Monday, October 29, 2012
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY
Joan Druett - Sunday, October 28, 2012
It is four in the morning on April 28, 1789, and Fletcher Christian, smarting and bitter, takes over the deck. Now, as he paces back and forth through the calm, serene hours, he plans an escape from the degrading tongue-lashings.
He plans to float away on a raft. But Midshipman George Stewart has a better idea. He comes close to Christian's ear, and whispers, "Take the ship!"
"Shall I?" says Christian to one of the seamen, Matthew Quintal.
"Too dangerous," says the seaman.
"What? Are you afraid? If we succeed, we return to that happy island." Christian turns to another sailor, Isaac Martin. "Shall we take the ship?"
"By God, I'm for it!" Martin swears ...
This is my retelling of the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty, when a desperate crew, led by senior officer Fletcher Christian, seized the ship. It is Monday, 15th October 2012, and I am on the top deck of the P&O cruise ship Pacific Jewel, which is lying in the exact spot of the Pacific where the mutiny took place. Inspired by an hour-long lecture about the characters and events of the Bounty voyage that was given in the packed lecture theatre that same morning, nearly 2000 passengers, mostly Australian, are crowded at the rail, watching and listening as my tale unfolds.