Mutineers Paradise-Pitcairn Island
Pitcairn Island, Home of the Bounty Mutineers
Mutiny on the Bounty
On 28 April 1789, Fletcher Christain seized the ship Bounty waking Cpt. Wm. Blight from his bed, cutlass held to his chest. He wrestled Bligh to the deck in his nightshirt, and Bligh realized a mutiny was taking place. Bligh and 18 of his loyal crew were set adrift in a small 23-foot long boat only 6'9" wide with 32lbs pork, four cutlasses, a quadrant and compass, six quarts rum, six bottles of rum and 28 gallons of water.
The small craft was over-loaded, barely able to stay afloat, yet Bligh realized they had to reach Timor. After rationing food and water and sailing 3618 miles and 41 days at sea, they reached the Dutch port of Koepang. It was due to Bligh's tenacity and skill as a navigator they reached safety.
This would later be noted as the greatest open-boat voyage in maritime history.
Bligh Arrives in Timor
Bligh Arrives in Timor
Bligh and his crew arrive in Timor, nearly dead and starving. In June 1789, he departed for England to report the mutiny. Using only a sextant and a pocket watch, Bligh, with his exceptional skill in navigation, managed to sail to safety. After arriving in England, he was charged with the loss of the Bounty but was cleared of wrongdoing. He returned to Tahiti to complete his expedition to collect breadfruit trees for the West Indies.
In the meantime, Fletcher Christain and his 16 mutineers had returned to Tahiti, staying for a little while. By now, Christain needed to find an island to locate out of harm's way from being captured. Some of the mutineers decided to stay in Tahiti with their Polynesian wives. Christain left with eight of his mutineers, six Tahitian men, twelve Tahitian women to search the South Pacific for a deserted island. In January 1790, the Bounty settled on Pitcairn Island.
Pitcairn was 1000 miles east of Tahiti and 3000 miles from New Zealand. Pitcairn Island had been settled some 12,000 years ago by Polynesian natives. When Christain and his crew arrived, they destroyed the stone gods, pushing them off the cliffs into the ocean, destroyed the ancient burial sites and Polynesian artifacts. The first sighting of Pitcairn Island was by Captain Phillip Carterets on the H.M.S. Swallow, but he was unable to land because of the dangerous surf. He had miscalculated the island's position on maps.
Christain and his men constructed leaf shelters in Adamstown later replaced with more durable shelters. They planted sweet potatoes and yams. The land was divided among the mutineers with the Polynesian men receiving none. They were treated as slaves, and since more men than women, the Polynesians had to share wives.
It wouldn't be long before the tranquility and paradise would be broken. By September 1793, the Polynesian men were tired of the abuse from the mutineers and elected to kill all of them. Only four mutineers were left, Edward Young, Matthew Quintal, John Adams, and William Mccory, and ten women.
After Young died, John Adams filled his days drinking until he turned religious but found it challenging to care for his blind wife, Teio. Adams died in 1829.
Before the mutiny, Christain and Bligh were friends, but the rebellion destroyed that friendship. Christain was a dashing rebel while Bligh was a brutal, foul-mouthed captain. He was characterized as an ill-tempered, older man and never got his just due as one of the greatest navigators of all time. Movies set him out as the "bad" one and Christain as the "best."
Bligh was not sadistic but took pleasure in humiliating others, especially in front of others.
He uses documents and maritime records and eludes to the maligned life of Bligh.
HMS Pandora Arrives in Tahiti
In March 1791, the HMS Pandora, with Captain Edward Edwards, was sent to capture the mutineers and were met by three Bounty crew. Edwards set sail with ten mutineers to England for trial. He searched for Christain but failed to find him. Back in England and on trial, four crew were acquitted, three convicted but pardoned, and three guilty and hanged for mutiny.
Bligh and the Breadfruit Trees
Pitcairn Island Today
Today, Pitcairn island has a population of barely 50, and they are aging with few births to increase the community.
If you are searching for a paradise island to settle on, far removed from society, look no further. The island is a British Territory, 2170 km east of Tahiti, 1510 km west of Easter Island, and 5310 know northeast of New Zealand with lush vegetation and access only by sea.
Three voyages each quarter and 12 berths per trip. It is the most remote island in the world. The community is trying to attract new migrants to contribute to the future. If you enjoy the outdoors and a place in the natural environment, it could be your home.
There is no airport, but good phone service and the internet is available. A supply ship, the MV Claymore II for access after two nights at sea.
One can visit without a visa for 14 days with a long-term visit for six months is available.
There is a general store, a warehouse, a post office, a health clinic, a library, a museum, and a treasury.
Immigration.gov.pn for further details and Application for Settlement.