A Travellerspoint blog

Pitcairn Island Adventure 6

Getting to know the island

sunny 30 °C
View Pitcairn March 2009 on erodrigo's travel map.

After the party last night I had to wake somewhat early because the Post Office was open. It is open three mornings a week and beside the normal stamps you buy for sending your cards, they have a beautiful collection of Pitcairn stamps. So I bought some nice looking FDC’s (First Day Covers) of among the other things a whole collection of the Bounty.
After that I put the cards in the mail and they will be picked up by the supply ship 2nd of April. The ship takes it back to Tahiti and from there on it is send to Auckland in New Zealand. From here it gets send all around the world, to whatever country you address it to, and all of that service for just one New Zealand dollar, where else around the world can you get so much service for such a small amount of money? So do not be alarmed if you send postcards from Pitcairn and they are not there when you come home, just remember that Pitcairn is dependent on supply ships for many things and they only arrive here every three months.
I heard another strange thing, at least it is really strange to me, the New Zealand or British authorities decided that there is no more money for a doctor on the island, so soon they will be without one. But the strangest part is there is money for a Social worker and New Zealand policemen. It seems to me a doctor is much more useful than the other people, because they are so remote that when something bad happens it can take a while before you are in a hospital.
This afternoon the daughter of my host took us up to the trail of Garnets point.
We walked over a small ridge to the end of the trail and had an amazing overview of Adamstown and the rugged cliffs below. I would not recommend this trail if you are afraid of heights, because on both sides of the trail, you have some pretty steep drop offs. But the view is absolutely worth the walk.
Around 16.30 we went to the town square, because every fortnight (2 weeks) people gather here and trade and sell the things they have been making at home. There was a lot of good food around and it looked to me more people had the same idea because there was some trading done.
The nice part was that Father Jay first made a prayer and after that the trading started and next to the trading there was also a kind of raffle. There were two sealed boxes and a huge watermelon, on a board you could write your name down and guess the weight of each of the three items. I was picked as one of the winners apparently I had a good sense of how heavy the watermelon was and so I won a 5,3 kilo heavy watermelon. The only thing about me winning it is that I have to supply an item for the next raffle in two weeks.
We have had warm weather everyday since we arrive, but I heard that it has not rained on Pitcairn for two months now. So I hope as soon as we leave the people here can have the much-desired rain
Well I have until Sunday to find something; because that is the day the skipper is planning on returning to Mangareva via Temoe atoll.
Even tough by than we have been here for 5 nights and 6 days I still think it is quick, because the island is very beautiful and the people here are very friendly, so what are you waiting for come over and visit. www.visitpitcairn.pn

Posted by erodrigo 20:22 Archived in Pitcairn Islands Comments (0)

Pitcairn Island Adventure 5

Home stay on Pitcairn Island

sunny 30 °C
View Pitcairn March 2009 on erodrigo's travel map.

After we landed on Ships landing in Bounty bay we where welcomed by the immigration officer and our hosts. Since there are no hotels on Pitcairn you stay at the local residents. This is so much better than a stay at a hotel because you learn much more about a place talking to people than just staying at some hotel.
I am staying at Jay and Carol Warren and they really spoil me with an abundance of wonderful food and their marvellous hospitality.
Tuesday I walked around Adamstown, visiting the town’s square, where the Bounty’s anchor is and when I walked up to Adams grave I past a canon from the Bounty.
Pitcairn is a really beautiful island and there is much more trees and green than I ever expected.
Yesterday we took a Quad bike tour around the island. This was so good; we saw all the highlights, Tedside, St Pauls (the pool) Down rope and had lunch at the highest point, which is about 1100 feet above sea level. We just went all around and one sight was even more spectacular and beautiful then the other.
We were lucky enough to find Mrs. T standing in the middle of the road. Mrs. T is a giant turtle that lives on the island. Our host gave her a melon, but at first she was careful and hissed at us when we came to close.

