Location: Pitcairn Island
The tiny island of Pitcairn is the remotest populated place in the Pacific. Its residents, numbering about 44 at this time, take great measures to make sure each fortunate visitor is well received. When I say fortunate, I mean that not many people get to visit Pitcairn Island. The island gets about 5 cruise ships a year and about 12-15 yachts.
Pitcairn's history is a huge story in itself but I'll try and put in in a nutshell for you. In the late 1700's, the H.M.S. Bounty was sailing in the South Pacific in search of breadfruit to feed slaves in the Caribbean. The captain of the Bounty was Mr. Bligh, a cruel man but also a brilliant seaman. Fletcher Christian led a mutiny against Captain Bligh and cast him and his officers adrift in a longboat. Mr. Christian then sailed the Bounty back to Tahiti, picked up the women friends of the sailors along with a few Tahitian men. They sailed the Bounty to Pitcairn Island where they settled. The Bounty was burned in Bounty Bay as not to give away the mutineer's hiding spot. They stayed undiscovered for almost 20 years before an American whaling ship called on Pitcairn. Most of the 44 people still inhabiting the island are direct descendents of the Mutineer's, all leading simple, happy lives. The island exports dried fruit, carvings, t-shirts and also generates income from postage stamp sales.
We laid our eyes the site of Pitcairn just as the sun was coming up, 7 days after leaving Easter Island. We anchored next to Vegawind and were closely followed into port by Futuro and Aventura III. The anchorage in Bounty Bay is not protected, an anchor watch is necessary here too. The wind switched during the first night at anchor, blowing out of the northeast, the worst possible direction for Bounty Bay. We all had a very uncomfortable time, Risque rolling from side to side in a large ocean swell. The next morning we motored around to the west side of the island, known as Tedside, for the day. Big Lou took Bill, Tom and LJ into the landing there, if you can call it that, while the rest of the people were picked up by the local islanders longboat. We spent the day hiking and visiting on the island, the history is all very well known and preserved by the locals. We visited John Adam's grave, the last original mutineer to die, Fletcher Christian's lookout cave, the town square and home of Tom and Betty Christian. Tom is the great, great, great grandson of Fletcher Christian. Tom and Betty are wonderful hosts and are very knowledgeable people. Both Tom and Betty are Ham radio operators, Tom has been running the islands communications for over 20 years. We all left later that afternoon in one of the islands aluminum longboats, usually used for unloading and transporting supplies to shore. With big waves good-bye and hopeful shouts of someday being able to return, the fleet left for the Gambier Islands 300nm away.
Don't miss the pictures from Pitcairn Island!!