Talisker Bounty Sets Sail

On April 29, four adventurers set sail from Tonga in a 25-foot longboat named Talisker Bounty with the hope of recreating the 4,000-mile open-boat voyage made by Capt. William Bligh following the mutiny on the Bounty. Like Bligh, the crew is sailing with limited rations and using only 18th century navigational equipment. Australian adventurer Don McIntyre is leading the
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Talisker_sailing

On April 29, four adventurers set sail from Tonga in a 25-foot longboat named Talisker Bounty with the hope of recreating the 4,000-mile open-boat voyage made by Capt. William Bligh following the mutiny on the Bounty. Like Bligh, the crew is sailing with limited rations and using only 18th century navigational equipment. Australian adventurer Don McIntyre is leading the international crew of four, which will be exposed to the elements for weeks on end and at risk of capsizing in any storm they encounter. The journey to Timor, Indonesia, is expected to take about 50 days.

Though Talisker Bounty's mission may sound absurd by today's standards, McIntyre said he was drawn to what he saw as the ultimate adventure. "It is a challenge that is incredibly raw, honest and open. It's just a few blokes in a boat with a bit of food and water," he said.

McIntyre's previous sailing adventures have included a solo round-the-world race and multiple trips to Antarctica. Even still, he says, "This is something I've dreamed about for 27 years." Joining him on board are Antarctic sailor David Pryce from Australia, Hong Kong businessman David Wilkinson and 18-year-old British sailor Christopher Wilde.

Before taking off from Tonga, McIntyre received a letter from Mark Stanhope, the First Sea Lord of the British Royal Navy, stating, "Your voyage, under the conditions which Bligh and his crew endured in 1789, serves to remind us that determined men can achieve extraordinary things."

Talisker_crew

Because of inclement weather, the boat's departure was delayed one day. Since then, reports from onboard have been surprisingly upbeat, indicating that the crew's adventuresome spirit may overpower the trials to come. Thus far they've experienced favorable weather with 10-15 knots out of the southeast and temperatures in the mid-70s. The four men seem to be getting along and divvying up duties well.

Though Talisker Bounty has a laptop, which allows them to blog, the navigation is genuinely reminiscent of Bligh. They time their anchor watches using an hourglass—a gift from the King of Tonga—and measure boatspeed with a small board and length of knotted line. After a few days living in Bligh's shoes, McIntyre reported, "Today I had a vision of Bligh and his men in their boat in this same place – not a vision that I saw, but a case of thinking of the men and the boat in living color…what they would have looked like, etc. It was all very strange and interesting."

Already, water rations have been cut from a little over 2 quarts to 1.5 quarts per day. The crew’s diet consists of limes, coconuts, beef and sea biscuits. Rations have been kept purposely sparse.

The journey of Talisker Bounty is based on the 1789 mutiny aboard the British navy ship Bounty, in which Capt. Bligh was famously cast away in a 45-foot longboat with 18 crewmembers. Bligh successfully navigated his way from Tonga to West Timor in 48 days, equipped with only 150 pounds of ship biscuits, 16 pounds of pork, six quarts of rum, six bottles of wine and 28 gallons of water. He crew had no charts, no compass and no lights. Amazingly, everyone survived.

The journey of Talisker Bounty is based on a 1789 mutiny aboard the British navy ship Bounty, in which Capt. Bligh was famously cast away in a 45-foot longboat with 18 crewmembers. He successfully navigated his way from Tonga to West Timor in 48 days, equipped with only 150 pounds of ship biscuits, 16 pounds of pork, six quarts of rum, six bottles of wine and 28 gallons of water. The crew had no charts, no compasses and no lights. Amazingly, everyone survived.

The Talisker Bounty crew is currently headed for Fiji. From there they'll sail to Vanuatu and Restoration Island, then turn toward Australia's Great Barrier Reef and the Torres Strait.

For more on the journey, follow the adventure at the Talisker Bounty's website and blog.

Related

Waypoint.image.cd

Say No To Waypoints

Ever since they first appeared in my navigational toolbox decades ago I have been wary of waypoints. They certainly do seem helpful, these electronic flags we plant in the ether to guide us to where we want to go. But I noticed early on they also tend to distort our perception. ...read more

Lead-shutterstock_429247

A Cruise up Florida’s St. Johns River

The chart showed 45ft of vertical clearance, and I knew the boat should be able to pass under the bridge. Still, there was that nagging voice in my head that wouldn’t let me be. “What if your air draft calculations were wrong?” it said. “And if you’re just a little too high the ...read more

pic00

Installing a Helm Pod

Our 1987 Pearson project boat came with an elderly but functioning Raymarine chartplotter, located belowdecks at the nav station. Since I usually sail solo or doublehanded, it was of little use down there—it needed to be near the helm. When I decided to update the plotter along ...read more

Panamerican

Pan American Game Success

Team USA’s young sailors went to the quadrennial Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru this summer with high hopes, and returned with a good haul of medals—two Golds, three Silvers, and two Bronze. Gold medals went to Ernesto Rodriguez and Hallie Schiffman (Mixed Snipe) and Riley ...read more

190916-AC75

U.S. Team Launches First America’s Cup Boat

Fast forward to around 2:25 to see the boat in action. First day out and already doing full-foiling gybes: not too shabby! Hard on the heels of the unveiling of New Zealand’s first AC75, the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic team has now launched its first America’s Cup ...read more

GGTobCaysHorseshoeColors

Picking a Charter Destination

Picking a destination should reflect the interests of your group, says People often ask about my favorite charter destination, and invariably, I sidestep the question with one of my own: “Well, what do you want to do on your vacation?” Most often I hear an incredulous, “Why, ...read more

sinking

Waterlines: Chasing Leaks on Boats

Chasing leaks on boats is a time-honored obsession. Rule number one in all galaxies of the nautical universe through all of nautical history has always been the same: keep the water on the outside. When water somehow finds its way inside and you don’t know where it’s coming ...read more

BestBoatNominees2020-Promo

Best Boats Nominees 2020

Bring on the monohulls! In a world increasingly given over to multihull sailing, SAIL magazine’s “Best Boats” class of 2020 brings with it a strong new group of keelboats, including everything from luxury cruisers nipping at the heels of their mega-yacht brethren to a number of ...read more