from the blog of a long-time buddy (college, actually)
Diary == 2014
a periodic photographic diary …
The Southern Pacific Ocean approaching Tahiti == February 17, 2014 Monday == Pitcairn Island is down to only One Dog
The stop at Pitcairn Island was a hoot. Promptly at 7:30am a small boat loaded with the entire population of the island (minus 5 elderly) could be seen pushing off from a landing through binoculars and here they came piled everywhichway in the boat. Young, old, tattooed and universally friendly, white and English.
Almost all of them are descendants of Fletcher Christian who led the mutiny on the Bounty and then hid out here to avoid capture in 1790 until he himself was murdered in a dispute over women with the natives on the small island a few years later.
Not to worry – wooden replicas of the Bounty were for sale for $125 – tee shirts for upwards to $45 with “Mutiny!” inscribed on the front. Once on board the 50 or so residents set up a huge shop of stores in the Queens Room, and one of their number, gave two really interesting and intelligent lectures in the theater .
While they sold their goods and the lady spoke, the Victoria slowly chugged around the island until, nearing noon, all of the Pitcairn residents (7th Day Adventists, by the way) were put back in their boat and off they went home.
Along the way they invited anyone who might like to move to Pitcairn to come right along – “we would love to have you all move here.”
Pitcairn is a British Overseas Territory, not as I wrote and was earlier told, a property belonging to Australia. It has one policeman (I met him in an elevator) and one doctor. The island is down to one dog. They get provisioned every four weeks and see about a dozen cruise ships a year. Economically they are kept alive by subsidies by the British government. The Pitcairn governor is in New Zealand where the kids from Pitcairn are also sent to go to high school. New Zealand is not exactly around the block – think 3,000 miles or more.
Next we sail a couple of days and pull into Tahiti.