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
Fantastic film. Thanks for spotting and posting.
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.
I love the bit where he 'tallows the sheets'. Canvas sails as well. Must have been horrendous.
Well done for discovering that film, I had no idea it existed.
Remarkably good quality considering the age and conditions it was shot in.
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...
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.
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.....
Originally Posted by Seajet
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 ?
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.