Captain's Log

Archive for February, 2013

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Papeete – Day 3

By Kate “Bob” Addison

February 21st, 2013

Thursday lunchtime and we’re half way through our Tahiti sojourn – time is passing very quickly!

Aboard ship we’ve been busy organizing provisions to feed us until Rarotonga, buying diesel, refilling propane cylinders, and getting all of our fire fighting equipment checked and re-certified. We had a few groups of visitors to the ship today too – a Pitcairn couple on their way back to the island stopped by for brunch, and a group of students from a nearby maritime academy came to tour the ship.

There is a fair amount of swell at the dock today so this morning all hands were called to put out extra dock lines, as the forces on them in a big swell can be huge. We also braced round the main yards and put a lift from the yard to the end of the aluminium gangway to prevent it from grinding on the concrete of the dock. Captain says if the swell doesn’t improve soon then we will move the ship to a different wharf this afternoon, where the swell is less bad.

Meanwhile the off watches have been enjoying some city time, or getting out of town on the bus or in hired cars to explore the twin circles of Tahiti Nue and Tahiti Iti. The centre-ville is perfect for stylish city living, with pavement cafes that have excellent coffee, ice cream or a glass of wine. There are plenty of very good restaurants to satisfy les gourmands of all persuasions – lots of very traditional French food like steak frites, choucroute or cassoulet and tarte-tartin or crème brulee for after. The wine lists are amazing – maybe ten red wines from Bordeaux, and a handful from the Loire or Cote-de-Rhone. It seems a bit crazy to be eating all this rich, French food when it’s all been imported from Europe, but sometimes delicious trumps food miles. There is Polynesian food too – raw red tuna fish in coconut milk and lime juice is a favourite, and plenty of tropical fruit – banana, mango, passion fruit, coconut, and the famous pamplemousse are all very good, and relatively cheap compared to the cost of everything else here. The Papeete market is the best place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, and you can also buy all sorts of beads and trinkets here – colourful pareaus, black pearls, carved pearl shells and baskets and hats woven from pandanus and wood carvings. I’ve been going to the market early every morning to get fresh fruit and bread for the crew’s breakfast.

Our crew’s favourite spot to eat out is ‘Les Roulettes’ – or ‘The Caravans’ – a collection of white vans that have been transformed into restaurants – their sides open up with colourful awnings over and there are tables and chairs set out on the paved plaza there down by the water. Each van sells a different type of food, from Chinese specialties to sushi. The prices are much more reasonable here than in the proper restaurants, and it’s great fun to sit outside with locals and tourists alike, the ladies all pretty in floaty, colourful clothes with tiare of frangipani flowers in their hair, everyone chatting and laughing, their tables piled with food. I think just about everyone in the crew has had a galette or a crepe from the caravan (that’s savoury or sweet pancakes – the savoury come with any combination of cheese, bacon or vegetables, and the sweet are flambéed with cointreau or calvados with chocolate, fruit, sugar or coconut ice cream – this is how I imagine heaven to be). Luckily the clothing here is very loose and forgiving of overindulgence.

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Papeete – Day 1

By Kate “Bob” Addison

Everyone tells you that you should have been to Tahiti years ago, before it was spoiled and full of tourists, but it seems to me that if we had all been there then, then it would have been just as full of tourists back then as it is now!

Captain says last time he was here the waterfront was all yachts moored Med-style or stern to. Now there are hardly any yachts, just cruise ships, and the occasional charter boat. Further along the dock there is the beautiful Tahitian Vaka, but more about these lovely Polynesian craft later. It feels like yachties would only come here to get things done – fix an engine maybe, or get medical care for a crew member. The real island paradises are the smaller Society islands – Huahine, Moorea, Bora Bora or the Marquesas. The Marquesas, incidentally, were the island setting for most of Gauguin’s famous Polynesian paintings, which I always thought were of Tahiti. Tahiti is a bit like that – it’s not the innocent tropical paradise garden that the name conjures up, but it is charming and delightful in it’s own right, with a very good covered indoor market, and shops selling black pearls and colourful pareaus on every corner.

I am very much enjoying the marriage of Polynesia and Europe – it’s so easy and pleasant to get things done here, even with my school girl French. The market, the bank, the post office are right there within a short stroll of the dock, where Picton Castle is doing much to beautify the waterfront.

