Mutiny TX: 6 Mar 2017, Week 10
230 years ago, British navy ship HMS Bounty was sailing from Tahiti to the West Indies. During its 17 month voyage a poisonous rift developed between its crew and its tough young captain - William Bligh. In the middle of the South Pacific, rebellion broke out.
I am now to relate one of the worst acts of piracy ever committed - at dawn of day, several men came into my cabin and while I was asleep, seized and tied my hands behind my back and took the Bounty from me.
It would go down in history as the Mutiny on the Bounty. Captain Bligh and a handful of loyal men were forced into a tiny open boat and left to die. Instead they managed to navigate 4000 miles to safety, through some of the world's most remote and unforgiving seas
It remains one of the greatest survival feats in British history.
Now for the first time, 9 men are setting out to make the same gruelling journey in a replica 23ft wooden boat, with the same rations, facing the same conditions - to measure themselves against history.
For company, they will have Bligh’s own words – in the form of a detailed Journal he kept which remarkably survived the voyage. The Journal will help them uncover the secrets of survival and to get a closer understanding of Bligh’s epic feat.
The men bring skills that mirror those of Bligh’s crew. Amongst them are a carpenter, a doctor, and several specialist sailors. Anthony Middleton, of SAS: Who Dares Wins is stepping into Captain Bligh’s shoes as leader of the expedition.
Like Bligh’s men they will battle brutal storms and treacherous reefs. They will brave the furnace of Northern Australia’s shark infested waters, and the challenge of landing on remote tropical islands to hunt for vital supplies. The crew will be constantly challenged by raging seas, hunger, and the confined space of the boat.
There an old nautical saying, “When ships were made of wood, men were made of steel”. But can today’s men measure up to the extraordinary achievements of their predecessors?
ISLANDS VISITED ON THE VOYAGE
Restoration Island (Australia)
Sunday Island (Australia)
Albany Island (Australia)