On my first trip out to explore the island of Pitcairn, I head to Adamstown and find ‘The Square’. This is where you will find the council offices, post office, town hall and church. Right in front of the town hall I spot the anchor from HMS Bounty (divers lifted it out of the sea in 1957 and it is now proudly displayed here for all to see).
You might be wondering why I keep mentioning the ‘Bounty’ and ‘Fletcher Christian’… it’s because Pitcairn has a fascinating history that goes all the way back to the time of explorers! I’ve read a few versions of the Mutiny on the Bounty story- but as I am here, I’ve asked Torika Warren-Peu (12 yrs) who calls this beautiful island home and is a descendant of Fletcher Christian, to tell me the story of her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather in her own words:
Munity on the Bounty
Munity on the bounty started out in Tahiti with the Tahitian women. Captain William Bligh and his crew (from England) were sent on a mission to collect breadfruit for the slaves and prisoners. While the crew collected the breadfruit some of the Tahitian women fell in love with the crew. When the time came for the bounty to leave the crew didn’t want to leave but they had to. When the bounty was at sea with the breadfruit trees Bligh started to cut down the water supply for the crew so that the breadfruit could remain healthy. If the crew wanted to have a drink of fresh water they had to climb the highest mast to the top to get the only spoon on the ship to drink out of.
When Fletcher Christian had enough, he and the crew decided to plan a major munity and set Bligh and some of his loyal crew adrift in one of the wooden boats. After they had succeeded their mission they then headed out into the South Pacific Ocean in search of a deserted island so they could never be found again. After days of searching they came across Pitcairn Island (named after the son of Major Pitcairn, Robert Pitcairn).
After anchoring off Pitcairn for a few days the crew and Fletcher Christian rowed ashore. They found that this little island was uninhabited! They stripped the Bounty, set fire to it and watched it sink. They made this island their home and called the little village in the North of the island ‘Adamstown’. But peace didn’t last there very long something terrible happened - fighting and killing until John Adams was the only man left. He taught the women and children of love and peace from the bible and even how to read and sing.
After a while the little island became too small to feed and care for all the islanders. A sailing vessel helped some of the people and took them to Norfolk Island. Soon after some of them did return to Pitcairn Island. The ones that returned to Pitcairn raised and cared for their families and now today the blood of the mutineers still runs strong.
Torika Warren- Peu
I have seen many photos of Adamstown, but there’s something about standing right here and looking out into the ocean - it’s almost as though I have gone back in time and I imagine what it would have looked like when the mutineers first arrived and started to build their homes here. You can even look out and see Christian’s Cave from here - it has amazing views!
There are lots of people around today so I am lucky enough to get to know some other members of the Pitcairn community.
While here I bump into some tourists from Germany and New Zealand. They know all about the history of Pitcairn and have travelled all the way here for the second time! They tell me how welcome they always feel coming here and how beautiful the island is. They recommend that I walk over to the East side of the island all the way up to Christian’s Cave as it isn't that far from Adamstown. I head over to my accommodation and prepare my bags for a walk - I can't wait to get to this cave!
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