Yesterday we had three big cruise ships for neighbours, and so Picton Castle with her sails all set to dry in the hot sun (and no wind at all) became a major tourist attraction, with plenty of the people from the cruise ships coming over to speak to our crew and find out about the ship and our voyage. Lots of them thought we were a Greenpeace hippy ship until the Mate explained about training and voyaging under sail and they thought that was very cool, though some of the non-English speakers struggled with the idea that the ship was originally built in England, was rebuilt in Nova Scotia, Canada, her home port is in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, and the crew are a motley lot from all over the world. It’s good fun explaining all of that when you have no language in common!

drying sails alongside Papeete

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Some Thoughts On Inter-Island Supply

By Kate “Bob” Addison

A few days ’till Papeete and all aboard are looking forward to the sophisticated delights of Tahiti and a proper Polynesian city – fine food, black pearls, movie theatres and pretty dresses will all seem even more luxurious after so much basic living aboard the ship and longboat camping expeditions from Mangareva to outer motus.

Seeing the supply ship Nukuhau come into Mangareva last week has been making me think too of the delicate network of islands, people and ships that we are lucky enough to be exploring. Most of the islands of the South Pacific are very remote and their populations incredibly isolated. The Pacific Ocean is almost unimaginably vast, and the islands mostly tiny, on the chart they look like a handful of miniscule dots, strewn by a careless hand across the wide Pacific Ocean. It took us all of three weeks to sail from the Galapagos to Pitcairn Island, and while it’s true that we only average 5 knots or so, 2.8 thousand miles is a long way to go to the grocery store by anyone’s standards.

In all of these far-flung islands, the supply ship is incredibly important, both for getting essential supplies and consumer goods in, and for providing an external market for getting goods out, from fish, fruit and honey to wood carvings and black pearls. And maybe the cargo carried inter-island isn’t always as virtuous as bags of rice or boxes of toothbrushes, and maybe the islanders don’t actually need crates of soft drinks, potato chips, beer or whatever, but then hasn’t international commerce always been built on want as much as on need? Sugar from the West Indies, silk and tea from China, wine, dried fruit and olive oil from the Mediterranean. We never did really need any of this stuff, but it’s still rather wonderful to have.

So what would happen to an island if it was no longer supplied by ships? The standard of living would fall drastically of course. Like it or not, to live well needs stuff, from medical supplies and imported staple foods, to building materials for houses. And with no income from trading with the outside world, life might conceivably revert to something close to subsistence. The lack of transport for passengers would also have a huge impact should the inter-island shipping stop tomorrow. Imagine not being able to get off your island to get medical care at the nearest hospital, which might be several hundred nautical miles away, or having made it to the hospital not knowing when you will be able to get back home again. Imagine not being able to get off the island to get to your daughter’s wedding, or being an ambitious young person who wants to go off into the world to study or to work at a city job, but knows that it might be months or years before there’s a ship to get home to your family again.

I suppose it’s much the same situation in isolated communities on the mainland. Here in the Pacific the ships are simply the highways that serve the communities of the islands, and regular shipping is the infrastructure that allows the economy to function, and hence for people to live well, far away from the big cities of the world. Imagine if your road to a small town in Nova Scotia, Vermont, Cornwall or Devon was gone overnight? Well, that is just what happens to these islands when a ship is unavailable.

On our recent visit to Pitcairn Island we saw first-hand the growing role of cruise ships as auxiliary supply vessels. On Pitcairn the passing cruise ships are a source of trade and income for the islanders as well as providing freight for goods and supplies from New Zealand and beyond. This in addition to transport to and from this magical island for the islanders. It’s interesting to me to see how in the remote places like this, the line between cargo and passenger carrier blurs – what could be more fascinating for Western passengers than to join in first hand on an inter-island cargo run, with the genuine satisfaction of bringing stuff people want and need and can’t get any other way? And what better way to subsidise the cost of shipping, than by finding a ship that was going that way anyway? Maybe this is a backlash against the global and the over-simplified. Think global, act local they say – well what could be more globally minded but locally active than running a small inter-island supply ship?

And then we can talk about auxiliary sail, and how adding sails to a diesel cargo ship further blurs the status quo of shipping. By using auxiliary sail on a diesel freighter, the economically feasible range of the supply route is extended, while shipping becomes significantly less environmentally damaging but still acceptably reliable. The other nice thing about carrying cargo under sail is that it helps to keep alive ancient skills in seamanship that would otherwise be relegated to the leisure activities of amateurs who play at boating. It seems to me there is something intrinsically valuable in the sort of competence that only comes through professional work, day in day out. I also think that there is also something deeply satisfying in the hands-on physicality of sailing, and that sailing with a purpose that transcends the ship and her crew is even better.

