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Ade continues his voyage around Britain’s ports and harbours as he takes to the Bristol Channel. This passage is the most dangerous shipping lane in the world and has the second highest tidal range of almost fifteen metres.
In his ex-RNLI lifeboat Chieftain, Ade rides the waves and learns of the historic sailors who used to navigate these waters and guide ships to safe passage, known as the Pilots of Pill. He travels into the port of Barry to meet the men, who centuries on, still have the skills and knowledge of the local waters. Ade joins them as they take to sea, jump on-board and pilot a large cargo ship through the narrow paths and locks of the Bristol Channel.
Ade then braves the treacherous tides and cold temperatures of the channel as he gets on a wetsuit and joins a group of female swimmers tackling the open water. He learns how two local ladies surprised everyone in the 1920’s, as they became the first people to cross the Bristol Channel.
Ade travels to Black Rock to meet a group that are preserving a traditional method of salmon fishing using a contraption called a lave net. During the low tide the channel exposes large areas of mud, sand and salt marshland. He wades out in the fast moving tidal water but will he make a catch?
Before leaving the Bristol Channel, Ade takes an exhilarating sail on-board Olga, one of the few surviving traditional pilot cutter boats that worked the channel hundreds of years ago.
We’re an island nation, our history and culture shaped by the sea. For centuries, we’ve used our waters for fishing, trade, exploration, conquest and defence, and sometimes simply for pleasure.
In this six-part ITV series, comedian and presenter Ade Edmondson sets sail to explore Britain’s maritime past and discovers how it continues to influence the lives of the people who still depend on the sea today.
Fascinated by British maritime history, Ade Edmondson has a passion for the sea, since being a boy he’s dreamt of sailing around the world and the British Isles. Inspired by Ade’s genuine fascination for Britain’s seafaring past and a love of all things nautical, in this series, he at last gets his chance to explore Britain from the sea.
The series reflects the rich diversity that our sea and coast has to offer, as Ade discovers those gems of tradition, heritage, invention, and modern expertise that makes our British coastline unique.
Ade immerses himself in British seafaring culture and history - from discovering the root of the phrase shipshape and bitter end to making rope with one of the last surviving rope makers. With his natural curiosity, with and warmth he takes viewers on his voyage as he pilots a huge tanker through the Bristol Channel, sings sea shanties in Liverpool Bay, takes in modern deep sea fishing, lave netting in the Severn Estuary, visits island communities and is even airlifted out of the North Sea.