Skip to comments.Anniversary of Mutiny on the “Bounty”: Pitcairn Island Photos
Posted on 04/28/2012 2:20:14 PM PDT by nickcarraway
223 years ago this Sunday, on April 29, 1789, Fletcher Christian and 24 other sailors held the domineering Captain Bligh at bayonet point against the mast of His Majestys Armed Vessel Bounty in the most famous mutiny in history. One month ago, National Geographic embarked on a journey through their footsteps, but with the very different goal of studying the pristine coral reefs of the area (read blogs).
Bligh was set adrift in the ships small launch with 18 loyal shipmates, a compass, his journals, some tools, supplies, cutlasses, and food, rum, wine, and water. He navigated the castaways through the open sea some 3000 miles to safety in Timor, and then continued to Britain to begin his attempts to bring all the mutineers to justice at the gallows.
Fletcher Christian led the Bounty back to Otaheite where they once again enjoyed laid back island life (and women) until fear of discovery drove them to find a new home where theyd never be discovered by the British law.
That island was Pitcairn. 50 descendants of the mutineers and their Tahitian wives live there to this day. In 1957 National Geographics Luis Marden voyaged to Pitcairn and discovered the last remnants of the Bounty in the waters of the islands bay (read original article, see photos). Now, over the past several weeks, NG Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala has led an expedition to survey the sea-life in the areas nearly un-touched waters (read blogs, see photos).
In the gallery above, see photos from this most recent expedition, meet some of the locals, see some of the sights, and get a sense of what remains on Pitcairn Island more than two centuries after the legendary mutiny.
A bit modern, but interesting ping
It won't help the 'rats, so give it up.
“Fletcher Christian led the Bounty back to Otaheite where they once again enjoyed laid back island life (and women) until fear of discovery drove them to find a new home where theyd never be discovered by the British law. “
And where they murdered each other...
You left me twisting in the wind, dangling in the night
You’ll be Mr. Christian and I’ll be Captain Bligh
Captain Bligh was known as one of the best if not the best foul weather commander in the British navy. He proved that in his 3,000 mile voyage to Timor.
Fletcher Christan was an aristocrat while Captain Bligh was a commoner. so Bligh never got his proper due and is depicted unjustly as a sadist.
I get the monthly newspaper from Pitcairn by e-mail.
They’re a really interesting combination of modern and primative. No airport, one Doctor, one cop, no harbor (everything comes in by freighter, then is transferred to the pictured longboats), only part time electricity, etc. Yet they have DVD’s, ATV’s, and tradition of community work that’s really remarkable. On work day, everybody goes out and does something useful.
Quite a place.
But didn’t Bligh have three mutinies before someone in the navy got him to retire?
A significant amount of that strife was related to the women who were, in effect, kidnapped when the Bounty suddenly put out to sea while they were visiting their boyfriends aboard. There’s still griping about that.
“He proved that in his 3,000 mile voyage to Timor.”
Truly it is amazing that he and his men survived that.
If I remember correctly, he had three mutinies in the Navy, though two of those were part of more widespread mutinies during the Napoleonic Wars.
After he retired from the Navy and was appointed Governor of New South Wales the local Army regiment, which was totally corrupt, mutinied against him when he tried to cut back on their corruption and oppression.
It seems none of the four mutinies were really justified in any sense, as Bligh was not particularly more brutal than normal in the RN. But he apparently had a remarkable talent for speaking harshly to subordinates, particularly his officers.
The tragedy of his life was that he was born too early for Dale Carnegie.
Pitcairn Ping. Only a few very rare persons ever make it to that part of the world.
I like looking at islands in Google Earth. Almost every speck of land that protrudes from the ocean has a history and is currently inhabited. One of my favorites is St. Helena in the Southern Atlantic. It sits nearly halfway between Africa and South America. You cannot get more remote than that.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks Hegemony Cricket. Around 15 years ago there was an article about the sudden lack of marriageable mates on Pitcairn -- everyone was sufficiently closely related that the gov't (which is on the mainland, I think it's Ecuador) would no longer issue marriage licenses because any two people wanting to marry would be in violation of their laws against incest.
The Brando version was on TCM jusst last night. Watched it twixt the Dodgers and Nationals. Dodgers won 4-3. And UCLA beat Stanford 7-4. Both great games.
The Mel Gibson/Anthony Hopkins version is pretty good as well.
You’re right about the Gibson/Hopkins version.
And S12, your comment about Christian as aristocrat and Bligh as commoner is interesting too.
No doubt! Adventure piled on adventure. Bligh’s open boat voyage would have been amazing in any era, but during cannibal times, even more so.