Archive for January, 2012

PANDORA’S BOX – THE BOUNTY MUTINEERS & THE BOTANY BAY ESCAPEES

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

1790 –  Portsmouth, March: Captain William Bligh RN arrived in England on the 14th March 1790 eager to give testimony to the Admiralty putting his side of the ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ story.

On 17th March 1790, a small paragraph appeared in the Times announcing that William Bligh, fresh from his remarkable voyage across the Pacific, was expected in London later that afternoon. He had arrived in Portsmouth three days earlier’. John Toohey, Captain Bligh’s Portable Nightmare, 1998

And it was a story of headlines. In mid-ocean at gun-point in the early hours of 28 April 1789,Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, Captain Bligh’s second-in-command on HMS Bounty,forced his commander with eighteen (18) fellow crew off the ship and into a small oared cutter.

Despite having little food and water, scorched by sun and wind, they survived forty-eight (48) days in an open boat. Bligh made the lives of his fellow castaways a misery as they rowed and nudged their drifting craft towards land.

It must be said however without Bligh’s excellent celestial navigating skills none might have survived the 3600 miles (6400km) voyage to Dutch Timor.

Only John Norton did not make it to Timor. He was stoned to death when the group landed to collect water at Tofura Island.

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