Cargo for Pitcairn
Cruise ship Amsterdam at Pitcairn

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Small Boat Adventures – Part 3

By Kate “Bob” Addison

We re-join our sailors where we left them, standing on a perfect coral sand South Pacific beach, the boats secure and nothing to be done except set up a camp for the night… poor darlings.

We rigged the big tarpaulins in a nice clearing between the trees for shelter just in case of rain, and slung our hammocks underneath. We built a kitchen with a coconut ringed fire and log benches, and made a kitchen table out of water jerry cans and the monomoy lee-board. Small settlements sprung up around near to Base Camp too: Ozzie Camp took advantage of army training to produce the neatest, most efficient tarp shelter, while Allison, Jo and Bob Camp went “high-risk rustic” with palm fronds instead of tarps for a tent.

Dinner was a team effort by Hege, Brody, Michael and Hayley, chopping up the fish and boiling the rice and veggies on the campfire. Everyone helped collect wood for the fire, which was ably managed by NickSA and Brody, well versed from their recent experiences in The Congo and Texas respectively. Dinner was a big hit: the fish, tomato and chickpea stew with rice was absolutely delicious, the flavour only enhanced by the subtle smoking in the cooking.

And then after supper there was campfire chat and singing with Mr Mate on guitar and all hands joining in the chorus. And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, imagine our delight to find that Jo had brought marshmallows and chocolate for everybody. Good job Jo!

The evening was fairly buggy and rained pretty much non-stop, but nobody seemed to mind or even to notice much. The warmth of the night helped of course, and the smoke from the fire kept the worst of the bugs at bay and there was much contentment and hilarity. Camping with fellow tall ship sailors is awesome.

It rained a fair amount in the night, and I have to say the palm fronds were pretty effective, though going to bed wearing clothes still salt-water wet from swimming was maybe not the brightest idea I’ve ever had.

Morning was heralded by many vocal roosters and a soft sunrise, and Brody was up first to get the fire going again. Coffee, oatmeal and dried and fresh fruit made a fine breakfast and then it was time to pack up camp ready for the sail home.

We loaded the boats and pushed off from the shore. All aboard and we carefully picked our way back out through the reef under oars. Away from the lee of the island and sails were set once more. Sea Never Dry started out with a reef in her cotton mainsail to make sure the winds wouldn’t be too strong once out of the shelter of the island, but the reef was soon shaken out to reveal the giant Norwegian flag that is her mainsail… it would seem that’s what happens when you have a Norwegian sailmaker! Siri looked very happy at the helm of her personalised command anyway.

It was upwind on the way home, so it took a good four hours to tack back across the lagoon to the ship. The rain had finally cleared and the sun was bright and hot. Tonya caught herself another fine fish from the skiff, and by the time we got back home to Picton Castle everyone was tired and a little cooked round the edges, but happy and feeling like we’d had a great adventure.

Hayley, coconuts and a machete
reefed Norwegian mainsail
Signe sails Sea Never Dry~0
Siri has breakfast in bed

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Small Boat Adventures – Part 2

By Kate “Bob” Addison

The last log entry saw us setting off in small boats in search of unchartered islands, adventure, and marshmallows… here we re-join the crew of the Picton Castle as they take to the small boats:

We had to row out a little to find the wind since the ship is anchored in the shelter of the Mangareva mountains – the island is very well shaped to offer shelter, being tall and steep. Monomoy surged ahead with her 8 strapping oarsmen and oarswomen, while Sea Never Dry kept her close in sight with her “Burmeister and Dane two-stroke engine” (Signe and Chris rowing), while the skiff buzzed back and forth to check all was well and take photos.

And then – heaven in a small boat – a sailing breeze! Oars were shipped, hands to the halyards and sheets, sails hoisted and the boats started to fly across the lagoon, lookouts posted up forward to sing out for coral heads or fishing pot buoys ahead, hands on the sheets ready to spill the wind if a gust should blow too strong.

The skiff was having a great ride too, surfing the small waves, and trolling for fishes with great success – Hayley and Tonya pulled up one fine fat tuna each, and very delicious they were too, cooked up over our camp fire later that evening.

