ADAMSTOWN: At the very same moment as the sun rose from the horizon, and the famous island of Pitcairn appeared in the far distance, Runes wristwatch stopped, after three years of faithful service. Coincidence? Hm. For us the stay at Pitcairn island became an unforgettable time.
Pitcairn island- last hideout of the Bounty-mutineers

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: You cannot get much more off the beaten track than Pitcairn in our days. This is what the island looked like the morning we arrived from Easter Island. Inhospitable coastline, but very friendly people!
- Watch your step! The surface is terribly slippery! A huge man points his finger at the landing ramp, which is covered in green algae. Rune wonders for a second. We are just about to go ashore from Underveis. On shore, the mayor, policeman, quaranteen-officer and several others are waiting for us. They have just guided us via VHF to the best spot to drop our anchor in Bounty Bay. In English, of course. But this first guy, he spoke Norwegian, didn’t he? A rare treat for a visitor from a country boasting 4,5 million people, and situated on the other side of the globe. Have I been at sea too long? Or have I been abroad for so long that I cant tell the languages apart anymore?, Rune thinks and shakes his head in worry.
- Welcome to Pitcairn!, the man says and smiles. Yep, no doubt. This guy is talking to me in fluent Norwegian! The explanation, as we are about to find out, is as simple as it is complex. In the 1970s, Kari Boye emigrated from the Norwegian capital of Oslo, to Pitcairn. There she married, and there she and her husband have built their home and raised two children, Timmy and Anette. It is Timmy who welcomes us. In Pitcairn, the island that is said to be the most isolated, populated place on earth. No airport, just a supply vessel stopping by every third or fourth month. The world is indeed a small place! .

# The Pitcairn islands pitcairnian: Pitkern Aileen) is a group of four islands in the Southern Pacific, where only the larger one – Pitcairn – is inhabited. Pitcairn is the last remaining British colony in the Pacific. The islands are most famous for being the home of the descendants of the mutineers from the HMAV Bounty. This is still reflected in the surnames of most of the inhabitants.

# With around 50 inhabitants (from nine families) Pitcairn is also known as the least populated country in the world (even though it is not independent as such).

# Under ideal circumstances the Island council will be in full charge of governing the island. But the last few years the island has been given a number of rulings from the governor in New Zealand, without being consulted first. This has resulted in mounting tensions between the pitcairners and the authorities, because the pitcairners feel that any new law passed should reflect their culture and the situation on the desolate island.

# Pitcairn has a very fertile soil, and lemons, sugarcanes, water melons, bananas and beans are being grown. Fishing, agriculture and handicrafts are the largest industries, and trading is a vital part of the economy.

# Tourism has traditionally not been a source of income in Pitcairn, and there are no hotels or motels on the island. Usually, visitors are accommodated in people`s private homes.

# Usually, several months pass between each ship calling on Pitcairn. An other way of getting there, is hitch-hiking with ships passing by from New Zealand, a voyage of some seven days.

# There are no ATMs on the island. But money can be wired from credit card via New Zealand, and made payable by the island administration. The currency is New Zealand-dollars, but Euro, pounds sterling, US dollars and several other currencies are accepted.

(Source: Wikipedia)

