Mike will join Don McIntyre to re-enact Capt William Bligh's voyage after the Bounty mutiny in 1789
Australian adventurer and solo round the world sailor, Don McIntyre has announced that Mike Perham, the world’s youngest solo circumnavigator, has signed up as Second-in-command for his 2010 Bounty Boat Expedition – the re-enactment of Capt William Bligh’s epic mutiny on the Bounty open boat voyage.
This is a 4,000-mile re-enactment, 221 years after Bligh and his supporting crew were forced into an open-boat by the mutineering crew on HMS Bounty, and successfully sailed from Tonga to Timor in the Pacific. McIntyre and Perham will face the same deprivations, with little food, no charts or toilet paper and only the limited navigation implements that were available to Bligh.
The search is now on for two extra crew to join this expedition, which has a serious scientific purpose, as well as to help raise money for MND research. This opportunity of a lifetime to re-create history will cost each individual £10,000 to participate. Only those with an extreme sense of adventure need apply.
McIntyre and his 3-man crew will board their 25ft ‘Bounty Boat’ in the same position exactly 221 years to the day of the Bounty Mutiny and follow in the footsteps of Bligh. They will first sail to Tonga to find extra food and water, before heading westwards across the top of Fiji and the Vanuatu Island groups, bound for the Queensland Coast, Australia to land, like Bligh, on Restoration Island. They will then sail north inside the Great Barrier Reef to Thursday Island, and then through the Torres Strait to Kupang and Timor.
If successful, this will be the first time that anyone has sailed the same course in the same way that Bligh did. Previous attempts in 1983 and 1990 both used almanacs and charts for navigation, torches, modern timepieces, and also made unscheduled stopovers, did not follow the same route or were escorted part of the way. The only other concession McIntyre and Perham will make will be the liferaft and other essential safety equipment. They shall also sail with a satellite computer link to send daily blogs, photos and audio clips.
The Mutiny, 28 April 1789
Fletcher Christian led a mutiny on HMS Bounty then set sail for Pitcairn Island. Bligh and 18 men were abandoned in a longboat with just 150lb (68kg) of ships biscuits, 16 x 2lb (0.9kg pieces of pork, 6 quarts (5.6l) of rum, 6 bottles of wine and 28 gallons (127l) of water. Their overcrowded boat had just 8-inches (0.2m) of freeboard. They set sail for Tofua – one day away.
Sunday 3 May: Land on Tofua – one man killed by natives. Bligh sailed away and headed for Fiji. 7 May: Bligh sailed through Fiji Islands chased by hostile natives in canoes so could not stop. 14 May: Bligh passed through the New Hebrides Island, but fearing attack, decided not to stop. Bligh and his crew continue across the storm-tossed Coral Sea bailing to stay afloat 24 hours a day, and desperately short of food and water. 28 May: First sight of New Holland and the Great Barrier Reef. Next day, after 26 days at sea, they land on Restoration Island half dead. Bligh and his crew gorge on oysters, berries, birds and fish. 12 June: Timor is sighted and 2-days later, the Bligh crew land on Kupang, 48 days and 4000 miles after the mutiny. Their ordeal becomes one of the greatest open boat voyages in maritime history.
McIntyre and Crew’s Gear
18th century octant and sextant, two 18th century pocket watches, nautical tables, boat compass, telescope, rope knot meter, lead line, ink pens and ink, note books, log book, magnifying glass. No charts allowed, no modern watches, no nautical almanac, and no compass light.
Clothing and Personal Kit:
Sun hat, warm hat, expedition shirt, expedition long pants, tough shorts, thermal top, thermal pants, waterproof shoes, Gore-tex weather jacket and pants, sheep skin, inflatable life-jacket/ safety harness with knife torch and strobe, 406-GPS POB. No torches, no iPod no books.
The Bounty Boat will set off with the same weight of food and water that Bligh had when he was cast adrift from the Bounty.
Construction: Traditional lap strake/clinker
Length overall: 25ft (7.62m)
Beam 6.3ft (1.92m)
Load displacement with 4 crew: 1.6 Tonnes