A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2019 Feb 25, 20:25 -0800
In the first image below, we see Donald Crowhurst shooting the Sun with his sextant in late 1968 apparently before he set in motion his awful, tragic plan to fake his circumnavigation in the original Golden Globe Race. He was filming himself with a small movie camera provided by the BBC so that he could record his adventure. Here he is checking the time on his watch immediately after shooting a sight of the Sun.
In the second image we see Colin Firth portraying Crowhurst in the 2018 film "The Mercy". They are trying very hard to duplicate the same scene. There are distinct elements before and after this frame that match perfectly to Crowhurst's movements in 1968 including a "thumbs up" to the camera. One difference: Firth is well dressed for chilly weather while Crowhurst is shirtless. Maybe it was cold while they were filming in the Mediterranean, but it's also possible that Firth just looked too old with his shirt off! But look closely... There is, of course, one teeny tiny fatal flaw in the use of the sextant in the film. I can imagine Firth saying to the director, "I can't see a damn thing through this bloody sextant! Are you sure this is put together right?!" Followed by, "Don't worry, Colin... We'll fix it in post."
Short review: skip "The Mercy". They did it wrong. It's lifeless. Go find the documentary "Deep Water" released in 2006. The doc is a better drama, believe it or not.