April 28, 2009

Mutiny on the Bounty

April 28, 1789, was when the orignal Mutiny on the Bounty occurred aboard a Royal Navy Ship.  Lieutenant William Bligh was commanding the Bounty while en route to the West Indies after collecting "breadfruit" plants from Tahiti.  The plants were to be raised in the West Indies as a sustainable source of food for the slaves there, only no one knew the slaves would hate the food and not eat it when it arrived (oops!).  Anyways, a seaman aboard the Bounty named Fletcher Christian decided he was "in hell" and needed to get his mutiny on, so he came at the Lieutenant in the night with 18 men, forcing Bligh and a handful of others into a dingy, which was cut loose from the Bounty.  What caused Christian to lead the mutiny was perhaps his madness, his greed, Bligh's bad nautical jokes, his divorce to the ship's cook, his divorce to the land (arr!) or the fact that he had quit smoking the same day and was all out of nicotine gum.  I think it was his last name, which was a word associated with general madness for ages past (ouch).  

Anyways, Bligh made it to Tofua Island, where one of his men was stoned to death by natives. Christian and the mutineers sailed to Tubuai, one of the small islands in French Polynesia, but that didn't work out and they returned to Tahiti for the stiff drinks at the Raccoon Lodge.  Bligh ended up sailing the small dingy to the Dutch East Indies and ended up commanding voyages for breadfruit again (still a waste of time because the slaves were never going to eat the fruit). Good one, Bligh!  I think you need to stop focusing on cats playing synthesizer in space and get your head in the game!

Christian and the mutineers thought their collective name was a great band name and decided to settle on Pitcairn Island in Tahiti and play surf rock all day.  They cleaned out the Bounty and burned the ship down to nothing to avoid getting caught. They married the Tahitian islanders and had children, but their long-term plans didn't pan out because the natives never liked the band name or being treated like slaves, and ended up revolting against them in 1793. After the death of Christian, the power vacuum gave way to other leaders and soon an alcoholic beverage was brewed, which caused drunkenness and oppression of the women, who in turn revolted numerous times to no avail (sorry ladies).

The island was left without another ship on it's coasts until 1808!  Damn!  In 1825, the last mutineer (John Adams) was granted amnesty for his mutiny, and Adamstown has remained the capital of this land ever since.  This success story was brought to you by the Raccoon Lodge, where happy hour starts at ALWAYS!  

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