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St. Helena - a remote island in the Atlantic | (Travel Documentary) DW Documentary

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Every third week, a British Royal Mail ship begins its journey from Cape Town to Saint Helena, the remote island in the Atlantic where Napoleon was once in exile. It’s like the end of the world in the middle of the Atlantic. Five days, with a northwesterly course, and only then do the sheer black cliffs appear in front of RMS St. Helena. The island’s 4500 residents are often waiting impatiently for the ship’s arrival and panic if the schedule changes. Director Thomas Denzel and his team went on the journey to Saint Helena and met the people living on the island. Many of the residents are descendants of people who were sent into exile there by the British crown - the most famous among them, the French Emperor Napoleon. This is a report about life at the end of the world, loneliness, unique vegetation, and a very special journey. _______ Exciting, powerful and informative – DW Documentary is always close to current affairs and international events. Our eclectic mix of award-winning films and reports take you straight to the heart of the story. Dive into different cultures, journey across distant lands, and discover the inner workings of modern-day life. Subscribe and explore the world around you – every day, one DW Documentary at a time. Subscribe to DW Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW39zufHfsuGgpLviKh297Q?sub_confirmation=1# For more information visit: http://www.dw.com/documentaries Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dwdocumentary/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dw.stories DW netiquette policy: http://www.dw.com/en/dws-netiquette-policy/a-5300954
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Text Comments (1516)
Druid Riley (1 day ago)
Thanks. Love documentaries on these remote places.
Malik Worrell (4 days ago)
Why cant they grow veggies in green houses
Coogan Alaska (6 days ago)
She became a safety officer. Sounds like a make-work position.
Immersive Games (8 days ago)
From those from St Helena that I knew and spoke to that had travelled to the Falkland Islands, they moved there because a lack of work. Many were very highly skilled people, some were teachers, doctors and scientists, working as bar staff, cleaners etc.
DJ Pats (10 days ago)
With the corona virus spreading around the world people now will be thinking of investing and migrating to the island.
Harriett Marsh (11 days ago)
Chet (11 days ago)
Leroy really gives it to Mia.
rabah chihaou (12 days ago)
British should leave this country alone. They ther for petrol
SuperParatech (14 days ago)
Strange that 750 people gave this a thumbs down. What could possibly have been that contentious?
sejal draws (14 days ago)
Amazing place and very informative documentary 👏👏👏👏
Rafael Veloso (14 days ago)
Like the island Their accent is beautiful.
Julie A (14 days ago)
Love this documentary of my home! ❤️
kelvin rodgers (16 days ago)
Where do they get electricity..then this is a very delicate island especially in case a virus breaks out..so every visitor should first get tested for common diseases before visiting
Joseph Lezano (17 days ago)
Greeting's To St'Helena and It's People. UK , Overseas Territory. Very Interesting To Learn Things About Your Island, and It's History. With Best Wishe's From Fellow British Gibraltar,UK Overseas Territory 🇬🇧.
Nikkie R (18 days ago)
I would love to trade place here. Start a fresh in St Helena. It looks so peaceful with less noise, less pollution, less crime,probably less sickness too, less of a lot of things that are sometimes useless baggage. This island looks promising.
Druid Riley (1 day ago)
Wonder what the cost of living is? Have to look up the weather, see if it gets severe storms. The main port looks like a city build in the barrel of a shotgun.
Craig Brainimpact (18 days ago)
they sound British but pronounce words like a south African, so strange lol.
Roland Lowhorn (18 days ago)
A Lady of responsibility . It would be easy for anyone to be proud of her
rupasri pattanayak (18 days ago)
Why has there a blurred mark on the left bottom corner of the screen?
Druid Riley (1 day ago)
Channel marker.
Karam Levi (19 days ago)
They better teach cash management skills cus tourism is extremely fickle income. Some few months you feel rich, the rest poor... not so easy to emotionally balance. It’s doable but you need to be educated to deal with it.
My skill world -Cyril Jacob (20 days ago)
Why,Just South Africa.Even Uruguay ,Brazil or Argentina can supply goods.
My skill world -Cyril Jacob (20 days ago)
Is that good soil or climate for cultivation?
