Updated: Nov 16, 2022
I knew very little about life on the Pitcairn Islands in 2020, other than it just being the island inhabited by the Bounty Mutineers all those years ago. But what was it like today?
On February 19th 2020, I found myself in the lucky position to have an exclusive tour of the island to be able to photograph and video the island for cruise ship commercial purposes, I was so honoured to be selected as part of this special day.
Myself and a select few others including the Captain of MS Amsterdam, Holland America Line were picked up by the locals from the island. We went down the side of the gigantic luxury liner by a rope ladder and into the wooden boat belonging to the natives of Pitcairn. It was like stepping back in time or into a world that seemed so far away from that of the cruise ship life. Swapping a life of a ship capacity of over 2000 people to visit the least populous island in the world - Pitcairn Island: Total population 48 (2020)
As we sailed away from the cruise ship and an abundance of curious cruise passengers who unfortunately for them, had to remain on board, we sailed closer and closer to the Island itself and the history that smothers it. It was so incredibly moving and atmospherical to be stepping onto the actual Island. The landscape remains so untouched it really makes you feel like so little must have changed since the 1700s when the Island was first inhabited by the original mutineers themselves.
Our tour guide for the day was Steve Fletcher, Steve is a direct descendant of Christian Fletcher, the Master's mate who sailed on the Tahitian voyage in 1789. Christian seized command of HMS Bounty and was one of only 9 mutineers who settled on the isolated island, where the Bounty soon after burned. Christian died 4 years later and there are various accounts for how he died, but his body lies at the Pitcairn Island Graveyard. The generations he left behind remain to share his stories, including Steve.
The incredible story of this Island literally makes for hours of reading and discovering. But I won't go on about that here like I'm Wikipedia. Instead, I choose to share my experiences through these photographs plus a short video of my day.
Big thanks to Holland America for this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the historical island and to the Islanders of Pitcairn who were all so incredibly welcoming. Thank you for sharing your stories. It was a day I will never, ever forget.