History Hit has been working with international yachtsman Conrad Humphreys on new documentary series Conrad’s River Journeys, exploring the rivers of the Devon and Salcombe estuary. The area is famous for its high moorland and fast-flowing rivers, which cut stunning valleys and gorges and flow into estuaries on the coast.
The series sees Conrad explore each river from top to bottom in his one-of-a-kind lugger, Bounty’s End, meeting a myriad of interesting people along the way to talk about history of the rivers and the sailing boats that have shaped the local area.
Of particular note is the exploration of the River Exe, which is where Conrad learned to sail from the age of eight, making the documentation of his revisiting it particularly magical.
Sailing a traditional boat on these rivers has really helped me to understand just how much our waterways have shaped our history. It’s all too easy to think about the big round the world exploratory voyages that Captain James Cook and Robert Fitzroy undertook, but around the UK every river, estuary and harbour has made its own unique contribution to our prosperity, our way of life and our understanding of the world.
Conrad Humphreys is a professional yachtsman and presenter that has spent over two decades sailing in some of the most hostile places on the planet. Conrad has raced three times around the world and is the fifth British sailor in history to complete the legendary Vendée Globe. More recently, Conrad was the professional skipper for Channel 4’s historical recreation of Captain Bligh’s 4000-mile open boat journey, Mutiny.