On our way back she was much more enthusiastic and was enjoying her melon.
In the evening we had a blast of a party at Andrews place. It is at the moment the highest located house at the island. The party was in honour of his fathers demise 5 years ago.
The island is full of tropical fruit, Papaya, Pineapple, Coconut, Oranges, Banana, Lemon, you name it and it is here so I am really enjoying the fruit salads my hosts make.
Pitcairn lives up to all my expectations and more. If you are thinking about visiting, stop thinking and go. You will find more information on www.visitpitcairn.pn

Posted by erodrigo 09:26 Archived in Pitcairn Islands Comments (0)

Pitcairn Island Adventure 4

Off to Pitcairn Island

sunny 27 °C
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At 3.30 in the morning just when we where about to hoist anchor and steam to Pitcairn an oil line sprung and the whole aft deck was splattered with oil. Our trusted Jack had to work for 5 hours to get the problem fixed. But finally he did and we where able to leave at 9 in the morning. It will take up to 20 hours to cover the 120 km (75 miles) from Oeno to Pitcairn
When the Pitcairn people go to Oeno, like us they use GPS to navigate. They take 2 longboats fill it with everything they need including 20 litre barrels of fresh water and they make the trip in 9 hour. You do the math!
After a few hours problem number …. (I lost track) arose. Due to the oil line breaking there was now some diesel fuel in the oil lines. But there is nothing Jack can do at open sea so we headed on.
Finally at 2.30 in the morning we reached Pitcairn Island.

Posted by erodrigo 20:54 Archived in Pitcairn Islands Comments (0)

Pitcairn Island Adventure 3

Landing at Oeno Island.

sunny 26 °C
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Today we loaded the Dinghy with our stuff in waterproof bags and headed for Oeno to spend the night on a deserted island.
There is only one small opening in the outer reef and it is an about 1 meter deep sandy part in the all around coral.
We approached the gap and big waves pushed us on in, just at the moment we where in the hole a 2 meter high wave caught up with us and we went sidewards and almost tipped over, if it weren’t for the skilled steering of Andrew, he got the boat straight again and got us trough the hole.
At the moment we where trough the engine died. Turned out that the wave had made the fuel line come off, but Andrew put it on again and it was all smooth sailing for the last 500 meters to the island. We could finally let our adrenile rush calm down
Once landed on Oeno we unloaded our stuff in an old shed. The Pitcairn people are building a new one now because for them Oeno is a holiday island where they spend in average one week each time they go. It is about 120 km (75 miles) from Pitcairn Island.
The rest of the day we walked around the island and snorkled the inner reef. In the evening we heated up canned Spaghetti on an open fire, had canned pineapple for dessert and topped it off with some freeze dried coffee, yes we are really true survivalists. Altough we did get some coconuts out of the tree and eat the meat and drank the milk at a big bonfire we started at the beach, Alcohol is not allowed on Oeno.
On Sunday morning we packed up and headed out again. After an other adreneline rush going to reef and hitting some 2 meter waves head on we returned to our boat.
After our breakfast it turned out that our wonder worker had got the compressor working and he had filled up some bottles with air and we could go diving. So we put on our scuba gear and hit the water.
The visibility is amazing and the untouched corals beautiful. There aren’t many fish around but we did see an astonishing beautiful Nudie Branch, with green and black colours and grey spots.
After returning back to the boat we went back in the old rythem of eating and sleeping as we set sail for Pitcairn Island.
If the wind stays calm we should reach Pitcairn Island around 23.00 hours tomorrow.
Kurt told us the original plan to go to Ducie is no longer an option because of the state of the engine.

Posted by erodrigo 20:52 Archived in Pitcairn Islands Comments (1)

Pitcairn Island Adventure 2

Friday the 13th: Oeno Island

all seasons in one day 26 °C
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After 60 hours at sea we finally reached our first Pitcairn Island: Oeno.
It is a miracle we arrived at all, but more about that later on.
Rock ‘n Roll is not a dance it is a nautical term! You never danced like this when you have not been to the South Pacific. For almost 60 hours our boat was rocking and rolling on the waves and we danced along with it. And this is called calm weather, wirh winds up to 40 km (25 mph). But we made it.
Now for the problem, we can't land at Oeno because the equipment on board is not working. The compressor is out of order and so diving is no longer an option. Our chief engineer is doing his utmost to get the thing working. For floating the dinghy however an electrical compressor was at hand.
Because the state of the machinery on board is not good, every 6 hours 1 of the engines has to be switched of and checked to diminish the risk of overheating. For this reason the cooling system is checked for an air lock and if it is there the system has to be refilled.
Every 18 hours both engines have to be stopped and our miracle workere Jack has to do his magic for 2 hours to get the motors up and running again.
Last night the crew was even hosing the engine room because apparently some water had come in or the cooling system sprung a leak, they wouldn’t say.
The skipper considered turning back, brcause of the faulty engine but our wonder mecanic fixed it and so we went on.
I am sure we are no longer going to Ducie and even if the skipper says he will go I will not come with.
But on the positive side, we caught a Red Coral Trout and so we have fresh fish for dinner.

Posted by erodrigo 20:49 Archived in Pitcairn Islands Comments (0)