"" Writer's Wanderings: World Cruise - Pitcairn Island

Saturday, February 14, 2015

World Cruise - Pitcairn Island

Pitcairn’s greenery was made even more distinct by the very deep blue of the ocean and a bright blue sky dotted with white clouds. It was a breathtaking view all day long.

Our ship was too big to allow for taking passengers ashore at Pitcairn so we anchored and let Pitcairn come to us. Once I saw the island, I was glad. It would have been quite a climb no matter where we would have landed. As we ate breakfast we watched a long boat full of people (nearly all who live on the island) approach our ship. There was a lot of waving and picture taking on both sides.

Once on board, the citizens of Pitcairn set up their crafts and wares on the tables near the pool and in the atrium. We did a couple of rounds checking everything out and then settled on a souvenir for our pastor (can’t give away the surprise here) and a couple of postcards that were already stamped with beautiful stamps. One we sent to ourselves so that we could have a record of our visit. The postcards will be mailed from Pitcairn, carry the postmark of Adamstown, but will not leave the island until March when the supply boat comes in again.

There were two talks given by residents and here is some of what I gleaned:
The island is 2X1 miles in area.

Approximately 36 people live on the island (numbers varied a bit). They are looking for people to boost their population. Currently there is only one child on the island but there are several who are off at school in New Zealand.

The supply ship comes every three months but they have visits from cruise ships and sailing yachts several times a year.

Water is collected in cisterns but there is a small backup desalination plant if necessary.

They collect honey that is sold around the world.
The average age is around 55. Three of their residents are over 80.

There is a doctor. The doctor is hired for a year at a time. Evacuation for emergencies however depend on nearby ship traffic. The closest island with an airport is three hundred miles away.

They do have internet and phone (which was more than we had on the ship that day).

During the day, we caught glimpses of the Pitcairn girl (about 7 or 8 years old) as one of the female staff members took her on a grand tour, including a trip to the grill for a hamburger and fries followed by an nice big ice cream cone.

When it was time for the Pitcairn visitors to leave, everyone gathered in the atrium of the ship and listened to the mayor’s farewell speech followed by three songs. When they were finished, Bob and I along with many others went to the side of the ship and watched as they loaded their long boat for the ride home. The ship gave them some mattresses, carpeting, chairs, and foodstuffs as well as some alcoholic refreshment. It looked like there would be BBQ ribs for their next community meal.

Bounty Bay where the ship was burned by the mutineers.
Before sailing off for Tahiti, we circumnavigated the island and caught glimpses of Adamstown and Bounty Bay where the original mutineers put in. Today it is still the only landing spot (although they are working on a second). 

It was one of the best visits we’ve had to a port without actually setting foot on land. It will be fondly remembered.

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