Incrediaws (22 days ago)
I believe 4:30 she is from thailand
Hayat Tuna (22 days ago)
What a beautiful place!😍
Kerron Manwaring (23 days ago)
I love the idea of remote islands
Vinvin 0880 (23 days ago)
Im so Glad this was recommended. How can I migrate there? 🤔
tj o• (3 days ago)
Ask the uk government. Very doubtful you'd be allowed. Even visiting is a challenge.
Peter Feltham (23 days ago)
DW are doing a very good job with these educational and interesting programmes.
The RIEL DEAL The RIEL DEAL (24 days ago)
Just think about cell service, and 99% of the world who can't put down there phone's,
Jan van de Hillevliet (24 days ago)
At the age of 10 ( 1958 ) on our way from Cape Town to Southampton the boat stopped and anchored at St Helena . My 2 older brothers and me went ashore with a smaller boat. We climbed the 699 steps and visited Napoleons residents ( prison ) and stood in the room he died. Before the stop at St Helena the boat made a stop at “Ascension Island” and after St Helena the Canary islands “ las Palmas . Great memories !
Gardureth (26 days ago)
Hmm and i just read Napoleon was sentenced to a 1 room house without furniture.
Jernej Zupancic (26 days ago)
I've been dreaming for two years that I would spend my age on this island
Alexey Souvorkin (27 days ago)
So they only checked if wind conditions were suitable After they built the airport? Clever.
saintofdemons (28 days ago)
I like Mia's home tattoo on her right hand
zapfanzapfan (28 days ago)
Interesting place! Would be perfect place to go all electric for transportation, no range anxiety on such a small island :-)
stuart beard (29 days ago)
So much said , but learned so little of any value . No reason to visit other than to annoy those separatist who prefer we didn't come to their island that has , what ?
Regina Johnson (30 days ago)
The Chinese would build a landing strip out in the Ocean. How about investing faster ships so it doesn't take 5 days to get to the Island.
Minty 1106 (30 days ago)
4:54....apart from the boat on the horizon....
Barbara Rankin (30 days ago)
So interesting. Thank you!
Trisha Mitch (30 days ago)
This is heaven. I want to leave hereeeee...
QuadQ (30 days ago)
Exile me - please?
Sykes (1 month ago)
Napoleon! That little prick. Oops, I didn't mean to give out state secrets.
David V. (1 month ago)
It should be illegal for people to import exotic species of all kinds into islands, animinals and plants alike. Invariably, seemingly benign species escape into the wild and wreck havoc on native ecosystems, Hawaii being perhaps the best of example of this.
Arsalan Qazi (1 month ago)
You English Guys are Mind Blowing
Null Convey (1 month ago)
Hahahah descendent of a boer sounds australian 13:00 "Oive been doing toirs for long toime!" xD
P Red (1 month ago)
Unbeastable (1 month ago)
Fact: St. Helena's aboriginal had been whiped out from the entire island so white people could exploit the island.
Chris Martin (1 month ago)
The island was uninhabited when the Portuguese discovered it....
Helena Helena (1 month ago)
Oh my god that`s my name Helena
Chris Kelleher (1 month ago)
Make it a cruise 🚢 liner port of call . The ship would have the infrastructure for the tourists that wouldn't need to be built on the land. Make the airport a windfarm.
Jose Saavedra (1 month ago)
I live in California USA l, fucking expensive. I should go there and just say. Hey I'm here in middle of nowhere ,your job is to bring me everything I need for not much price at All
J Ashton (1 month ago)
I would have liked more info on their infrastructure.
George Jessop (1 month ago)
When I was a boy from 1943 to 1954 (just before Hurricane Carol hit), we went to Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard for the summer. Part of the fun of going was the ferry ride. It was the time machine that made the transition from 'something to do every minute' city life to 'nothing much to do' island life. Swimming and diving off the second bridge, fishing off the jetty, crabbing under the first bridge, biking over the entire island, boating (in the harbor only), chasing the fire engines and meeting the ferry were the daily events. On the island was a man who had grown up on St. Helena as the son of a whaling ship captain. His stories of the island, the staircase to the top of the island, the ships coming and going and his own going to sea at sixteen as a cabin boy on a whaling ship were documented in his book "Sails and Whales" by Harry Allen Chippendale. In his retirement years after his years as a Merchant Marine captain, he owned the 'pay beach' as we called it, where for a dime, you had a sandy beach, dressing rooms and a snack bar to spend the days swimming and diving off the private pier. The required one hour rest after lunch was spent listening to Captain Harry's stories of his youth and his St. Helena island. When Hurricane Carol struck the island, everything changed. The Pay Beach disappeared, literally, wiped clean off the map by the storm. The Steamship Authority pier disappeared as well, as did most of the waterfront piers and yachts. The yachts ended up impaled on those pier pilings. The island charm is still there; the summer venues, the gingerbread houses, the main street walk after dinner, the steamship pier is smaller now and so is the ship (diesel powered), the "Flying Horses" merry-go-round, the Island theater. It would be a nice place to retire. I'm not ready, yet. I love the internet travel to all the 'bucket list' places I wanted to go, but couldn't afford to in my adult life. I can go to St. Helena by boat, traveling in a way that makes the transition to island life gradually, with the sea air and the ship movement lulling me into the island pace of life, one more time.
