Today is the date in 1789 that Fletcher Christian led a mutiny of His Majesty’s Ship Bounty where Captain William Blight and 18 of his loyal men were set adrift in a small open boat. The Bounty had left England nearly a year and a half before headed to Tahiti where it was to pick up a load of breadfruit trees. After 10 months at sea the Bounty finally arrived in Tahiti where the crew stayed for five months enjoying the climate, the hospitality and the beautiful women.

When it was time to leave, getting back to work was just too much for many of the crew who enjoyed their stay maybe a little too much. Plus Bligh was a miserable man to work for. He was a tyrant, belittling his men for the smallest mistake and after 3 weeks at sea some of the men just couldn’t take any more. Christian along with 25 other officers and men took control of the ship.

For several months the Bounty and its crew sailed the South Pacific searching for the ideal place to stay and finally ended up back in Tahiti where Christian and some of the other men invited the women they had fallen in love with to join them on the boat in search of the perfect place to live.

That perfect place turned out to be tiny Pitcarin Island where it wasn’t until nearly 20 years later that an American whaling boat spotted a cooking fire and stopped. It’s where they found a community of mostly women and children and only one of the original mutineers still alive who told them his story.

As for the Bounty – it had been stripped and burned. Of the people who live on Pitcarin Island today – all of them trace their ancestry to the mutineers aboard the Bounty. An additional thousand other descendents live on a larger island – Norfolk Island – several hundred miles away.