Saturday Scenes

Thu 8 July 2010

Mutiny on the Bounty

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 16:21

The 3rd of July 1767 is the date that Midshipman Robert Pitcairn stated that he discovered the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific. The islands are believed to have been initially discovered in 1606 by Queirós who named two islands, La Encarnación and San Juan Bautista but it is not clear which islands he actually found.

The chronometer, which came into use in 1773, allowed sailors to accurately determine longitude which allowed for much more precise mapping and exploration. In 1787, Captain Bligh used a chronometer on the Bounty. The mutineers’ decision to remain on Pitcairn island is directly linked to the use of the chronometer on this trip.

The Story of the Bounty Chronometer

After the mutiny Christian and the other mutineers search for a place to settle. When they find Pitcairn they note that Captain Philip Carteret, its discoverer, hasn’t charted its location correctly.

On Admiralty Charts, Pitcairn Island was charted three degrees of Longitude, some 170+ M, or 300+ km (the contemporary equivalent of a two day voyage under fair conditions) inaccurately.

The mutineers have the K2 chronometer and are able to determine longitude. They know that future expeditions will also have chronometers. They bet that these expeditions will not be able to find Pitcairn and decide to settle there.

And they were right. The mutineers kept the chronometer and settled on the islands. The island was not rediscovered until 1808, when an American captain of a whaling ship found the descendants – and one remaining mutineer – on an island that did not show on his charts.

The 3rd of July 2010 is the date in which time stood still for over two dozen scenes photographed around the world:

Take a moment out of your day to visit the streams of our wonderful submitters:

Would you like to add your photo? It’s simple to join in:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the location

I’m looking forward to seeing your SatScene in the next edition!

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