The lagoon safely navigated, we came ashore about 3pm, carefully piloting the channels between the coral heads by using the colour of the water to identify shallow spots, and spotting protruding reefs by the small white breakers. And then, with a clear run to the beach, strike the mainsail, pull up the centerboard and surf in under the jib. The rudder and tiller are raised at the last moment and then the moment the keel touches the sandy bottom down jib and hop out into the ankle-deep clear blue water. We hauled the boats up onto the beach, stretched out the anchors and made them fast way up on the beach above the high water line. All secure with the boats and we paused for a moment to look around at this new found land.

The view was not too shabby… a wide white-sand beach lapped by the turquoise water of the lagoon. Behind the beach was thick lush greenery with plenty of coconut palms but no houses or people in sight. Expedition leader Michael declared this place suitable to meet our desires, so we unpacked our gear from the boats and walked a short way along the beach to find the perfect spot to set up camp. And here it was: a natural clearing in the jungle surrounded by a circle of tall strong trees, close to the beach and with good supplies of firewood and coconut. This clearing was to become Base Camp.

We put down our gear, and all hands were mustered to hear rules of the camp: don’t hurt yourselves; have fun. And so we did.

More next time here on the Picton Castle Captain’s log!

Boats on the beach
This looks good for a campsite
This looks good for a campsite~0

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Small Boat Adventures – Part 1

By Kate “Bob” Addison

Well our Picton Castle gang is enjoying French Polynesia so far. The fresh baguettes from the bakery on the small round-island road and fresh tropical fruit (pamplemousse and papaye, grapefruit and papaya in French) every day don’t hurt, nor the incredible beauty of the coral lagoon surrounded by steep mountainous islands. We are enjoying the company of the friendly local people too – they seem always happy to go out of their way to help us, and always ready to laugh, even if it’s just at my terrible French.

Due to the trough we are waiting out it’s pretty hot and humid, so the 5pm swim calls at the end of each work day are welcome. The water is warm, sheltered as we are inside the lagoon, and it’s not unusual for the pool to stay open until dinner at 6pm. We’ve had the swing-rope rigged up and a few adrenaline junkies have been using the 7m high jibboom as a jumping platform. Some fish come up to check us out from time to time.

All very agreeable, but the real highlight of our stay so far has been the overnight small boat expeditions to the outer islands. Like any voyage, first came passage planning and a careful studying of the weather forecasts. A crew of willing recruits was mustered, briefed and assigned stations in long boat monomoy, and Lunenburg dory Sea Never Dry and our Lunenburg Dory Shop-built wooden semi dory.

Provisions and stores were carefully assembled and stowed – tarpaulins, machetes, water, the makings of dinner and a big pot to cook it in, suncream, bug spray, hammocks, fishing lines. Safety and emergency gear: first aid kit, anchors and tow ropes, lights, VHF radios, instant coffee. The boats were pretty well loaded when all the kit was aboard, but our semi dory is a very fine vessel for such operations, broad and stable, she is and she gobbled up the kit comfortably.

On the charts we could make out a likely looking camping spot about four miles or so across the wind from Picton Castle’s anchorage here at Rikitea. There was a clear channel between the coral heads leading to a nice sandy beach on a small island called Akamaru. The landing looked sheltered by a small, steep island in front of it, marked on the chart as Goat Island. We couldn’t resist a place called Goat Island and so our destination was decided, our vessels stowed and we were ready to set sail.

All hands boarded the boats, we waved our goodbyes and cast off our lines. Excitement was high – what adventures lay ahead? Maybe we would discover new and uncharted lands amongst the treacherous coral reefs. Perhaps there would be coconuts or new and delicious exotic fruits to eat? Maybe the famous Polynesian pamplemousse?! Almost certainly there would be black pearls and buried treasure. But would we find that people had already settled our island and if so, how they would feel about a bunch of grubby sailors setting up camp for the night there too? How would the boats sail? Would the reef points, newly sewn onto the mainsails, help keep the boats better balanced in strong winds? Had anybody remembered to pack marshmallows to toast on the campfire? Large questions to be sure…

Find out in the next edition of the Picton Castle Captain’s Log!

monomoy getting underway
Signe sails Sea Never Dry
Voyage planning

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At Anchor At Mangareva

Picton Castle is swinging at anchor in the lagoon of Rikitea, Mangareva, Gambier Islands of French Polynesia. The Gambier Islands consist of an outer ring atoll with big islands inside the reef about 300 miles NW of Pitcairn Island – truly one of the most beautiful settings in the South Pacific and, extra bonus, a delightful anchorage and that’s saying something.

