- Hello?
- Hello?
- A call from the middle of the ocean.
'For Miss Rachel Crowhurst?'
Can I still tell you secrets?
Er, yes, you can tell me secrets,
but just be aware
that Portishead is on the line.
(Rachel puts down receiver)
I think you're going to win.
(Crowhurst) 'I'd say it was going
swimmingly, but that'd scare your mother.
'Let me tell you a little bit
about turning eight years old.'
You'll learn many new things.
You'll learn just
how much you don't know at all.
You'll find the same thing happens
when you get to my age, as well.
'I want you to have
the happiest of birthdays.'
And know that I am with you
in every possible way.
- Will you bring me back a seahorse?
- Let me speak to Daddy.
Hello, darling. Is it going well?
Not missing us too much?
Oh, just working out the kinks here.
'Foreseen and otherwise, you know.
Not unlike your trials there, I'm sure.'
'How's the weather?'
(Line crackles)
Hello, Clare?
- (Line crackles)
- 'Hello?'
Yes, we're all here. Yes. Hello?
- Hello? Hello, Clare?
- 'Hello?'
'If you can hear me, I should probably
sign off. Crack on with the work.'
Much love to you
and to all assembled.
Say goodbye to Daddy.
Goodbye, Daddy! We love you!
Erm, when will we hear
from you again, Don? Donald?
(Operator) 'Sorry, Mrs Crowhurst.
This is Portishead. We lost the signal.'
Oh, yes, yes, of course.
Thank you, Portishead.
Well, that was lovely.
Hello, hello, hello, hello. Ooh!
The recording level needs
to be tweaked down a bit.
Hello, hello. Try that.
Er, so here I am, in the North Atlantic
in the middle of November,
making tape recordings for the BBC.
I've been at sea now
for very nearly 14 days.
On my way to a rendezvous
with Cape Horn.
'The thing that most people
associate with small boats
'is glorious afternoons in The Solent.'
Pretty girls in bikinis,
lounging about on the decks
of some vast schooner,
while men stand
with natty yachting gear,
clasping the wheel with a pipe
clenched firmly between their teeth.
'Unhappily, I've never encountered them.
'Everything on this boat is wet.'
Not damp. Wet.
'Condensation forms on the roof, drips
in your ear when you're trying to sleep,
'every hole is a potential leak,
'and the noise of the wind is continuous,
and often deafening.
'A great deal of pressure
falls on the man alone on a boat.
'It explores his weaknesses
'with a penetration that very few
other occupations can manage.
'I've never put out to sea in such
a completely unprepared state in my life.
'I have problems still.'
But I have a fairly long spell
in the trade winds ahead,
'in which I will endeavour
to get this boat ready...
'...for her great ordeal
in the Southern Ocean.'
(Light buzzes)
(Indistinct radio)
(Clicks switches)
Oh, no! Not this!
(Hallworth) '"Silence due engine
compartment flooded. Stop.
'"Stripped... What's that?...magneto,
replaced coils."'
"Stripped dried-out generator.
"Overhauled brush gear. Stop.
"Going on toward Madeira."
Madeira's Portugal.
I know where Madeira is,
thank you very much.
Honestly, he's got, what,
a transmitter and a phone.
All we get is this.
Where's the storms?
Where's the sea monsters?
Maybe he's making
more careful notes in the logs.
- What is this? Stripped mag... what?
- Magneto. The generator, I believe.
Should we say anything?
He's headed for Madeira at least.
Are you serious?
He's been headed for Madeira
for, what, the past three weeks.
Hasn't he?
The others are rounding Africa.
(Scraping and clanking)
Blast! No, Donald, you're not on holiday.
Not north! What is wrong with you?
What the hell is that?
(Crowhurst) 'The float has
proved to be quite vexing.'
And I still haven't found
a satisfactory answer
to the problem of getting air
into the main cabin
without letting in a lot of water.
So I worry about suffocating in my sleep.
Not, not to mention
the, erm, the electronics.
It's been hard to finish when one is busy
bailing out water all day to stay afloat.
'At the back of mind
there's still the nagging suspicion
'that the starboard float could split.'
