In what was to become a legendary tale of greed, adultery and despair, a French expedition set sail to determine the shape of the Earth.
These men were intellectuals ? innocents abroad ? and had no idea what they were letting themselves in for. Their plan was to measure the curvature of the Earth and bring accuracy to maps and navigation. Yet, even before they arrived, the team was beset by disease, waylaid by a Frenchman's desire for l'amour, and ripped apart by disputes. Just reaching Peru took six months and, during a stopover in the Caribbean, Louis Godin, the young, impetuous geographer nominally in charge, began an affair with a local girl who frittered away a large part of the expedition's finances.