M A (1 month ago)
She said "social activities."
Thomas Turner (1 month ago)
Can me and my Bigfoot there? I know I'd have to have a passport, but would Bigfoot since he supposedly doesn't exist? .....
48.95,21.91SVK (1 month ago)
20:05 Surprised Neil Young's record label didn't copyright strike this video.
Chi Lam (1 month ago)
Someone call Trump up to free St. Helen
Pamela. Nam (1 month ago)
The military has no problem landing onto the windy airport,one of the two!
Peter Breis (1 month ago)
St Helena can not grow its own onions and potatoes? The 2 easiest to grow vegetables.
Druid Riley (1 day ago)
How deep is the topsoil? If the place is basically volcanic rock, with very porous lands, like the islands of the Adriatic, very little can grow.
Peter Breis (1 month ago)
I knew a guy who worked on the planning of the Airport. It was a very strange farewell from Australia for him and his family and prompted me to read up on the history and geology of the island. Interesting to see what has become of the airport, and not surprised to see that it may have be a lemon. I asked him how they expected such an obviously difficult project to be financially sensible for such a small population.
TMTCoffeShop (1 month ago)
What makes someone tattoo her own name on herself?
JP M (1 month ago)
I wonder how expensive it is to visit. I would love to go there and bring gifts of things that the people would really appreciate.
DocsWorld (1 month ago)
hrmm, not enough work? hrmm sounds just like hawaii-maui, nice island, lots of tourists, which support a very few businesses. no jobs really to speak of at all, super high prices on everything. and well, just a bunch of rich people really. same thing here minus the tourism. you wanna live here, better be real clever, or.. have some money, or invested some. this is also similar to new zealands offshoot islands as well. the thing i am seeing here that is really lacking, is the agriculture, if they had a proper indoor growing setup, they could support, every variety of fruit tree, etc, using year round natural heating/cooling techniques, geothermal, is free, and works in cold climates. how do they power the island i wonder? and yes the island needs more tourism, and quite a boost, but.. yea you gotta be smart about this. just extend the landing strip, and build it with the strength of say a modern highway, i think youd be ok then.
Anakin Skywalker (1 month ago)
Who is here from Wendover productions?
Okidoke (1 month ago)
The first "attempt" at landing was a deliberate fly-by, while the second pass encountered some wind sheer hence the go-around for the third "attempt".
SPIDER LILIEZ (1 month ago)
19:57 - Mister, you don't know what you're talking about. I came from a country of islands in the middle of the oceans. We have been colonized many times, yet we have remained the kind of people that we are - happy, friendly people... If you haven't been to the Philippines, then you stop saying what you're saying, because people can retain their identity even when you open up to the world.
John JCM (1 month ago)
The British Government employs citizens of St Helena in the Falkland Isles (airport camp to be exact)
Samuel Duval (1 month ago)
Lol brits and their bad teeth
Adam K (1 month ago)
Helen ah or Hel eh na is what I had understood it being pronounced.
AnxiWriter (1 month ago)
Now they have an airport working effectively 24/7
Adnansameer Sam (1 month ago)
But how can they survive without job or salary...everything is free there By UK Government??😉😋
mac lee (1 month ago)
bring in a flock of sheeps. they will clear the flax crops out within months
Follower JC (1 month ago)
What about the terrain there? Can one grow edible crops like potatoes etc. Are all foods and goods dependent upon import? Apart from cows in this video, what other livestock do they keep? Just imagining, if the rest of the world collapsed and no ships or planes could reach the island, would all the people starve?
