Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Captain Bligh and his amazing navigation feat

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted

1789 After 41 days at sea, Captain William Bligh and 18 (or 19) loyal crewmen arrived at the island of Timor after drifting 5,600 km (3,480 mi) following the mutiny on Bligh's ship HMS Bounty, when they were put to sea in a small boat with provisions sufficient to reach the most accessible ports, a sextant and a pocket watch, but no charts or compass.

Bligh’s seamanship and leadership qualities had kept all the men alive although beset by near starvation and extreme thirst. Bligh oversaw the distribution of tiny amounts of water to each man per day, and almost all survived an impossible situation. The only casualty was one crewman killed by hostile natives.

In 1792 Bligh returned to Tahiti, collected the breadfruit seedlings, which was his original purpose before the mutiny, and successfully brought them to the West Indies. He became governor of New South Wales in 1805. There he suffered another mutiny, this time the Rum Rebellion, and was imprisoned from 1808 to 1810.

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