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Eric Shackle Writes: Bounty Boat Ready To Sail

Last-minute new crew mambers have boarded the Bounty Boat which is due to sail from Tonga this week, Eric Shackle reports.

The boat is re-enacting the 3,700-mile voyage of Lieutenant William Bligh in the Bounty.

Last-minute new crew members have boarded the Bounty Boat which is due to sail from Tonga on April 28 to re-enact Lieutenant William Bligh's 3700-mile voyage from Tonga to Timor - the grestest open-boat navigation achievement in maritime history. Bligh had commanded HMS Bounty until most of the crew mutinied and set him adrift, with sailors who had refused to mutiny.

Australian adventurer Don McIntyre plans to set sail on April 28, in a replica of Bligh’s 25-foot-long, 5-foot-wide. boat built by Tongan craftsmen, following the journey across the Pacific from Ha’apai in the Kingdom of Tonga to Timor. He hopes to begin his trip on the same day, at the same time and in the same place 221 years after Bligh's original voyage.

A few days ago, McIntyre wrote in his blog:

"Just to let you know how organised we are...it was in 1990 that I last had to use a sextant for real..that was when I sailed solo from Sydney to Tonga as my 2000 mile qualifying voyage before the BOC Challenge single handed around the world yacht race...I can still remember packing my sextant away when I dropped anchor just a few miles from here ..I have never used a sextant in earnest since..anyway I now have to learn how to do it again...I will be using an Octant.. Bligh had a head start but hey..I like a

Two days ago I sent this email to the expedition:

Hi Don. I've posted a story about your epic voyage in my blog http://lifebeginsat80.blogspot.com/

It has been published in the Pitcairn and Norfolk Island newspapers.

Do you know that the premier of Queensland, Anna Bligh, is a great-great-great-great-great-grand-daughte of Bligh of the Bounty?
Good luck! Best wishes to you and your crew.

I received this reply from another crew member, Stuart Keane:

On behalf of the Sheffield Institute Foundation Patrons, thank you for posting the Talisker Bounty Boat Story so far. Pleases inform as many people as you can through your journalist skills and outlets,The more people who know about TBB and The SIF the more chance we have to get donations and help eradicate this most horrible of diseases.
Thanks a lot for your help.
Kindest regards

Stuart Keane,
To the Sheffield Institute Foundation,
for Research into Motor Neurone Disease,
& Other Neurological Disorders.
M 07737534918

The expedition has attracted great interest from the world's media, including the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/04/20/world/AP-AS-Tonga-Bounty-Voyage.html?_r=1

McIntyre has already given countless TV, radio and press interviews, and is sure to be asked for many more in the course of the voyage.

After making a donation to the Sheffield Institute Foundation in the UK, Jonathon, a keen suppoter of the re-enactment, , commented, "You are delightfully mad and a divine inspiration to us all! May your God go with you on this adventure."

The original Bligh of the Bounty later became governor of the Australian convict colony New South Wales,
which at that time included Queensland. He was a
bad-tempered, hard-swearing man who antagonised many of the citizenry, mostly military officers and wealthy settlers.

Eventually he was arrested. It was popularly believed that he had hidden under a bed in Government House to avoid arrest, but that story may be apocryphal.

He died in London on December 6,1817.

o You can follow the Bounty voyage by visiting the expedition's blog http://www.bountyboat.blogspot.com/. You can send them a message by adding a comment .

o Charles Laughton starred in a memorable film, Mutiny on the Bounty, in1937. A brief video is posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtmV2tpbnjA

For more details about Bligh, see Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bligh


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