A Voyage to the South Sea, Including an Account of the Mutiny on the Bounty

 by Captain William Bligh


A Voyage to the South Sea, Including an Account of the Mutiny on the Bounty by Captain William Bligh book cover
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This is a first hand account of the MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, written by Captain William Bligh. It is a logbook of his remarkable journey of 3,618 nautical miles in a small open boat.

The voyage of the Bounty: In 1787, Bligh took command of the Bounty. In order to win a premium offered by the RSA he first sailed to Tahiti to obtain breadfruit trees, then set course for the Caribbean, where breadfruit was wanted for experiments to see whether it would be a successful food crop for slaves there. The Bounty never reached the Caribbean, as mutiny broke out on board shortly after leaving Tahiti.

The voyage to Tahiti was difficult. After trying unsuccessfully for a month to round Cape Horn, the Bounty was finally defeated by the notoriously stormy weather and forced to take the long way around the Cape of Good Hope. That delay resulted in a further delay in Tahiti, as they had to wait five months for the breadfruit plants to mature enough to be transported. The Bounty departed Tahiti in April 1789.

To this day, the reasons for the mutiny are a subject of considerable debate. Some believe that Bligh was a cruel tyrant whose abuse of the crew led members of the crew to feel that they had no choice but to take the ship from Bligh. Others believe that the crew, inexperienced and unused to the rigours of the sea and, after having been exposed to freedom and sexual license on the island of Tahiti, refused to return to the "Jack Tars" existence of a seaman. They were "led" by a weak Fletcher Christian and were only too happy to be free from Bligh's acid tongue. They believe that the crew took the ship from Bligh so that they could return to a life of comfort and pleasure on Tahiti. Bligh returned to London arriving in March 1790.

 

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