Martin Clunes embarks on an epic ocean wide adventure in search of the real Pacific in a new documentary series for ITV.
His voyage is inspired by reading a book given to him when he was a child by his father about the Kon-Tiki expedition across the Pacific. Martin has always yearned to follow in those explorers’ footsteps.
The Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean on the planet, covering 63 million square miles, is strewn with tens of thousands of islands with coral atolls, jungle clad mountains, and lava spewing volcanoes. It is rich in animal life and has an astonishing kaleidoscope of humanity.
Martin begins this new adventure in French Polynesia, flying into its biggest island,
Tahiti, for a traditional welcome of a floral garland around his neck as he walks through airport arrivals.
French Polynesia is a collection of 118 islands and atolls spread over a distance of 1.5million square miles. The French influence is everywhere - from the currency of francs, to the baguettes sold in the local bakeries. There’s even a vineyard on the island, established by a Frenchman. Martin visits the estate where the owner is developing a new grape suited to the unique growing conditions of Tahiti, and tastes the wine he produces.
Martin travels onto Rangiroa, one of the largest atolls in the Pacific, with a reputation for having the best sea life anywhere in the world. Accompanied by a guide, Martin swims in the ‘aquarium’ in Rangiroa Lagoon, before heading to ‘Shark City” to swim with black tip reef sharks.
Martin finishes his visit to French Polynesia with a trip to the furthest island - the Marquesas Islands, where he meets a local horseman who tames and trains the local wild horses. Martin rides with the horseman, and watches as he trains a horse in the sea.
Martin Clunes Islands of the Pacific begins Thursday 13th January on ITV.