Madeira is a scenic island that produces bananas, sugar-cane and the famous Madeira wine, but derives much of their economic growth from tourism, which they are very proud of. The north remains mainly rural in nature while the south, especially in and around the capital Funchal, has developed with...
26th February 2019 Episode 4
9pm ITV Martin Clunes Islands Of America
Last in the series
Martin arrives in New York to explore Manhattan Island, and the world famous Empire State Building, were he was given access floor 103 the very top from here you can see the city’s 500 miles of coastline and more than 40 islands and you can see clearly how New York has been shaped by the water, but the same as Martin I have no head for heights I was feeling sick with fear just watching him being 1000 feet up with only a handrail waist height so not surprised he found the experience terrifying
Safely back on the ground Martin takes the ferry to Ellis Island to where one in three Americans can trace their roots. The island opened in 1892 as an immigration centre for those arriving in the US by sea. Park ranger and guide Doug Treem takes Martin into the Grand Hall on the island where the fate of millions of families was decided.
He sets a mental agility test for Martin as the immigrants would have had to do if their were any doubts about their suitability. More than nine out of ten immigrants passed the citizenship test to enable them to start a new beginning to a new life in America.
A surprise to Martin Among them were 62 people sharing the same surname Clunes as Martin.
Coney Island, home to the world’s most iconic amusement park, is Martin’s next port of call. Since its opening in 1920 it has become a New York City landmark, and several of the rides have become stars in their own right.
Following a trip to Coney Island, home to the iconic amusement park, he explores Martha’s Vineyard more than 200 miles away, where Jaws was made. Martin ends his trip in Maine, America’s most easterly state, with hundreds of islands off its coast
Martin is cajoled into trying some of the rides with his guide, Brooklyn born teacher Richard Rodriguez. When he was 19, in 1977, Richard got his name in the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s longest roller-coaster marathon – 104 hours, 2375 times, pausing only for bathroom breaks.
Richard persuades a reluctant Martin to go on the vintage roller-coaster, the Cyclone. Travelling at speeds of up to 60 miles an hour something Martin never wants to repeat he looked so relieved to be back on the ground,
Then from one iconic playground to another 200 miles from New York, Martha’s Vineyard. Seven miles off the mainland Martha’s Vineyard is perfect for holidaymakers and a playground for the wealthy.
He cycles around the harbour in Edgartown where scenes were filmed for the blockbuster film Jaws filmed 40 years ago up the coast near the island of Monomoy Cape Cod here work is being done to try and rehabilitate the great white shark’s terrifying but amazing to watch he sails in a small boat with senior marine biologist Dr Greg Skomal who runs the conservation project aiming to improve the understanding of these frightening creatures.
When Jaws was filmed in the 1970s seeing shark in these waters were quite rare, But over the years their numbers have risen dramatically because there is plenty of food plenty of seals for sharks to eat. The problem is that the shark’s hunting grounds have become very popular with holidaymakers. Despite the warning signs on the beaches, crazy people will still take stupid chances in the sea. And as Martin and Dr Greg were patrolling the area they spot a great white shark near a popular bathing beach, and immediately alert the lifeguards to get people out of the water.
Wow!! In just a few hours they encountered 12 great whites as he says it is exhilarating but also a bit alarming
One of the last place on Martin’s epic island journey is Maine a quite more slower pace of life America’s most easterly state, with hundreds of islands off its coast. He boards the Sunbeam support ship a charitable mission which has been running for more than a hundred years offering help to the most isolated island communities.
The ship’s crew includes a nurse, a chaplain, an engineer and a steward, who organise everything from coffee mornings to counselling, and care for the communities physical, mental and spiritual needs
The Isle au Haut is Martin’s last island stop. The crew of the Sunbeam support ship prepare a massive breakfast for the islanders, providing a chance for one of America’s most isolated communities to catch up. Martin meets the children from the island’s primary school to discover what life is like for them on this isolated community.
Martin concludes: “It seems right to finish his journey here with these children they are the future of this island. And seeing them enjoy the simple pleasures of island life will stay with him for a very long time.
Epic journey sharing 10,000 mile journey, exploring from the west to the east of spectacular landscape surrounding islands and such amazing people
This is my views and notes of tonight’s episode
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