SURF: Pitcairns coastline is harsh, and many a ship has met her faith here. From Ginzee valley on the south side.
Papeete, Tahiti, 01.07.2008
ADAMSTOWN: The only town in Pitcairn is called Adamstown after John Adams, the last surviving of the original mutineers. Steep slopes, and far below, the ever frothing ocean, pounding the island from all directions.
HANDY: The school children were very happy for the bike Finn Olav presented them with.
WORK OUT: Finn Olav staggers across the finishing line after having spent months on a yacht, hardly moving at all.
PIRATE PAWL: Pirate Pawl and his girl friend Sue from New Zealand. We had the time of a lifetime together with them, and here we are drinking tequila from real sperm whale teeth!
BUMPY: The Pacific is big, and when the weather is bad, most things onboard are soaked. Here, Finn Olav is working on the foredeck in a gale. But, at least the sun usually shines.
WINTER HOLIDAY: The winter holidays started when we arrived. We almost missed the snow for a moment. Or maybe not!
OUCH: Neither Rune or Finn Olav are very good at playing darts. Especially after midnight.
FLAME SPINNING: Finn Olav did his flame spinning show down at the Landing Point, just a few feet away from the wreck of the Bounty. Most of the islands 48 inhabitants showed up to watch.
SPOUTING: The blowhole at Tedside is a magnificent view.
THE ORIGINAL LONGDROP: This place is called ”Dan kack on Jack. According to legend, Dan was unfortunate enough to sit down in the tree to relieve himself, but failed to spot Jack, dozing in the sun down at the path below.
The islanders rely economically on tourism and the odd part time job for the local administration. The local economy is still largely based on natural household. Tourism mainly consists of the locals taking their boats out to sell handmade souvenirs, postcards and the very coveted Pitcairn-stamps whenever there is a cruiseship or cargo vessel stopping by for a few hours. Electricity is made with diesel generators, and electricity is only switched on between 08 a.m. to 01 p.m. , and between 05 p.m. and 08 p.m. every day. But many have their own little generators or large batteries installed in their homes. There is a post office, co-op, basic bank services, and even a restaurant! It is open every Friday between 06 p.m. and 10 p.m. There you can enjoy a good meal and a Captain Morgan rum, meet the islanders and have a nice time. In order to be allowed to drink alcohol in Pitcairn, you need an official alcohol license. Rune got himself one, of course. For 20 USD dollar he can now drink alcohol in public places for the next six months to come. The license is beautiful, it comes in writing, with his name, date of birth, place and the official crest of Pitcairn on it. Boy will he be putting that up on his wall when he comes home!

Kari and her family have spent a few years in New Zealand in conjunction with their childrens education. But they returned in the spring of 2007. Anette currently works in a hotel in Oslo, and Tim has a degree in history from a university in Australia. He is probably the worlds foremost expert in what actually happened to the Bounty-mutineers after they had reached Pitcairn, and he is more than happy to tell about his findings. Thousands of pages of logbooks, sketches, drawings, diary entries and other things are little pieces in the jigsaw puzzle. Tim is planning to publish a book about the mutiny, and spends every day working on it. He is like a wandering encyclopedia, and for us, sitting there on the actual island where they landed some 220 years ago, in the evenings, just after nightfall, listening to him telling the story about the mutiny, and all the protagonists, where and what they came from, who they were, what they looked like, and which parts they took in the mutiny was very special. The human beings behind this tragedy really came alive to us as we sat there. In the days to come, Tim drives us around the entire island, showing us around and pointing eagerly to places and people. It appears to us that each stone, every tree on the island, has its own story to tell.

HISTORIAN: Tim Young is a direct descendant from the mutineer Edward Young. With a mother from Oslo, he is, together with his sister Anette, one of only two people on the planet that can call themselves half Pitcairnian and half Norwegian
FAR OUT: Most places are far away in Pitcairn. Closest are the Gambiers, a small atoll with an airport some 400 miles to the north.
In the course of a year, 15-20 sailboats will normally sail by Pitcairn Island. We were completely alone for the week-and-a-half that we spent there. A couple of boats passed us by on their way from Easter Island to the Gambiers or Tahiti. They found the conditions in the anchorage too challenging, and that is fair enough. We, as always, were safely anchored, even though the swell and weather helm sometimes came straight into Bounty Bay and were just as violent as the weather had been to us on Easter Island some three weeks earlier. We had engine problems, so the local mechanic, Jay “Squeeky” Warren helped us out and fixed it in no time. A big relief for us at that point. We visited locals, we went to church on Saturday (Everybody in Pitcairn are Seventh Day Adventists, so they basically celebrate their Sundays on Saturdays). We went to the Thursday market (More than 20 people visited it in just a couple of hours!) and we wandered around on the dirt roads in the steep hills. The only ones that have W.C. are the priest and the restaurant, so for everybody else it is being done “Duncan-style”.

