Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: Bligh's Pacific Journey - rerun.
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:39 pm 
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Captain Bligh's Pacific journey after the mutiny on the Bounty is being re-enacted:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-p ... 631607.stm

The report notes that the sailors will not be using charts, compass or lights. Will they have a motor? I was under the impression that all sailing ships by law have to have a motor. Am I 'mis-remembering'?

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 Post subject: Re: Bligh's Pacific Journey - rerun.
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:41 am 
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Anna,

I usually think these 're-enactments' are somewhat fanciful – and it is perhaps doubtful if they will learn that much about the original voyage. Although they may be following the actual route taken by Bligh, the boat is only half the size so they will probably be somewhat at a disadvantage in certain sea conditions.

The Bounty's launch was 23' long and was to carry in total 19 men, here the vessel is perhaps 12' in length and has a crew of five, so the cramped conditions are I suppose similar. However, the report of course does not say how much nautical experience the modern crew have, Presumably the two instigators have some knowledge, but one wonders about the Hong Kong businessman and the gap sudent! All the nineteen men in Bligh's launch would have quite a lot of nautical experience, even the 'gardeners' by this stage, so the psychologlical effects might be interesting. However, it may turn out that the mind of the eighteenth century seamen was more attuned to handling the voyage rather better - under a strong minded, but fair captain!

I don't know whether the boat will have a small engine, but a boat that small even if it had one, might have a hard job to fight tides and currents. You are right, there are regulations for sailing vessels these days to have engines, but these are rather larger than a small boat. Whether it has an engine or not, I am sure the Australian coastguard and perhaps navy will keep an eye on them and come to their rescue should they get into difficulties.

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 Post subject: Re: Bligh's Pacific Journey - rerun.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Well, they did it!

There's a report in today's Times, to which I can't give a link as internet access is no longer free.

It took took four sailors 47 days to reach West Timor from Tonga in their vessel, the Talisker Bounty - 4000 miles. They capsized four times and nearly ran aground on a reef. One of the crew was an 18 year-old British student, Chris Wilde.

There's a picture of the ship and it looks tiny - so well done, the four of them!

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 Post subject: Re: Bligh's Pacific Journey - rerun.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:08 pm 
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This is the website:

http://www.taliskerbountyboat.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Bligh's Pacific Journey - rerun.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:22 am 
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Many thanks for that link, P-N. Great stuff!

I note that their equipment, limited as far as possible to what was available to Bligh, did not include any sunscreen or sunburn treatment. We are constantly exhorted to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun to avoid skin cancer; I wonder if their doctors/insurers insisted they use it.

This made me reflect also that, in addition to all the dangers and risks seamen were exposed to in Nelson's day, skin cancer must have been an added hazard, when you think of the hours spent on deck, and aloft. Does anything appear in the medical records/statistics of the day?

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