June 14, 1789 – Bounty survivors reach land

June 14, 1789 – Bounty survivors reach land

English Captain William Bligh and 18 others, cast adrift from the H.M.S. Bounty, reach Timor after traveling nearly 4,000 miles in a small, open boat. The Bounty was sailing from Tahiti when crew members mutinied. The unpopular captain and his supporters were set adrift, and only by remarkable seamanship did they survive a perilous seven-week journey.

Meanwhile, the Bounty sailed back to Tahiti, and then on to unpopulated Pitcairn Island, where the mutineers and a group of Tahitians founded a colony. The colony suffered through a decade of turmoil, and most of the original men were killed. The Tahitian women had given birth to children, however, and Pitcairn’s population soon reached a healthy level. Their descendants still live on the island today.