You sound discouraged, Don.
Very disheartened.
These matters would've been
better resolved on dry land.
And if the goal was
to highlight certain advances,
the trimaran as the Caravan of the Sea
and so forth,
we're not putting our best foot forward.
'Is that it then?'
Are you calling to say
it's time to retire?
'Looks like we're at that crossroads.'
Every day out here
is a crossroads, Mr Best.
'Shall I inform your family and Rodney
of your decision?
'Are you turning back?'
Actually, I'm calling to say
that I fully intend to press on.
Would you relay that to my wife?
Tell her all is well.
Listening out.
(James) 'Can't we come with you?'
(Crowhurst) If anyone comes
on the boat with me, I'm disqualified.
Has to be me and me alone.
What happens
if there's a storm, like this?
Then I'll be in the storm.
Won't you get scared alone?
You know, whenever I get scared,
I'll just think of the next time
we're able to be together instead.
'Whenever you get scared,
I want you to think about the same thing.
'People who are thinking about
the same thing are always connected.
'No matter how far apart they are.'
(Glass clinking)
(Glass shattering)
Oh, good God. Not the buoyancy bag?
(Sighs) Oh, God.
(Clanking continues)
(Clanking stops)
(Exhales deeply)
(Breathes heavily)
(Crowhurst) 'My buoyancy bag
is now broken beyond repair.
'So if I capsize...
'...that will be it.'
(Wind howls)
(Water splashing)
'There's so much wrong
with the boat in so many respects.
'My chances of survival,
if I continue into the Southern Ocean,
'would not be better than 50-50.'
(Clare) 'Shall I give Daddy
the present now?
'This is something to remember us by.
It's just a little bit of home.'
Goodness me. It's...
- (Whispers) It's a toaster.
- Ah.
- Course it is.
- (Chuckling)
How splendid.
We all thought when you're sitting
down to have your breakfast,
a million miles from here,
it will be as if we're all there with you.
Do you like it, Dad?
It's from all of us. We all chose it.
Well, it's good reason
to keep the generator in working order.
Thank you.
I think Daddy likes his toaster!
(Radio buzzing)
(Phone rings)
(Operator) 'Mike, Zulu, Uniform, Whisky,
Teignmouth, Electron.'
This is Portishead radio.
I regret to inform you there is no answer.
'Would you like me to ring your wife
back later with a message? Over.'
Would you tell her... that I'm well?
'If I turn back, I face certain ruin.
'The loss of the company, the house.
'And that is a prospect
not to be contemplated.
'I can't go on...
'...and I can't go back.'
I'm here.
What if I tell them I'm...
Would they believe me?
What a bloody awful decision.
(Morse code machine beeping)
I think you should
take a look at this.
(Clare) "Hurtled south 172 miles."
(Hallworth) Crowhurst continues
to streak south,
leaving his difficulties behind.
He got it sorted. He's on his way now.
Saturday, 172 miles. Sunday, 109.
'Monday, 145.
'Even the porpoises are left
breathless by his speed.'
(James) '243 miles?'
A new single-handed record.
That's faster than Chichester!
Having passed the Equator
and into the springtime,
Donald Crowhurst is somewhere
in the South Atlantic
averaging an astounding
170 miles a day.
The speed of the Teignmouth Electron
is nothing short of electric.
Sure you want "electric"
and "electron" in the same sentence?
Oh, give over.
Is nothing short of electric, as his
daily totals surpass all the competitors,
even those of the great
Sir Francis Chichester himself.
- Sir?
- (Hallworth) 'There. Send it.'
- Seen the latest on Donald Crowhurst?
- Donald Crow who?
The last Globe entrant.
Bloke from Teignmouth.
Oh, dim recollection.
Just received this from his press agent.
Turning into quite a story.
Faster than Chichester?
Er, give me 500 words
on this Donald Crowhurst for tomorrow.
Mm-hm. Thanks.
(Pencil raps)
(Reporter) 'What sort of attitude
is required to sail a boat solo?'
(Crowhurst) 'Well, I think
one's psychology has to be fairly stable,
'and one has to be constantly aware
of the risks one is running.'