After Pitcairn Island I was planning to by-pass Mangareva, head straight for Tahiti to catch up on some of the time that Hurricane Sandy set us back last October, but from Pitcairn Island we sailed right into a long trough of remarkable longevity giving us a thousand miles of strong headwinds and squalls – so we ducked in to Mangareva last Thursday, and looks like we will be here until the coming weekend when it appears this trough will be breaking up – we will end up being here for over a week it appears. Out of the seven times I have been hereabouts, this is the 4th time I have sailed through this part of the world at this time of year and I have not seen the like. On the other three times we were here it was August with cooler conditions anyway, but apart from watching out for heavy squalls and wind shifts, shifting anchors a couple times, it is kind of like a forced little break for us in a way, having been pushing pretty hard for some time and the lagoon at Rikitea is an amazingly beautiful French Polynesian spot with lovely friendly people.

The ship has to pass over and through three reefs to get to the inner lagoon anchorage of the village of Rikitea. Very well protected from foul winds here. The lagoon has good holding once you get your anchor down deep and set well. As we have a 1,500 pound old fashioned stock anchor with plenty 1-1/4″ stud-link chain, we manage OK. The standard of living is high here (probably due to black pearl farming and French support) so we do not get the supplications we sometimes get at other less worldly islands. Folks are friendly but leave us to ourselves unless we make a wee bit of effort and then they are extremely friendly, just polite and maybe a bit shy at first.

Under the mates’ leadership the crew are also making great overnight sailing expeditions in dory and longboat to outer islands some three to four miles away. Good fun that and very good seamanship and experience in boats, which is, of course, very much the idea. The small supply ship from Tahiti pulled in through the narrow, windy, coral-head strewn pass last night through a rain squall, this should relieve the paucity of Hinano beer that the island currently suffers. Much rejoicing on the island last night, probably more tonight. And a fine looking little 500 ton freighter she is, the Nukuhoa – Papeete, looks brand new she does. Now that’s a good job, supplying all of the French Polynesian islands in flour, rice, clothes, motor bikes, propane, petrol, beer, wine and so on.

at anchor mangareva
Sea Never Dry Mangareva

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Pitcairn Island

By Kate “Bob” Addison

“Pitcairn Island – wow!”

That’s a pretty good one-line summary for someone who’s never been to Pitcairn, and “Wow!” is also the new name given to Dkembe on the island, because that was his response to so many things there…

A new name is one thing you can expect to take away from a stay on Pitcairn, as well as fabulous friends, photos, and treasure of the wood-carving, honey, jewelery, basket, and t-shirt variety. Topher has been known as “Mr T” since Pitcairn because of an incident with the Galapagos turtle, Miss T, who has lived over in Tedside since the 1940s. Topher was feeding her banana and pawpaw, and then, feeling a little sleepy decided to lay down in the shade of a tree to snooze. Miss T thought that sleeping was quite improper during a social visit, and plodded over to wake Topher – by nibbling on his straw hat. I heard that she muttered “pity the fool” under her breath as she chomped.

Brody became known as Texas, for his cowboy hat and boots, and Allison and Kirsten became Allan and Alyssa, courtesy of two of the smaller children who found the new names easier to pronounce or remember. I am goldilocks there for obvious reasons and, as always, there were a few other new names too rude to publish.

That pretty much sums up the Picton Castle experience of Pitcairn. They treat us like part of the family; the Islanders are incredibly kind and welcoming to us, sometimes cheeky, and often hilarious but they could not be more welcoming, generous or gracious, and it is hard to describe how much we appreciate their kindness. I sincerely hope that they also get something of a kick out of the joy and energy that our Picton Castle crew bring to the Island.

It felt like a 6 day party to us anyway – Bounty Day, Captain and Tammy’s engagement party, Brody, Captain and Hege’s birthdays, a big clothing sale, two evening concerts, fishing expeditions, and all sorts of tours and trips all over the island to swim, hike and explore. Non-stop fun for us, and pretty much non-stop too for the kind folks who drove us all over – up and down the dark red dirt roads on their four-wheel ATVs.

