Australian adventurer set to re-create Captain Bligh's Mutiny on the Bounty voyage

Thursday, 25 February 2010

 

This morning, one of the greatest Australian adventurers of all time, Don McIntyre, formally announced his most recent expedition – to re-create one of the most extraordinary stories of survival and determination, Captain William Bligh’s 4,000 mile open boat ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ voyage.

The reenactment, following the journey across the Pacific from Tonga to Timor, will launch on the same day (April 28th), at the same time and in the same place 221 years after the original mutiny journey.

Not content with just taking on this huge challenge, McIntyre and his crew of 3 men are also attempting to raise over $250,000 for The Sheffield Institute Foundation for Motor Neurone Disease (SIF), which is building the world’s first research Institute into Motor Neurone Disease (MND), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

The seven week expedition aboard the Talisker Bounty Boat – a 25ft long, 7ft wide, open wooden vessel – will see the crew -facing the same deprivations as the original crew that were cast adrift in the middle of the Pacific, including: no navigation charts; only two weeks of water; hardly any food; and, of course, no luxuries like a torch or toilet paper!

Alongside Don McIntyre, one of Australia’s most experienced sailors and adventurers, the international crew includes experienced English sailor David Wilkinson, US sailor and businessman Peter Stier and the youngest ever Solo circumnavigator, 17 year old Brit Mike Perham. The crew met together for the first time a little over two weeks ago and have spent the last fortnight together in Sydney, training and making last minute preparations for the journey, a journey that has been Don’s dream to complete for 20 years.

McIntyre does not underestimate the challenge ahead: “We’re incredibly excited to get close to Captain Bligh and his crew; however everyone aboard the Talisker Bounty Boat will be pushed to the limit of endurance and survival, forever hungry and unsure of everything, except their own desire to fight through this.”

The voyage is sponsored by Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky, the only single malt whisky from the Isle of Skye which is also the origin of Don McIntyre’s ancestry as his grandparents emigrated to Australia from Skye shortly after their marriage in 1901.

To follow the expedition and donate to this cause, visit www.taliskerbountyboat.com.

Emily Dwiar

See Talisker Bounty Boat Images :

The Voyage

McIntyre and his crew will follow in the footsteps of Capt. William Bligh when cast adrift from HMS Bounty in the Pacific on April 28, 1789. They will board their 25ft ‘Talisker Bounty Boat’ in the same position exactly 221 years to the day of the Bounty Mutiny. They will first sail to Tofua 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. McIntyre’s crew will have no charts, no almanacs, modern timepieces or navigation equipment, torches, or toilet paper.
 
A GPS tracking system: locked away from the crew, will track the vessel every 2 hours for the outside world to follow via the Talisker Bounty Boat website. The only other concession to the 21st Century will be a life raft and other essential safety equipment, together with a satellite computer link for the 4-man crew to send daily blogs, photos and audio clips to tell their story.

McIntyre and his team are using the voyage to monitor sea life and water temperatures in the Pacific and compare their findings with the detailed log that Bligh kept. Scientists will also study crew stress levels, sleep patterns and their medical well-being.

The Crew

Don McIntyre – 55  year old Don McIntyre is one of Australia's most experienced sailors, having competed in the 1990 BOC Challenge Single-handed Around the World Yacht Race, coming second in class, the highest placing for an Australian at the time. He has embarked on numerous Antarctic sailing expeditions and even lived in a box Antarctic for a year with his wife Margie.

Mike Perham – celebrating his 18th birthday in March 2010, Mike Perham joins the Talisker Bounty Boat crew holding the record for the world’s youngest solo circumnavigator at 17 years of age, and also the record for the youngest solo Trans-Atlantic sailor at 14 years of age.

David Wilkinson - An Englishman living in Asia his home for the last 17 years David bought his first yacht in 1996, attracting media attention as a result of the challenging twelve day 500 mile sail across the South China Sea between Luzon in the Philippines and Hong Kong.  

Peter Stier – a 53 year old businessman from Minnesota in the US joins the Talisker Bounty Boat after learning to sail in lakes and rivers. Peter has sailed all over the world and also enjoys diving.