And a willingness to improvise
if circumstances dictate.
(Foghorn blares)
(Stops recorder)
(Man) ' God rest you merry, Gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay
' For Jesus Christ our Saviour
Was born upon on Christmas Day
' To save our souls
from Satan's power
' When we were gone astray... '
( "Silent Night"
plays on harmonica)
(Phone rings)
- (Operator) 'Portishead Station.'
- It's Portishead!
- 'Donald Crowhurst for Mrs Crowhurst.'
- Happy Christmas, Father!
(Crowhurst) 'And to all of you.
You sound much older, James.'
I've only been gone two months.
You're already a man.
Oh, happy Christmas.
'I am so sorry, but you don't have
your presents with you,
'because in the mad rush to leave,
somehow they got left off the boat.'
And then Stanley found them on the dock,
and he dropped them off.
- (Rachel) Can I open them?
- Yes.
You know, sometimes,
I find myself talking to you in my head.
'Then I have to stop myself from talking
out loud when I realise you're not there.'
Well, we're all... thrilled
by your progress.
Most impressed.
It's all over the papers.
Is it? Yes, well, I'd like to talk to you
about that at some point.
Are you nearing the Cape?
Portishead, are you on the line?
(Operator) 'Yes, sir. This is
Portishead operator. Can I help you?'
No, nothing.
Just thought the signal was fading.
'Yes, the Cape's out there, waiting.'
He's nearing the Cape.
Fougeron is out.
There's only four racers left.
And you're quicker than all of them.
We knew Moitessier and Knox-Johnston
were the ones to watch. Over.
All of the teachers and boys at school,
they all know where you are,
they're all keeping track.
You know, it's true, Don.
It's... it's all...
'It's all over the papers.
'People come up to me, and
they actually even stop me in the street.'
(Line crackles)
I think he's gone.
(Radio) 'Rough seas have put paid
to four of the competitors
'in "The Sunday Times"
round-the-world race,
'leaving just four sailors contesting
for the Golden Globe.
'The unstoppable and courageous
Robin Knox-Johnston is in first place,
'as he approaches New Zealand.
'While Bernard Moitessier,
the intrepid Frenchman, in second,
'is making a valiant attempt to overtake.'
(French accent)
My husband would find this absurd.
He would prefer they take pictures
of the wind than the wives.
Sadly, the wind doesn't sell papers.
It simply blows them around.
We're ready for you, Mrs Moitessier,
if I may.
- Good luck.
- Merci.
(Radio) 'Commander Nigel Tetley,
having rounded the Cape just last week,
'is in a determined pursuit
of the leaders.
'This week the spotlight
fell on Donald Crowhurst,
'the plucky amateur sailor
from Teignmouth,
'who has been posting
some remarkable speeds
'in his self-designed trimaran,
'according to his press agent
Rodney Hallworth.
(Hallworth) 'People here
are agog at his wonders.
'He rounded the Cape last Friday,
'and by now he'll be battling
the storms of the Roaring Forties...'
- What?
- '...and well on his way to Australia.'
- Christ!
- 'He'll soon be overtaking Nigel Tetley.
'He looks to be
the fastest sailor in the race.'
(Crowhurst) Christ, Rodney,
you've put me past the Cape!
I'm in the bloody
Southern Ocean already!
'He's put me
in the bloody Southern Ocean already.'
'Jesus Christ.'
(Crowhurst) 'I have to shut
the transmitter down.
'Can't keep calling home. It's obvious.
'Radio silence.
'I'll stay hidden.
'Just for a while.'
I mean, all the cable says is,
"Radio sealed.
"Transmissions not possible,
especially 80 east, 140 west."
Right, OK. Well, what does that mean?
That's from the Indian Ocean
to well past New Zealand,
so we may not hear from him until
he's made it back to the South Atlantic.
That's bloody months away, isn't it?
This is when we need him the most.
(Wheeler) Knox-Johnston sealed up
his radio when he rounded the Cape.
Haven't heard from him in weeks.
Moitessier, he didn't even bring a radio.
