Well, today was a day we were looking forward to – our day at Pitcairn Island.
We arrived from the East this morning at about 10am and rather than landing on this small island ourselves – 600 passengers compared to the 65 people living on the island – they took their longboat and brought their story and curios and most of the Islanders and came to visit us!! Our ship put out the tender ramp and they came on board with their bags – wood carvings, paintings, dolls, tczatkes of various descriptions.
Pitcairn Island was settled by Polynesians as evidenced by tools, statues, burial sites and petroglyphs on the Cliffside. They are long gone and were not in evidence when the island was discovered by Europeans in 1767 and named for Major Pitcairn of the British marines.
It is a small island 9.6 Km round and 4Km at its maximal length but has achieved huge fame because this was the location that the Bounty mutineers, under Fletcher Christian, settled with their Tahitian companions. It has one town – Adamstown and facilities like a church – they are Seventh Day Adventists; Hospital and a school with 10 children of various ages. The pastor, teacher and doctor are all here under contract.
Today only 53 people live permanently on Pitcairn and all are the descendants of the original mutineers. There is no fresh water – they have to collect rain for fresh water in large storage tanks and use this for personal use and agriculture. Today they have ‘phone service, two TV channels – CNN and TCM!!! And electricity is provided by generators until 10pm. They grow all manner of fruits and vegetables, have unlimited fishing and domestic animals are chickens – no cattle or sheep. Wild chickens and goats represent escapees from domesticity. No dangerous or poisonous insects or animals threaten people but if you have a serious illness or injury it will take a ship days to come and pick you up.
The islanders who came to visit the ship set up their goods for sale in one of the lounges and had a huge response with people including Merle buying stuff. One of the vendors was the gentleman in this picture who sold Merle a comic version of the Bounty Trilogy Vol 3 – Pitcairn Islands. As you can see his name is Mike Christian – a descendant of Fletcher Christian. You may also be able to see mbee lurking in the near distance
We then had a slide presentation and talk by one of the Islanders who talked about how they live on a day-to-day basis. Some of what he told us I have outlined above – it was very interesting.
Today was a big day for them – they only see about 8 Cruise ships a year and today they had two – the other ship is the Albatross – it was in Easter island when we were – so at 2pm or so all of the folks from the island left our ship and went to the other ship for Round 2!!
Tonight is SuperBowl so we have a big party with beer and snackie things while we watch the game. It’s the fourth quarter now and Green Bay still have the lead – not an outcome I was hoping for so I’m sulking and doing my blog. Go Steelers (?)