Adventure of a lifetime

by Ana Pinto on

The end of my visit to this beautiful island is approaching quickly and although I try squeezing in even more adventures during this trip, I’m conscious that time is running out!

Council meeting photo
Littly Izzy joins us for a photo after the council meeting

Before the end of my visit, I am invited to attend a council meeting, along with colleagues form Pew and National Geographic. They have been working with the Pitcairn community and the UK government to secure a marine reserve for these wonderful islands. At the council meeting, we have the opportunity to hear about the progress we have made on this trip. The Mayor seems happy to hear that hopefully the marine reserve proposal will be accepted and we thank the council for making us all feel so welcome during this trip! Paul Rose from National Geographic also tells the council how passionate he is about helping this community to protect the precious marine life found here! We all leave the council meeting feeling really positive about the future of this community and with huge smiles on our faces.

High-five
High-five for Pitcairn Marine Reserve, with Paul Rose

After the meeting, I stop by the post office to send a legendary postcard to London Zoo all the way from the Pitcairn Islands.

Pitcairn post office
A busy day at the Pitcairn post office

As I head back to Carol’s place I catch a lift with Emily and Bradley who are helping their Dad to move things around for the new harbour that is being built near Tedside. 

Getting a lift on the tractor
Getting a lift on the tractor

Back at Carol’s I spot Jay (Carol’s husband) polishing a beautiful whale that was carved out of tao wood from Henderson Island and ask him if he carved it. He nods and adds that many people on the island are great at wood carvings and that they sell these to people who visit the island. As I look around the workshop just outside the house, I think back to how many wooden carvings I have seen around people’s houses here. It is clear that the islanders are very skilled indeed - so many beautiful carvings of whales, sharks and longboats!

Jay Warren finishes his beautiful whale carving
Jay Warren finishes his beautiful whale carving

Another thing that is very popular with tourists is the amazing Pitcairn honey. It’s the purest honey in the world because of how isolated the island is. Pitcairn has one of the most disease-free bee populations of anywhere in the world and the honey produced is of an exceptionally high quality. I try the local honey whilst on the island and it is indeed the best tasting honey. So tasty that I will have to take some home with me, in fact, I’ve had requests from my ZSL colleagues to bring some back for them to taste!

Honey
Mmmm, honey!

After a busy day discussing ideas with Melva in the Tourism department, there is still time for one last swim at Bounty Bay before heading back to London. On the way back from Bounty Bay I finally notice the Pitcairn Reed-Warbler, an endangered bird, which is endemic to Pitcairn Island so it is not found anywhere else in the world! It feeds on insects, foraging mostly in trees and bushes, and I’m told that people call it the ‘sparrow’ even though there are no true sparrows on Pitcairn! Thankfully the warbler stays still long enough for me to have a closer look at it - it looks quite small and is olive-brown in colour above and light yellow underneath. A pretty little bird.

Swimming with Cushana
Swimming with Cushana

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