I know, I know, but our man did,
and we need him to use it. Do we not?
Now, sit down and listen.
Listen to this. Learn something.
The trimaran,
the Teignmouth Electron, et cetera,
sailed by Donald Crowhurst,
is in trouble in the Indian Ocean.
A large wave has smashed...
No, an enormous wave
has smashed into the stern,
and damaged the radio gear
and the superstructure...
- But he didn't say that.
- Hey, button it.
Erm, now, because the generator
is now inaccessible,
Mr Crowhurst fears
he will be out of contact with loved ones
for the most perilous part of his journey.
- I don't understand.
- I know. If you did, you'd have my job.
Look, his last missive said, er...
Where is it? Here we go.
"Stricken gout
after New Year's sherry party.
"Now equal footing...mermaids."
Eh? Shall we print that?
Think that'll cheer up the sponsors?
Bloody mermaids? Send it.
(Journalist) 'He's gaining on Tetley.
'May make a race of it yet.
Another 500 words?'
Mmm, yes. Sadly sounds like we won't
be hearing from him for a while.
Maybe you could do more on the wife.
- He has quite a following.
- I'll get Hallworth to set something up.
(Snow ball hits door)
How did you first meet Donald?
(Clare) Well, erm...
he walked up to me at a party,
and he told me he could see my future,
and that I would marry
an impossible man,
but I would be greatly loved.
And then the next day
he asked me out,
and then the day after that as well,
and he told me he would never
leave my side, and he never did.
(Journalist) But now he has.
Well, for good reason.
You can't sail round the world
by sitting in your living room.
And Clare knows that. She...
Look, she couldn't
have been more supportive.
Do you worry about him
being in the South Seas?
'Well, I think that wives and mothers
have been worrying
'as long as men have been sailing.'
So, yes, worrying does take up
a fair part of the day,
and a good portion of the night.
- Mummy, it's freezing.
- Ooh! (Blows)
Rub your hands.
Give them a good rub.
How do the children feel about him
being in a hostile world?
(Door slams)
I would prefer not do
that kind of thing ever again.
Clare, love, listen.
We can't give the public
the man right now.
So it's up to the rest of us
to take up the slack, fill in the blanks.
Is that what we are? Blanks?
Look, it's your husband's job
to sail that boat.
'It's my job to make sure
that everybody else knows about it.'
I can't make things easier for him
while he's out there.
'I wish that I could, but I have
every intention of making all our lives
'as easy as possible upon his return.
So, today, you helped
to make him famous.
I don't care if my husband's famous.
I... care that he's safe.
I knew it!
(Crowhurst) 'You've got no choice.'
I have no choice.
(Transmitter crackles)
'I don't want to go.'
(Clare) 'Don't go. Stay with us.'
But if you don't go, I don't want you
to regret that decision either,
and I fear that you will.
'You see,
it's not Rodney or Stanley that...
'...I worry about you disappointing.'
Or even me.
It's you.
Nobody else matters to me.
Good morning.
Buenos dias.
(Car doors close)
(Dog barks)
I am Petty Officer Santiago Franchessi
of the Coastguard of Argentina.
The Teignmouth Electron is your boat?
I'm surprised you haven't heard
about the race.
I started here in a town
called Teignmouth.
Then the clipper route
round the tip of Africa.
The plan was to go round the world without
stopping. Hence no need for a passport.
How do we know you
are telling the truth?
Well, I have a film camera as well.
If we could develop the negative,
I could show you the images.
Africa, the Roaring Forties,
New Zealand.
If you will stay here for a moment.
(Speaks Spanish)
(Clears throat)
(Crowhurst) 'I'm so sorry.'
I'm sure they told you everything.
May I call my wife?
- Let's go.
- Where are you talking me?
To your boat.
I had to check
that you are not a, er... smuggler.
(Speaks Spanish)
(Franchessi) We will get you
what you need for your boat.
(James) 'He's out! He's out!'
He was almost back and now he's out!
He's going round again.
- What are you talking about? Who?
- The Frenchman!
- He's withdrawn from the race.
- What?
'Father only has
Tetley and Knox-Johnston to beat.
