Four men have set sail in the South Pacific to recreate the 4,350 mile voyage of Captain William Bligh

The mutiny on the Bounty unfolded in 1789 when William Bligh was cast adrift in the South Pacific by his rebellious crew. With 18 other men, Bligh managed to sail from near Tonga to West Timor in a voyage that lasted almost 50 days. This 2010 crew of four, sailing in a 25ft open-deck boat (half the size of Bligh’s) with two small sails, are hoping to recreate the same trip and plan to arrive in West Timor in seven weeks.

Led by Australian Don McIntyre, the expedition includes Antarctic sailor David Bryce (Australia), businessman David Wilkinson (Hong Kong) and 18-year-old Briton Christopher Wilde.

“It is going to be really an adventure,” McIntyre told reporters as they set sail late Monday (19 April) for open sea near Tonga’s Ha’apai group of islands. “Our boat is half the size of Bligh’s boat, so the challenge is trying to survive on board. Our biggest fear is capsizing.”

On 28 April, the crew expects to be at the location of the mutiny to mark its 221st anniversary before striking out across the South Pacific to Timor. The boat will head west to Fiji, Vanuatu, and Restoration Island, before sailing north inside Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to Thursday Island and through the Torres Strait to West Timor.

The four even plan to live on the same provisions Captain Bligh had on board – ship biscuits, pork, over 100 litres of water and six bottles of wine. And like Bligh, they will not be using modern-day navigational systems such as charts, compass or lights.