Searching for the ship aboard which Darwin began to formulate his theory of evolution.
Biologist and maritime historian Dr Robert Prescott searches for the final resting place of the ship aboard which Charles Darwin began to formulate the ideas which would eventually become his theory of evolution. He begins his journey at Woolwich Dockyard in London, where the Beagle's voyage began.
He begins his journey at Woolwich Dockyard in London, where the Beagle's voyage began.
He visits Cambridge to examine Darwin's correspondence from the voyage. While he may have been a great scientist, Charles Darwin certainly wasn't a great sailor.
The search leads to the bleak and flat landscape of the Essex mudflats. As the mud begins to yield its secrets, Robert considers Beagle's later life as an anti-smuggling watch vessel and examines some of the poignant relics from the 25 years she was home to coastguard families.
Prescott and his team drill down deep into the Essex mud to take samples from where they believe the ship now lies. A ship's timbers are there, covered by over a century of mud, but are they those of the Beagle? The team is joined on site by Prof Colin Pillinger, the man behind the Mars lander Beagle 2.
Prescott and his team return to their base in St Andrews to analyse the samples from the site in the Essex marshes where they believe the timbers of HMS Beagle lie. As he waits for the results of the analysis, he reflects on the significance of the little ship.