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Pitcairn Island | A Photography Journey

I knew very little about life on the Pitcairn Island in 2020, other than it being the island that was inhabited by the Bounty Mutineers all those years ago.

So, where are Pitcairn Islands and what are they like now?

Pitcairn Islands are located in the South Pacific Ocean, some 1350 miles (2170km) south-east of Tahiti and found somewhat half way between the mainland of New Zealand and South America.

a map showing the location of Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific Ocean
Where is Pitcairn Island?

The Pitcairn Islands, are made up of a group of four volcanic islands (the Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands). Pitcairn is the only inhabited island and on February 19th 2020, I found myself in the lucky position to have an exclusive tour of the island and be able to photograph and video this island for cruise ship documenting purposes.

sign posts on Pitcairn Island showing the distance to major cities

In 2020 I was a cruise ship photographer and myself and a select few others including the Captain of MS Amsterdam, Holland America Line were picked up by some locals from the island. We went down the side of the gigantic cruise liner on a rope ladder and into the wooden boat of 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.

For a day we were swapping a world from our cruise ship's capacity of over 2000 guests and crew to visit the least populous island in the world - Pitcairn Island, with a total population 48, as of January, 2020.

three people sailing away from a big cruise ship on the ocean in a smaller wooden boat
On our way to Pitcairn Island alongside Steve Fletcher, descendant of Christian Fletcher.

We sailed away from the cruise ship and an abundance of curious cruise passengers who unfortunately for them, had to remain on board, as we sailed closer to Pitcairn Island itself and the history that it holds. It was so incredibly moving and atmospherical to be stepping onto the actual Island. The landscape remains very untouched and 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.

Fletcher seized command of HMS Bounty and was one of only 9 mutineers who settled on this isolated island, where the Bounty soon after burned.

Christian Fletcher died 4 years later. 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 our tour guide - Steve!

Whitstable Yarn Bombers make it to Pitcairn Island
A yarned token of appreciation for Mr Steve Fletcher as we arrive on Pitcairn Island.

The incredible history of this Island makes for hours of reading and discovering, but I want to share my modern day experiences through my photographs, plus a short video of our day filmed on a GoPro 7.

original HMS Bounty anchor laying outside the Island's Public Hall
Original HMS Bounty Anchor

A special thanks to Holland America Line for this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the historical island with my camera, 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.

Pitcairn Islands flag blowing in the wind
Pitcairn Island Flag

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