The original mutiny

April 28, 1789: Fletcher Christian led a mutiny on HMS Bounty then set sail for Pitcairn Island. Bligh and 18 men are 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.

May 3: Land on Tofua  - one man killed by natives. Bligh sailed away and headed for Fiji.

May 7: Bligh sailed through Fiji Islands chased by hostile natives in canoes so could not stop.

May 14: 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.

May 28: 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.

June 12: 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.

The gear that McIntyre and crew will rely on

Navigation equipment
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 - each crew
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
Talisker Bounty Boat will set off with the same weight of food and water that Bligh had when he was cast adrift from the Bounty.

Talisker Bounty Boat details
Construction: Traditional lap strake/clinker
Length overall: 25ft (7.62m)
Beam 6.3ft (1.92m)
Load displacement with 4 crew: 1.6 Tonnes

About The Sheffield Institute Foundation - SIF
The Talisker Bounty Boat Expedition will raise money and awareness of research into Motor Neurone Disease (MND) pioneered by the Sheffield Institute Foundation. SIF has been working tirelessly over the last few years to raise funds needed to build the Sheffield Institute of Translational Neurosciences (SITraN), and finance it for the first 5 years. It will be the first of its kind in the World, and will continue to grow and develop in to a pioneering Institute attracting first class scientists and professors from around the World, such as Professor Pam Shaw.

About MND
Motor Neurone Disease is the British name given to the group of diseases, which are caused by the death of motor neurones. In the USA it is known as Lou Gehrig Syndrome or Amyotrophic Lateral (ALS).  In France it is La maladie de Charcot and in Italy the disease is call Sclerosis Lateral Amyotrophic (SLA)

These are the nerve cells that link our brain to our muscles, sending electrical impulses to control muscle movements. It is a fatal condition with no cure and virtually no form of treatment. From diagnosis, sufferers live on average for only two years and only about 10% of sufferers live beyond five years.
MND attacks and destroys motor neurones, disrupting these vital links within the body; without the stimulus of electrical impulses, the muscles cease to function and waste away.

Eventually this muscular atrophy leads to a complete loss of mobility, speech and the ability to swallow; death typically comes from paralysis of the breathing muscles. MND is devastating, usually leaving the sufferer with full retention of their mental faculties but trapped in a living hell. This is compounded by the speed at which the disease takes hold, giving little opportunity for clinicians to help patients and their families adjust to the condition. For these reasons many doctors regard MND as the worst disease known to medicine.
We now have a chance to play an important role in changing this future. The creation of the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience hasl established the world's first stand-alone institution dedicated to fighting MND. By supporting this expedition in aid of SITraN, donors will not only be giving us much needed encouragement, but make a vital difference in helping to achieve a major leap forward in bringing an end to the devastation caused by MND.

About Talisker

Talisker Single Malt Whisky is the only single malt to be distilled on the shores of the Isle of Skye. One of the famed ‘Classic Malts’, Talisker has been produced on the edge of the sea since 1830. The distillery sits in the shadow of the moody Cuillin hills and waves from the ocean crash against the rocks in front of the distillery. The wonderful rugged surroundings of the distillery have come to define the strength and depth of the Talisker flavour - a powerful peat and sea-salt nose, smoky sweetness with malt-flavours and developing warmth with an intense, spicy finish.

Talisker comes in three main variants – 10yr, 18yr and 25yr. The flavour of Talisker has also been recognised as one of the best in the world – in 2007 Talisker 18 year old was voted by experts as the ‘Best Single Malt Whisky in the World’ at the World Whisky Awards. The subtle sea-salt flavours of Talisker were the inspiration behind the latest Talisker communications platform (see below) – Made by the Sea.

About Diageo

Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines. Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. Visit www.drinkaware.co.uk and our global resource www.DRINKiQ.com for information and guidance on responsible drinking. In Great Britain, Diageo is a member of The Portman Group and supports The Drinkaware Trust.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere

The TALISKER word and associated logos are trade marks. © 2010

Other sponsors of the Talisker Bounty Boat are as follows:

SYDNEY LAKESIDE NARRABEEN, MUSTO, DICK SMITH FOODS, PAINSWESSIX & NDURA

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 February 2010 )