PITCAIRN ISLANDERS, WHOSE ANCESTORS ONCE HID AWAY FROM
THE WORLD NOW SAY 'COME VISIT US.'
PITCAIRN ISLAND, SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN,
April 26,2009 ----- On the eve of the 220th anniversary of the famed mutiny at
sea that led to its becoming a hiding place from the world, tiny Pitcairn is now
inviting the world to its shores.
On April 28, 1789, sailors aboard the
British naval vessel H.M.S. Bounty, revolted against their captain while
the ship was sailing among the Tongan islands. To escape punishment, a number
of them fled to remote Pitcairn island. It was nearly two decades later before
the world knew the mutineers had settled on the then uninhabited island.
Pitcairn Island's some 60 inhabitants, 51 of whom are descendants of the mutineers,
is saying to the world, "Come visit us."
as a premier get-away-from-it-all vacation spot, the island is gearing up to accommodate
tourists who want a taste of adventure along with the leisure one finds at everyday
tourist attractions. An important aspect of Pitcairn's allure, say former visitors,
is the ease with which one can be alone with nature and the sea there.
difficult of travel to and from Pitcairn is being solved with the start of a shipping
service from New Zealand and Mangareva in the Gambier Islands of French Polynesia.
Stoney Creek Shipping Company in New Zealand plans the September 2009 start of
a passenger-freight service that will allow tourist visits of three, eight, 24,
60 or 90-day visits to the island.
The Mangareva to Pitcairn trips involve
a once-a-week Air Tahiti flight from Papeete, Tahiti, to Mangareva, and then a
two-day voyage by ship to the 300-mile distant Pitcairn.
Already more than
half a dozen cruise ship companies are calling for short visits at Pitcairn as
part of their South Seas itineraries. Through the peaceful, friendly atmosphere
found in these usually less than a daylong visits, a number of the passengers
are drawn back to the island for longer stays.
The adventure part of a Pitcairn
vacation includes an always adventurous ride in a island longboat from the ship
to shore through often heavy surf in to the tiny, rocky inlet at Bounty Bay. Scaling
the towering cliffs that surround the island can make for additional heart-stopping
adventure, as can fishing expeditions in the fish-rich Pitcairn waters, or longboat
travel to Henderson or Oeno islands of the Pitcairn group.
Though it is
still considered one of the world's most remote islands, Pitcairn is Internet
connected and has telephone service. It has plans for windpower to provide electricity
on a 24-hour-a-day basis. Its health service center is physician staffed, although
the closest hospital is 1,200 miles away at Papeete.
Pitcairn visitors stay
in islanders' homes, eat the delicious home-cooked foods that come from stone
and more modern ovens. A unique Pitcairn custom has been that at whatever home
one finds himself near at meal time, he or she is welcomed to come in and enjoy
the bounty of the table.
Among many other island attractions are a museum
that is loaded with artifacts, relics from H.M.S. Bounty, and historical
At other sites on Pitcairn visitors can view cannons taken from
the Bounty, anchors from nearby shipwrecks, various historical plaques.
Visitors also enjoy an eco-walk containing many native plans and trees, and a
visit to the grave of John Adams, last of the Bounty mutineers who is credited
with saving the small Pitcairn colony from extinction in the early 1800s.
Though only roughly one mile wide by two miles long, those who trek through Pitcairn's
wooded valleys and or lofty peaks get the impression of a much larger place. In
hiking the lands away from the small village of Adamstown, one might come upon
one or more of the island's small army of wild goats, or perhaps even catch a
glimpse of Ms. Turpen, Pitcairn's solitary Galapagos giant tortoise, a sometimes
raider of the islanders' gardens.
Pitcairn Islands Study Center, 1 Angwin
Ave., Angwin, CA, USA. Herbert Ford, 707-965-6625, 707-965-2047, Fax: 707-965-6504,
Email: email@example.com, Website: http://library.puc.edu/pitcairn