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  1. #1
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    May 2007
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    Default Original film from "Once is Enough" by Miles Smeeton

    I've just been reading Once is Enough by Miles Smeeton, a famous account of a Cape Horn attempt in 1956 by three in a 46 foot wood ketch. There is one or two surprises.

    Once Is Enough (Sailor's Classics): Amazon.co.uk: Miles Smeeton, Smeeton Miles: Books

    There are main references in the book to John Guzzwell shooting film in a cine camera during the trip, including from a dinghy towed behind Tzu Hang, their ketch. If you are curious, fair examples of that film are shown here:

    ITN Reporting 67: Cape Horn: Sailing Round the Horn

    It's a great book-- a classic.
    Last edited by jheynder; 13-11-11 at 21:48. Reason: title typo

  2. #2
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    Nov 2003
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    Fantastic film. Thanks for spotting and posting.

  3. #3
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    Wonderful to see that film, thanks !

    A bit of trivia, please excuse me if you've seen this before.

    In Nevil Shute's last book, 'Trustee From The Toolroom' he portrays a British couple escaping grim post-war Britain, with their wealth in the form of jewels hidden in the keel of their boat; it was illegal to move money out of the UK at the time.

    It turns out Nevil Shute knew the Smeetons, and the story is based on them; they smuggled their wealth out, but not in jewels; the rather lovely Tzu Hang was their jewel representing the bulk of their money, they planned to sell her on reaching Australia.

    This and a lot more is mentioned at the Nevil Shute Foundation, www.nevilshute.org

    - N.S. also felt little attraction to post-war UK, he emigrated to Australia too, but by airliner.

    Miles Smeeton was obviously no push-over, in the war when Japanese aircraft strafed his tank, instead of taking cover he stood up in the turret and replied with a machine gun...
    Last edited by Seajet; 13-11-11 at 22:40.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2010
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    I love the bit where he 'tallows the sheets'. Canvas sails as well. Must have been horrendous.

  5. #5
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    Well done for discovering that film, I had no idea it existed.
    Remarkably good quality considering the age and conditions it was shot in.

  6. #6
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    I wonder if Falmouth or any Maritime Museum has a copy of that film - do they archive such things ?

    I bet they don't have it, but someone with an eye to British seafaring history should, not just ITN...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    11,513

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    Val Howells also made a film of his first solo trans-Atlantic voyage, which was shown on television during the 1960s. A few years ago I made an attempt at tracking it down but without success.

    Maybe there is someone on here skilled in media research who could find it.
    "All things are relative."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Devon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seajet View Post
    Wonderful to see that film, thanks !

    A bit of trivia, please excuse me if you've seen this before.

    In Nevil Shute's last book, 'Trustee From The Toolroom' he portrays a British couple escaping grim post-war Britain, with their wealth in the form of jewels hidden in the keel of their boat; it was illegal to move money out of the UK at the time.

    It turns out Nevil Shute knew the Smeetons, and the story is based on them; they smuggled their wealth out, but not in jewels; the rather lovely Tzu Hang was their jewel representing the bulk of their money, they planned to sell her on reaching Australia.

    This and a lot more is mentioned at the Nevil Shute Foundation, www.nevilshute.org

    - N.S. also felt little attraction to post-war UK, he emigrated to Australia too, but by airliner.

    Miles Smeeton was obviously no push-over, in the war when Japanese aircraft strafed his tank, instead of taking cover he stood up in the turret and replied with a machine gun...
    Actually, the Smeetons had just enough cash after buying and refitting Tzu Hang to buy two diamond rings which they smuggled out in her. Also, I believe John Guzzwell's father smuggled some illicit diamonds out of South Africa to the Channel Islands in a sailing trawler before the war. history does not appear to relate what became of them.....

  9. #9
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    I did read of what became Tzu Hang herself, but it's too sad to relate here...I forget now, what happened to the Smeetons after all this ?

  10. #10
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    The remarkable story of the lives of Beryl and Miles Smeeton - not solely the yachtie bits - is told by Miles Clark in 'High Endeavours'.

    In an age of 'inspirational speakers' and 'go for it', this was living life on a heroic scale.



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