The immigration officer on Pitcairn Islands – he was a very slow writer and with about 200 passports in total (passengers & crew) – we had to stay nearly 3 days.
3 very special and memorable days – that ended up in tears and high emotions for me when leaving.
With a population of only around 124 in 1978, the people of Pitcairn are descended from the mutineers of HMAV Bounty and their Tahitian companions. Pitcairn Islands approximately 3.2km (2 miles) long and 1.6km (1 mile) wide with the capital Adamstown located above Bounty Bay and accessed by the aptly named road, “The Hill of Difficulty”.
In terms of population, the Pitcairn Islands is the smallest democracy in the world.
Not at all an island that invites you at first sight …It’s just laying there looking like a big rock – very rough and there is only one spot on this island where you can land, Bounty Bay – that has to be with the islanders own built long boats.
We arrived on the afternoon of 9.11.78 it was a Saturday – and the islanders where expecting us and it didn’t take long before one of the boat was on it’s way out to us for shopping. On their shopping list was pineapples, grapes, milk powder and cheese. Products that they was longing for most. MS “Lindblad Explorer” had been coming there for a quite a few years.
At that time, if I don’t remember wrongly, was there 124 people living on the island. The doctor where from New Zealand and the teacher from UK.
There was an young Norwegian woman that had come to the island by a freight ship the year before – fallen in love with one of the young men and she where married and highly pregnant. In 2011 where there only around 67 Pitciarners left. Wonder if she is one of them.
On Saturday evening was everybody on the island that was able to – invited to have dinner with our passengers – a tradition. 5 course dinner, drinks, singing and dancing. The highlight of the year for them and for us too.
On Sunday it was the opposite – we where invited to be their guests. Passengers and crew (off duty) first went to church together with them and after that we where divided between the families – and had Sunday lunch in their homes. My family where Ivan Christian’s and his wife together with 6 of our passangers. Lunch was nothing they had prepared special for us – the same as they normally had. Choices where not that big on the island. We had oven baked ham. What a fantastic day.
HMS Bounty’s bible
In the early evening was it time for us to leave – both long boats came out to us to say good bye – we where all singing ” Auld Lang Syne” together and I was crying like a baby. Knowing that I will never be back again – knowing that they will start waiting straight away for “the little red ship” to be back. It was so emotional and now writing about it I start crying again.
2 July 1767 by midshipman Pitcairn aboard the HMS Swallow in 1790, along with their Tahitian women and a few Tahitian men discovered the islands. Fletcher Christian and his band of mutineers seized the Bounty from Captain William Bligh on 28 April 1789 following a voyage filled with disrespect and frequent, sometimes severe, punishments from Bligh toward his crew.
Must say the Pitciarners are an ambitious and resourceful people – they fish, make honey, gardening, handicrafts and maintenance all the buildings and the island. In 1998 did the UK Government aid agency, the Department for International Development, funded an apiculture programme for Pitcairn which included training for Pitcairn’s beekeepers. “Fortnum and Mason” and “Partridges” in London now stock their honey.
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o’ auld lang syne.”
Photos provided by and thanks to; curtandcindyworld2011.blogspot com / worldisround. com / superstock.com / nationalgeographic.com / lonleyplanet.com / travel-images.com / en.wikipedia.org