Sat 7/1/12 More about the Gt Barrier Reef: The Bounty and the Pandora
Sat 7 Jan 2012 11:22
In 1788 the Bounty left Britain for Tahiti, to collect breadfruit seedlings to provide a cheap food source for plantation slaves in the W. Indies. But the crew liked Tahiti so much that they mutinied under the leadership of Fletcher Christian, leaving Capt. William Bligh and a few crew adrift on the Pacific.
Bligh and his crew amazingly navigated their longboat 3600 miles to Timor, where Bligh caught a boat back to England. The Admiralty immediately dispatched the frigate Pandora under Capt. Edwards, to go and sort out the mutineers.
Meanwhile, Christian and some of the mutineers had taken the Bounty off into hiding in the Pacific. But 14 remained on Tahiti, and when the Pandora arrived in 1791 they were captured and incarcerated in the ship’s brig, known as “Pandora’s Box”. The Pandora then set off in search of the Bounty, but foundered on the Great Barrier Reef. Edwards and the surviving crew abandoned ship, leaving the prisoners locked in the brig, only to be released in the nick of time by one of the crew, before the ship sank.
Now it was Edwards’ turn to perform an amazing feat of navigation, finally arriving in Timor with his crew and the 10 surviving mutineers. On return to England, 7 of the 10 were acquitted and 3 hanged.
Capt Bligh became governor of NSW, where he suffered another mutiny, the Rum Rebellion. Furthermore, the W. Indies slaves refused to eat the breadfruit.
Much later a small English speaking col.ony was found on the mid-Pacific Pitcairn Island, who turned out to be descendants of Christian’s mutineers. One elderly survivor, John Adams, told the story of how they settled in Pitcairn, burned the Bounty, then fought with the Tahitian men over the women. Christian and all but 3 were killed, and the other 2 had subsequently died, leaving only Adams, the women, and their children. After Adams’ death, the population was briefly moved to Norfolk Island in the 1850s, where some settled, though many of their descendants returned and still live in Pitcairn.
We seem to remember Pitcairn being in the news fairly recently, something about child abuse? did the NZ government move them out again???
Some more Queensland beach pictures attached