'It's in the paper. Moitessier's out!
Simon, Rachel, the Frenchman's out!'
(Clare) '"I am continuing non-stop
back to the Pacific Islands.'
"I am happy at sea,
and I want to save my soul."
'What does the salt water do
to these men's brains?'
(Crowhurst) 'Tetley has to take the prize.
Too much noise.
'No one will look at the logbooks
of the last man home.
'I have to be last.
'Too many questions.
It's my only way back.'
'But where is back?'
(TV News) 'For Robin Knox-Johnston,
an impressive voyage of 312 days
'without setting foot on dry land.
'He remains 86 days shy
of Chichester's speed record,
'but wins the Golden Globe
as the first man
'to circumnavigate the world
without stopping.'
Didn't see him covering 200 miles in a day
like Captain Crowhurst.
(Hallworth) Exactly!
(TV) 'Nigel Tetley and Donald Crowhurst
are the two competitors still at sea.
'The coveted title of fastest
is still in the offing.'
And no one is faster than Donald.
(TV) 'Look at his smile!
He really is enjoying being home!'
To Robin Knox-Johnston!
Bless the man.
(Benefits officer) 'And when was
the family's last income?'
Well, he's been gone
for, er, almost six months now,
but, erm, even before he left,
he wasn't really earning
a significant amount of money.
- Gone? lllness?
- No, no. Nothing like that.
But he's expected back?
- Yes, definitely.
- 'Any idea when?'
I've actually brought some, er...
bank statements to show you.
So, if I understand correctly, I think
we're eligible for a clothing allowance
and free school dinners.
We have three children at home.
'Of course all of this will change
once my husband returns.'
Do you know where your husband is,
Mrs Crowhurst?
Mike, Zulu, Uniform, Whisky.
Mike, Zulu, Uniform, Whisky.
Teignmouth, Electron. Over.
(Argentine operator)
'Q-T-H, por favor. Q-P-R? Over.'
Who is this? Over.
'This is General Pacheco Radio
of Buenos Aires.
'Sir, what is your latitude
and longitude?'
Heading Digger Ramirez.
Repeat, heading Digger Ramirez.
Excuse me.
We've heard from Portishead.
He's alive!
- What?
- Yeah.
- He's rounded the Horn.
- Are you serious?
Yeah, he's just passed
the Diego Ramirez islands!
Where does that put him now then?
I knew he could do it!
Take that, Tetley!
Could he place a call to us? Yes.
Of course. No, of course I understand.
Oh, well, thank you so much, Portishead.
I believe this is the best phone call
I have... ever received in my life.
Thank you. Goodbye.
Oh, my goodness. Your father is... off
the coast of Argentina and heading north.
And with any luck he should be home...
before the end of June!
Oh, my goodness! Come here! Oh!
Show me the islands. Where are they?
He's the fastest around Cape Horn.
Mr Hallworth must be over the moon.
Hmm. If he keeps it up, he'll log
the fastest circumnavigation ever.
And he's just a hobbyist.
What a story.
The triumph of the underdog.
Must have old Chichester
scratching his head.
Give me 1,000 words on Crowhurst.
'I imagine "Heading Digger Ramirez"
will certainly be three of 'em.'
(Morse code machine beeps)
'Only two weeks behind Tetley.
'Photo finish will make great news.
'Fill your sails.'
(Rachel) 'I think you're going to win.'
(Crowhurst) 'No. No, can't do that.
'They'll be too much noise.
Too many questions.
'Tetley has got to win.
I have to be the last man home.'
(Indistinct radio)
Godspeed, Nigel Tetley!
(Clanking and creaking)
(Whining and creaking)
(Rachel) 'Are there horses
in the Horse Latitudes?'
(Crowhurst) 'No, sweetheart.'
'Story has it that many years ago
when the Spanish sailed to the West Indies
'they brought their horses with them
to the New World,
'and sometimes they ran out of wind,
then they ran out of fresh water as well.'
Which gave them
a very difficult choice to make.
Men or horses?
Are you taking a horse?
No, but I'm taking
plenty of fresh water with me.
(Tape recorder clicks)
(Best) 'He's out.
