Presenter Zay Harding goes on an epic adventure across the South Pacific Islands in pursuit of the remaining vestiges of Polynesian culture. Along the way he tells the incredible story of the Mutiny on the Bounty, beguiles us with tales of Captain Cook and experiences the simple joys of tropical island life.
Zay begins his odyssey in Chile’s capital, Santiago, where he visits the home of the great communist poet Pablo Neruda. Leaving Santiago but not Chilean territory, Zay takes flight to its island enclave Easter Island, drawn by the monumental Moai statues. He meets archaeologist Sergio Rapu and learns how the Moai were physically walked into their resting place, not by the ‘mara’ magic of the Rapa Nuian priests as had been foretold, but by the ingenuity of their stone age builders.
Zay then sets forth to French Polynesia and its ‘Garden of Eden’, Tahiti, where Otea dancing girls catch his eye and Matavai Bay sends him back in time to the late eighteenth century when Captain Cook was charting the transit of Venus and a seafaring crew collected breadfruit and Polynesian wives for their impending mutiny. Zay volunteers himself for the Heiva Va’a canoe race, dines in a truck-filled car park called a roulotte and ferries himself to the island of Moorea for some snorkelling and a taste of the best vanilla in the world.
For the last leg of his journey, Zay boards the Claymore II cargo ship and sails for two and a half days to Pitcairn Island - British colony of 46 residents and eventual haven of the breadfruit mutineers and their proud descendants. Here he experiences the idiosyncrasies of living an isolated island lifestyle. He makes honey with the local Pitcairn folk and learns how to speak in their old seafaring, English language by attending a school class. Zay concludes his epic adventure by diving the remains of the HMS Bounty.