Sea Day Pitcairn Island

Day 19

January 24, 2013

Another excerpt from our captain’s blog, the pictures are mine.

‘”In 1767, a young British Midshipman, Robert Pitcairn, on the British sloop HMS “Swallow” sighted land and thus the 15-year old had the distinction of having an island named after him. The island was uninhabited on that day. In 1790, the mutineers of HMS “Bounty”, along with some Tahitian companions (who may have been kidnapped by them), settled on the island and set fire to the “Bounty”, (taking the phrase ‘burning one’s boats’ to the ultimate :) ). The wreck is still visible in Bounty Bay, although we were in deep water during our call.

Pitcairn’s population is now 57 and under normal circumstances we would have welcomed them on board, where they would have sold their souvenirs, postage stamps and imparted to the local knowledge. Unfortunately the circumstances were not ‘normal’ today, for we were informed 3 days ago that a large number of the populace had contracted flu, the H2N3 strain that is ravaging North America at the moment. It is thought that this was brought to the island by a passing cruise ship, some 2 weeks ago.

Under the circumstances, a decision was made by our Corporate officers, that it would be prudent to not let the islanders on board for the sake of the well-being of all on board. So it was a scenic cruise morning, arriving off Bounty Bay and the settlement nearby, Adamstown, just after 10 a.m. and here a longboat from the island came alongside to pick up (and pay for) provisions; this consisted of meats, milk, ice cream and beer and once this was completed, with a blow of the ship’s whistles and much waving, we departed for a circumnavigation and scenic cruise of the island. It became apparent why there was discord amongst those mutineers – the island is small, mountainous with precipitous cliffs, having burned their ship and now being ‘marooned’, the atmosphere could not have been pleasant. “




Along the way, on the west side of the island, we stumbled upon a sailing ship, the “Picton Castle”, a magnificent sight as it lay at anchor. It was on an 8-month voyage, originating in Nova Scotia and had 12 professional crew and 41 ‘apprentices’, she was a sail-training ship and was sailing the South Pacific.

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Land Ho! I am sure you  all know the story of the Mutiny on  the Bounty and this is where Fletcher Christian decided to settle.  You cannot get much more remote than this, there are just over 50 inhabitants on the island, they were suppose to come aboard to tell us their tales, bring some souvenirs to sell, plus I understand they make some good honey.  Well this was not to be, it seems a cruise ship came by two weeks and infected the island with the h2N3 virus and the captain did not want to risk any or all of us to be infected.  However we had some provisions to drop off, so out they came in their long boat to collect.  I could not see myself living in such a remote tiny island, what do they do all day! We cruised around fairly close to the island, while we had pirates serving us complimentary bloody Mary’s.  What a great day!

till tomorrow






another bucket listcheck 0ff. Fletcher Christian certainly picked a remote, tiny {1x2m} island to hide from the BRITISH hound dogs. Too bad he only lived 2 or 3 years after arriving. Apparently a still was made by a Scotsman & alcohol fueled fighting exacerbated by too few woman left only 1 man living when the brits finally found Pitcairn about 12 years later.

So wanted to meet some of the descendants on board but leave it to cruise ship buggers to spoil it by spreading their bug a few weeks ago. Topped the day off by watching the movie “The Bounty” the latest …{1984} version. It was spooky in that I sighted the island with binoculars at about 50 miles off and that the movie showed exactly what I saw when they first saw it. All in all, an exciting day.


2 thoughts on “Sea Day Pitcairn Island

  1. Lisa Pisha

    Too bad you didn’t get to socialize with the local folk – it would have been interesting to meet the type of person that could live on such a remote and sparsely inhabited island. The picture of the dove (which I’m not sure it even was…. but sure looked like it) was beautiful!!! A true omen that it was going to be a good day.
    P.S. The Bloody Mary’s looked yummy!!


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