D. Nicolenco (2 months ago)
I would go mad to live there. No wonder Napoleon needed three beds... One does not need to be locked up, being on the island alone feels like confinement.
Jhunified With Love (2 months ago)
Would love to go there and visit
Svetla Nikolova (2 months ago)
Cant you do private helicopter transportation like they do in Alaska?
john green (2 months ago)
sign me up for napoleon's old hangout. I will start collecting the stamps of st helena in earnest.
Rosella A Alm-Ahearn (2 months ago)
I have to wonder, are there doctors and dentists practicing on this island? It would be an awful place to have a tooth ache or appendicitis if there aren't.
Druid Riley (1 day ago)
You'd be set for life. The ONLY doctor/dentist on the island.
guharup (2 months ago)
How can a man have that big a belly living in such a rugged terrain and with no access to fast food? Ahh he is pregnant...stupid me
guharup (2 months ago)
Napoleon was also being slow poisoned. He was not only bored
Joe Music (2 months ago)
This is where I need to live out the rest of my life. I will go there.
Mykhaylo Klen (2 months ago)
St. Helena is a windy place. Many people are sensitive to winds and have a headache. Hopefully you are not wind-sensitive, are you?
Mari443Garrett1 (2 months ago)
Why don't they grow their own vegetables. Garlic and onions can grow anywhere so long as there's no ice or snow.
gary george (2 months ago)
Hi, many years ago I worked Falkland Islands,2001-2003, Turner Power Generation, St Helena top guys, wish you well !
kar kar (2 months ago)
Half as interesting
Miki (2 months ago)
Do they have Internet there?
DD (2 months ago)
They opened an Airport!
gabriella kadar (2 months ago)
Really mind bogglingly stupid in re: the airport. It was planned and then put on hold due to the 2008 financial issues. Then it was built but who the hell doesn't pay attention to wind direction when planning a runway! They certainly had enough time to plan it. I thought they grew their own root vegetables/ground provisions on St. Helena. Historically they grew potatoes and sweet potatoes. Who knew they were dependent on shipments of same at this time. Sad.
Mehnaz Amjad (2 months ago)
Oh what a wonderful place to be,the best escape from the madness of the world.
Loo Ruiz (2 months ago)
considering my introverted personality this is such a perfect place for me.
gahorie1 (18 days ago)
Jeremy Sean Hector (23 days ago)
@Becca Minkin lol fair point
Loo Ruiz (2 months ago)
Becca Minkin Hmmm sad part...but atlest the mountains and the vast valley and awesome view is just a few steps away. I feel like I could escape anytime.
Becca Minkin (2 months ago)
did you miss the part about how everyone on the island will try to know you?
Juke Joint (2 months ago)
Sticky Wicky...
Howard Marc Farinas-Singson (2 months ago)
I traveled here last year.
Bob Swanson (2 months ago)
Love It! Wish I could visit St Helena Island! I have worked on live aboard ships also for years.
terrythekittie (2 months ago)
DW does it again....another great doco. I reckon if Napoleon was living in today's fast paced mad, mad world he would happily be exiled to St. Helenas......are there any good pubs there by the way?
Geoffrey Lee (2 months ago)
So how will perishable goods get there if no ship?
Michael Zellhorn (2 months ago)
The only reason Mike doesn't want McDonalds is because he has not tasted how delicious their food is.
Sourav Majumder (2 months ago)
This place is so culm and quite.
Dave N Japan (2 months ago)
I wonder what the Rangers do most of the time?
Liz (2 months ago)
I disagree. I want a Nando’s
IT CKDM (2 months ago)
Oh my gosh.. those universal healthcare teeth! :D And the literal belly pot!
Us Army veteran Jungle training school (2 months ago)
Safest place on earth
Crusader Boy 9000 (2 months ago)
Napoleon disliked that
Oleander Pink (2 months ago)
Full of sexual predators and pedophiles. An open secret. I won’t contribute tourist dollars to those sick fucks.
Zoey R (2 months ago)
It's an introverts paradise. I'd like to go there. 😊
cina kakar (1 month ago)
True I wish I lived on st Helena
memee looker (2 months ago)
great video.its beautiful place
Sebastian Stauber (2 months ago)
Who else is here because of Extremities from Wendover?