(Clare) 'Who?'
Tetley. Tetley's out!
- He is?
- Yes!
How did that happen?
Well, listen, the story is,
he heard Donald was gaining on him,
he's overplayed his hand, he's pushed
his own boat too hard, and he's capsized!
- Does Donald know?
- (Hallworth) Yes, of course he knows!
So do the BBC, so do "The Times",
and soon, if it's got owt to do with me,
soon so will most of England.
Clare, listen, listen.
He's the only one left now!
Now, not to celebrate
Mr Tetley's misfortune,
but now that we know
that he's safe and sound,
I think we'd like to pause
and reflect for a moment.
- (Clare) Reflect...
- (Cork pops)
Oh, my goodness me!
The family of a hero
doesn't reside on the dole.
(Hallworth) Indeed. So...
To Donald Crowhurst, soon to become
the world's fastest circumnavigator.
Hmm. To Donald.
- To Donald!
- To Donald.
(Hallworth chuckles)
(Crowhurst) Yes, Buenos Aires,
I would like to make the call directly
to the United Kingdom, Teignmouth.
Higher Brimley Road. Clare Crowhurst.
- From her husband. Over.
- (Operator) 'Trying through New York.'
No, not through New York.
I would like privacy if possible. Over.
'We are unable to reach Portishead.'
No, not through Portishead.
No, Teignmouth directly.
When I asked yesterday...
'Not sure we copy.'
A direct link, please.
That is what I requested. Over.
'We cannot establish a landline
connection from Buenos Aires.
'We will try again through New York.'
Thank you. Listening out.
So what do I do now?
'I needed Tetley to come home!'
I'm out here alone now!
I have to talk to you!
(Banging and heavy footsteps)
(Children laughing, chatting)
(Cheering and applauding)
- Front page, "Sunday Times"!
- (Whooping)
(Hallworth chuckles)
"Before he left Teignmouth,
"Donald Crowhurst was little more
than a weekend sailor.
"He was unknown.
"Many club-tie yachtsmen
thought his strangely shaped boat
"would sink or turn back
before Land's End."
There he is! Eh? Mouthy.
"Today his name is
added to the famous."
Bloody marvellous.
"And behind that brief statement
is a story
"almost as long as the gruelling
29,000 miles he travelled.
"A story packed
with courage, self-discipline,
"and an unswerving belief
in his own capabilities."
- "The Sunday Times"!
- (Crowd cheers)
That's not local!
That's not a local paper.
That's from London!
Anyway, all raise your drinks, and...
Tell you what, they're on Ian.
- Young Ian here.
- (Cheering and laughter)
(Morse code machine beeping)
No. No, you have to stay
away from me.
This is Mike, Zulu, Uniform, Whisky.
Vessel: Teignmouth Electron.
- Read me?
- (Clare) 'Imagine us there with you.'
Mike, Zulu, Uniform, Whisky.
Vessel: Teignmouth Electron.
Do you read me? Over.
(Operator) 'This is Halifax station.
Please identify. Over.'
I'm trying to reach my wife,
Clare Crowhurst of Teignmouth. Over.
(Operator) 'Halifax Station.
Please identify. Go to channel...'
(Signal crackles)
(Clare) 'Careful, Donald!
(Distorted voice) 'Who are you?'
Who are you?
(Voice) 'You are a cosmic being.
'What is your sin?
'What is your sin?
'Who are you?'
(Crowhurst) 'I'm a cosmic being.'
(Voice) 'A cosmic being.'
(Crowhurst) 'A cosmic being.
'A cosmic being.'
Crosse & Blackwell want
photos and statements.
BBC and ITV are sending helicopters.
Why has he not written?
I've scheduled the press conference
at the Carlton per your instructions.
Just need to give them an exact date.
I'm predicting July 3rd.
Upstage the Americans
and their astronauts.
All we need is another
couple of those 200-mile days.
How is it he can't find five minutes
to give us an estimate
of when he'll arrive?
Maybe there's another problem
with the radio?
Oh, look, it's going up.
Look, look. "Welcome home, Donald."
