Good Reading : March 2011
46 goodreading ı MARCH 2011 As Bligh waited to board the launch alongside the Bounty, argument raged on the vessel about what should be given to the company and what should remain. In Bligh's notebook, the list of provisions is brief -- bread, pork, alcohol and water. James Morrison's jour nal provides an account of the dispute between Chas Churchill, the master-at-arms, and William Purcell, the carpenter, about the latter's chest which Churchill wanted to keep on the Bounty, but which Christian ordered to be placed into the launch. Also loaded into the boat were masts and sails, new light canvas and nails, saws, the lieutenant's and master's clothes, as well as: two Gang Casks of Water, four empty breeves [small casks for water], 3 bags of Bread with Mr. Blighs Case, Some Bottles of Wine and several other things ... after Mr. Bligh was In the Boat he beggd for His Commission and Sextant; the Commission was Instantly Given him with his Pocket Book and private Jour nal by Mr. Christian's order, and He took His own Sextant. So weighed down was the boat that several items were thrown overboard. Bligh's plea for a musket was not granted, but four cutlasses were handed over, and Morrison, by his own account, passed the men in the launch about 25 four-pound pieces of pork (substantially more than the amount that Bligh had reported in his notebook) and two gourds of water. Christian had no wish to send the launch party away to a certain death. He expected that Bligh would make for the nearby Tongan Islands and wait there for an English ship.The launch had full provisions for 19 men for only five days, but this was more than enough to reach the islands. However, Bligh's landing on Tofua was ill-fated and he was forced to press on towards Timor with only a few coconuts and some damaged breadfruit to show for the shore visit. It is at this point in the journey that most historians agree that it was Bligh's iron will and stubbor n adherence to a relentless regime of rationing and navigational calculations that kept the craft on course and saved the lives of the men he sailed with. coffee table 2 Bligh as a young midshipman in the 1770s. The bullet pendant that Bligh used as a weight to measure the men’s daily ration of bread. In 1789 Lieutenant William Bligh and 18 other men were set adrift in a launch from the Bounty by Fletcher Christian and his band of mutineers. In Bligh’s Hand tells the story of how they survived storms, near starvation and the tense and explosive relations between the sailors and their commander – all in a tiny 23-foot boat.