Bounty Day is the 23rd January. This the anniversary of the day the mutineers burned the Bounty after running her ashore in Bounty Bay and taking what they could from her. The idea was that they knew that the Royal Navy would come looking for them and they wanted no big obvious evidence of their being at Pitcairn. This was all done not so many days after finding the island. And we were lucky enough to be there for this celebration this year. It was marked with a big public dinner down at the boat landing at Bounty Bay, with the kids all running around like lunatics and jumping in the water (Picton Castle big kids too!). Everyone on the island brought good things to eat, and the spread on the long trestle tables was very impressive. There was plenty of fish, both fried and battered, that we’d helped catch that morning, fishing with hand lines out in the big aluminium long boat. Worth it just for the boat trip in the sunshine, or for the eating of the fish, the fun of the fishing itself was a bonus really.

Gabe painted a beautiful canvas of the Bounty on a stretched out piece of sailcloth using thinned down ship’s Interlac paint, and if you ever go to Pitcairn you will should go and have a look at his painting, which now hangs proudly in the cultural centre there. And then at dusk a cardboard, wood and palm frond model of the Bounty was set on fire, and fireworks were set off over the glowing embers.

The last night on Pitcairn was another public dinner – this time to celebrate Captain and Tammy’s engagement, and Captain’s birthday – 21 again Captain? Congratulations! The happy couple were presented with a Bounty model by Cookie the Mayor, and this was followed by the second of our series of Picton Castle variety concerts – each watch put on a little show to entertain their island hosts, and had spent all of their free time aboard the ship on watch at anchor planning and practicing their acts.

There was guitar, harmonica and singing (Mr Mate, Dan and Andrew), gas-can banjo and harmonica (Finn), voice (lots of people, but Kendall and Dkembe stole the show, each with a beautiful solo) , hammered dulcimer (Drea), poetry reading (Gabe), sock-juggling (Alex), belly dancing (Susie, Allison and Tonya), a comedy magic show (Konnor, Scott and Gary) , ship aerobics (lead by Kendall, and starring the whole port watch), and a great dance version of ‘jump on it!’ lead by Victor, notwithstanding his being on crutches because of a sprained ankle… Then there was question and answer style tormenting of a certain Chief Engineer (lead by super-glam MCs Kirsten and Victor, DB was surprisingly tactful, and refused to answer their question about who on the island had the biggest breadfruit). Then I got to do a very basic aerial performance with my circus rope, which I enjoyed immensely, but sadly Captain has now decided climbing up ropes is dangerous (as well as going Down Rope), so that’s banned for next time… Baby Dawson who was having a fabulous time on the island also took a turn showing off his latest trick of blowing raspberries – he gets to drool and make noise at the same time – wow!

The concerts were all held in the square in Adamstown, between the Church and the Town Hall with the Bounty anchor outside, salvaged years ago by Captain Irving Johnson and his brigantine Yankee crew. Looking out beyond the square, the moon was full, and the bright silver reflection on the ocean was simply stunning, framed and scented as it was by frangipani, hibiscus and coconut fronds.

Pitcairn has been called a very big little island, and it’s true that it feels much bigger than its five square kilometres. And given the population’s more or less the same as our ship, it feels very spacious – majestic even. Rising precipitously out of the sea the island is all green, fertile peaks and valleys, lush with banana palms, banyan trees, pawpaw and coconut. Passion fruit plants creep over fences and climb up trees and giant avocados, melons and pumpkins seem to sprout from nowhere by the side of every road. There are pineapples, tomatoes and cucumber too – and together with the famous Pitcairn breadsticks and seemingly unlimited fresh eggs and fish it was very much a feast after three weeks at sea. No breadfruit though – not in season for another month, oh boy, where have we heard that one before?!

We left Pitcairn with a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables too. We’ve been having fresh fruit with breakfast; salads, veggies and more fruit for lunch and dinner. So awesome! In fact Susie just came into the office with fresh fruit smoothies for me and the mate – tasted like banana, passion fruit and lime heaven to me, yum.

I know that to people who’ve never been to Pitcairn this probably sound like the gibbering of a half-mad, sun-baked romantic, who’s spent too long playing native in the South Seas. Or perhaps, to the cynical, it may sound like their tourist board are bribing me to promote their cause. But the truth is it’s nearly 10pm ship time and I just don’t want to leave the office. I can’t tell you how easy it is to keep writing about how great Pitcairn is. And if you don’t believe me, just ask anyone who’s been.

Boat trip
Bounty day feast
Starboard watch concert
View of the landing on Bounty Day

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