- (Wheeler) Oh, it's looking good.
- Oh, it's smashing. Think he'll like it?
(Crowhurst) 'During his lifetime each man
plays cosmic chess with the devil.
'It's difficult to know who's winning,
because God plays with one set of rules,
'and the Devil plays with the other
exactly opposite set of rules.
'But one thing is clear.
'The only real sin...
' the sin of concealment.'
(Clare) 'Wait for me!'
Can you see him?
(James) Wait!
(Clare) Yes?
(James) I see something!
(Clare) What do you see?
- Oh, it's a cloud.
- Oh, dear. Let me have a look.
I think he'll be back on 21st.
The same day the Americans
arrive on the moon.
(Rachel) I want him back tomorrow.
(Clare) Oh, me too, sweetheart.
You have a look.
See what you can see.
(James) There's something sort of there.
(Clare) What do you think it is?
(James) I don't know.
It doesn't look like the trimaran.
(Crowhurst) 'Clare?'
I thought I could play the game better.
I tried.
But in the end,
I was forced to admit that nature...
...forces on cosmic beings
the only sin that they're capable of.
The sin of concealment.
Darling, I'm the only man on Earth
who understands what this means.
Come home.
I can't.
There's no way back.
I can't write stories
of where I've never been.
I'm something else now.
It's 10:28... nine seconds.
The only beauty... truth.
I am what I am.
And I see the nature of my offence.
I'm so sorry.
I hope you can forgive me.
It's finished.
It's finished.
It is the mercy.
(Man) This is exactly
how we found her.
(Hallworth) There's the logbooks, eh?
Left 'em out like that.
In plain sight.
Suppose he could've
thrown 'em overboard.
- Yes.
- (Camera shutter clicks)
But he didn't, did he?
(Man) As far as I can tell,
the poor bastard never rounded the Cape,
or crossed the dateline.
Looks like he invented the whole thing.
It seems he gives up
after Commander Tetley goes over.
Stops sailing.
I'll tell you
what I think's happened here.
He never had any intention of winning.
Yeah. He never planned
on being held to account.
Who looks at the logbooks
of the last man home?
Think about it.
"It is finished.
"The mercy."
What "mercy"?
(Best) Has Clare seen these?
Her husband wanted to be famous.
Well, now he's about to be.
(Reporters clamouring)
(Camera shutter clicks)
(Reporters clamouring)
I can see that you've all come
to inspect the damage,
to take a picture, write a story.
Perhaps you'd all like a word
from the bereaved widow.
Is that what you've come
scavenging for? Yes?
- (Reporter) Yes, please.
- All right, well, write this down.
I don't know if my husband
slipped and fell,
or if he jumped...
as you're now saying.
But I would like you to rest assured,
that if he did jump, he was pushed.
And each and every one of you here
had a grubby hand on his back.
Every photographer,
every sponsor, every reporter,
every sad little man
who stands at a newsstand
to feast on the scraps
of another's undoing.
And once he was in the water,
you all held him under
with your judgement.
Last week you were selling hope,
now you're selling blame.
Next week you'll be selling
something else.
But tomorrow and every day after,
my children will still need their father.
And I will still need my husband.
I'm afraid that doesn't make
a particularly good story,
but then I suppose
the truth rarely does.
Thank you very much.
(Crowhurst) 'My most fervent desire
is that you never see this writing.
'If you ever do, it will mean
that by pursuit of my own ends
'I have placed
an intolerable burden on you.
'But nothing can touch
or tarnish our past happiness.
'Not time, nor brief future misery,
nor anything that lies ahead.'
How long do we wait?
You don't have to decide
when to stop waiting.
Your heart will do that for you.
(Crowhurst) 'The end must come
to all human experience
'and that alone is certain.
'May you find joy in life
and in your children.
'May they grow
to reflect credit on you.
'To testify to our love.
'To give you the love
I will not now be able to.'
(Simon) 'What do we do now?'
(Clare) 'Every day...
'...I want you to welcome Daddy
home with open arms.'
Even the parts you don't understand.
Because that's what you do for someone
you love who has gone away.
Even if they don't make it back.