One night Finn Olav did a flame spinning show down by “The Landing Point”, and almost everybody in the island participated. They applauded loudly, and apparently appreciated the circus show. Finn Olav also gave away his collapsible bike to the local school. They just loved riding it, but most of all it appeared that they loved putting it together and then taking it apart again. The bike was in surprisingly good order after having spent a year and a half in the bough of Underveis, and will probably give the children joy for many years to come. For us, Pitcairn was to become an unforgettable encounter with heartfelt hospitality, helpfulness and the people in one of the most isolated places on our planet. It reminded us quite a bit about our own island back in Norway, except for the climate, banana trees and the fact that it is situated far below the Equator. We felt very sad as we set sail for Tahiti 1200 miles to the north, talking to the islanders over the radio, and saying good bye. Now, we felt like we were heading back to civilization again, after almost three months of blue ocean, desolate islands and overwhelmingly clear and starry skies during our night watches.

BOUNTY BAY: Underveis at anchor in Bounty Bay. We had some rough weather with a lot of swell and wind, but still felt fairly comfortable. To the right in the picture, just by the big stone over the palm trees, the wreck of the Bounty has found her resting place, at depths between 0 and three meters.
After having cleared immigration and had our passports stamped, Tim takes us on his 4WD motorbike, up the steep hills that are everywhere on the island, and up to the family house. On the balcony, an enormous Norwegian flag is on display. By the entrance, ripe bananas by the hundreds hang for us to pick, peel and eat. Kari Boye, now Young, greets us with fresh, homemade bread, cheese and orange marmalade. We eat until we cant eat no more, and then we eat some more. After having spent 13 days at sea from Easter Island, some good, homemade Norwegian-style food really tastes us. The view from Up Tibi, as the place where the house is situated is called, is stunning. Palm trees swaying in the wind, and the eternal Pacific Ocean hundreds of meters beneath us. The swell is slowly rolling in towards the coastline, before being crushed and transformed into a thousand million drops against the wild and beautiful shore that stretches all around the island. Pitcairn doesn’t have any beaches, and only two places where it is possible to land. The two are Bounty Bay, where the mutineers first came ashore, and Tedside on the Westcoast. Tedside is only possible to land on when the winds are Easterly, and with no swell coming in from the Southwest.

Timothy and his sister Anette are the only two Pitcairn-Norwegians in the world, and both are direct descendants from the mutineer Edward Young, in the ninth or tenth generation. Young was remarkable to the degree that he was the first mutineer on the island to die from natural causes. He had asthma, and the climate on Pitcairn finally got to him. This destiny was not for most of the other mutineers. After just three years, first mate and chief mutineer Fletcher Christian was shot and killed by his Tahitian slaves, together with four other of the mutineers. Only four survived. One of them committed suicide, and one was hacked to death by the other mutineers. So the quest for Paradise remained an exclusive dream for all but John Adams, in the end being the sole survivor of them all. He then sat there with around ten Polynesian girls and a veritable horde of children from all the mutineers and the Tahitians. Long story short, Adams converted to Christianity, and became a responsible and wise leader, transforming the little colony in Pitcairn to all the things that Christian had hoped for. Today, the little community has 48 inhabitants from nine different families. They are well integrated into the larger world community via an internet connection and phone lines. Even then, they are still far away from everything, and on the far side of the vast, blue Pacific.

FULL STEAM: In Pitcairn there are no cars, and everybody uses 4WD motorbikes. The slopes are steep, and most roads are dirt roads. Here, Tim is rushing downhill from the museum.
HMAV BOUNTY: The cargo vessel Bounty met her destiny in the surf at Pitcairn. Many of her crew also perished on the island, as well as in Tahiti and back in England. (Sketch: Finn Olav Olsen)
Travel plan
The project
Contact us
The boat
Other media about us
About us