A student is to recreate the infamous journey made over 200 years ago by the Royal Navy's Captain Bligh who, along with 18 of his loyal men, found himself the victim of mutineers onboard his ship.

British student Chris Wilde will join Australian Don McIntyre, captain of the Talisker Bounty, and his two shipmates to prepare for the voyage, will which cover 4,000 miles in 48 days.

The voyage will begin on 28th April, the very day in 1789 in which Captain Bligh and 18 of his crew were forced off HMS (His Majesty's Armed Vessel) Bounty.

The Bounty was on its way to the South Pacific to collect breadfruit to feed slaves in Britain's colonies. The mutiny was led by Fletcher Christian. The sailors were attracted to the idyllic life on the Pacific islands, and repelled by the alleged cruelty of their captain (in fact, Bligh was quite lenient and treated his men well).

Eighteen mutineers set Captain Bligh and most of those loyal to him afloat in a small boat. The mutineers then settled, some in Tahiti in 1789, others on Pitcairn Island, with Tahitians they had befriended. The Bounty was subsequently burned to avoid detection and to prevent desertion. Descendants of some of the mutineers and Tahitians still live on Pitcairn, a British island in the south Pacific.

The event was recreated in several movies in the 20th century.

Student to recreate Captain Bligh journey

By Peter Hutchison
10 Apr 2010
The Telegraph

Australian adventurer Don McIntyre (right) and his crew members Dave Wilkinson of Hong Kong and 18 year old Chris Wilde Photo: PA

A gap year student who responded to a plea in The Daily Telegraph for someone to join a crew recreating Captain Bligh’s voyage is preparing to embark on the epic journey - despite having no sailing experience.

Chris Wilde has joined Don McIntyre, the Australian captain of the Talisker Bounty, and his two shipmates in Sydney to put the final touches to preparations for the 4,000 mile, 48-day adventure.

The crew will be re-enacting the journey Captain Bligh took when he and 18 loyal sailors were cast adrift following the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty in 1789.

They will travel from the Pacific Island of Tonga to Timor, via Australia, using sextants and octants to navigate - surviving on only 25 days’ rations of food and water.

The journey will begin on 28 April – 221 years to the day since William Bligh was forced from HMS Bounty.

There will be no toilet paper, cabins, or any 21st century comforts on board the 25ft long open boat. Rations will consist mainly of beef, beans, and biscuits while the crew will be relying on rain for much of their drinking water.

If successful it will be the first time anyone has sailed the same course as Bligh in the same conditions he endured.

Planning for the voyage, which is in aid of Motor Neurone Disease, began four years ago but suffered a couple of setbacks when two crew members pulled out because of health issues.

Mr McIntyre contacted The Daily Telegraph to help find replacements and chose 18-year-old Wilde amongst a host of applicants.

Mr Wilde, who has no sailing experience and will be blogging on his experiences for Telegraph.co.uk, said: “It’s going to be an adventure of a lifetime. It will be a shock to the system but I want to see how my body reacts to it.”

The Mutiny on the Bounty, 1789

William Bligh

Born on September 9, 1754, in Plymouth, England, William Bligh was the son of Francis and Jane Bligh. From an early age Bligh was destined for a life at sea as his parents enlisted him as a "captain's servant" to Captain Keith Stewart at the age of 7 years and 9 months. Sailing aboard HMS Monmouth, this practice was fairly common as it allowed youngsters to quickly accrue the years of service needed in order to take the exam for lieutenant. Returning home in 1763, he quickly proved himself gifted at mathematics and navigation. After his mother's death, he re-entered the navy in 1770, at the age of 16

Voyage of the Bounty:

In 1787, Bligh was selected as the commander of His Majesty's Armed Vessel (HMS) Bounty and given the mission of sailing to the South Pacific to collect breadfruit trees. It was believed that these trees could be transplanted to the Caribbean to provide inexpensive food for slaves in British colonies. Departing December 27, 1787, Bligh attempted to enter the Pacific via Cape Horn. After a month of trying, he turned and sailed east around the Cape of Good Hope. The voyage to Tahiti proved smooth and few punishments were given to the crew. As Bounty was rated as a cutter, Bligh was the only officer on board.

To permit his men longer periods of uninterrupted sleep, he divided the crew into three watches. In addition, he raised Master's Mate Fletcher Christian to the rank of acting lieutenant so that he could oversee one of the watches. The delay off Cape Horn led to a five-month delay in Tahiti as they had to wait for the breadfruit trees to mature enough to transport. Over this period, naval discipline began to break down as the crew took native wives and enjoyed the island's warm sun. At one point, three crewmen attempted to desert but were captured. Though they were punished, it was less severe than recommended.


In addition to the behavior of the crew, several of the senior warrant officers, such as the boatswain and sailmaker were negligent in their duties. On April 4, 1789, Bounty departed Tahiti, much to the displeasure of many of the crew. On the night of April 28, Fletcher Christian and 18 of the crew surprised and bound Bligh in his cabin.

Dragging him on deck, Christian bloodlessly took control of the ship despite the fact that the most of the crew (22) sided with the captain. Bligh and 18 loyalists were forced over the side into Bounty's cutter and given a sextant, four cutlasses, and several days food and water.

Voyage to Timor:

As Bounty turned to return to Tahiti, Bligh set course for the nearest European outpost at Timor. Though dangerously overloaded, Bligh succeeded in sailing the cutter first to Tofua for supplies, then on to Timor. After sailing 3,618 miles, Bligh arrived at Timor after a 47-day voyage. Only one man was lost during the ordeal when he was killed by natives on Tofua. Moving on to Batavia, Bligh was able to secure transport back to England. In October 1790, Bligh was honorably acquitted for the loss of Bounty and records show him to have been a compassionate commander who frequently spared the lash.

Last edited by Blackleaf; Apr 11th, 2010 at 01:08 PM..