23 December 1787: Spithead, England

The HMS Bounty set sail on a gloomy winter’s day a few days before Christmas.
You like the little ship, which is just ninety feet long and fairly small at just over 200 tons for the 46 men she carries. She has three masts and sails extremely well however and you are quite content aboard her, despite the gloomy weather. She carries four small cannons for defense and a compliment of muskets and cutlasses as well as enough provisions for the voyage. The purpose of the voyage is to sail to Tahiti to pick up breadfruit and transport them to Jamaica to feed the slaves who work the plantations there. It should be an easy enough voyage.

If you are soon familiar with the ship but the crew are more difficult. You have joined them as an Able Seaman for what should be an easy voyage but there are far too many of men on the ship to remember all of their names. The one name you do remember is Lieutenant William Bligh, the ship’s commander. He is a chubby, little man with very white skin, wispy fair hair and blue eyes looking for all the world like a little girl’s porcelain doll. Bligh is supposed to be a superb navigator, having sailed under the famous Captain Cook, discoverer of Australia, on his last voyage, but he seems a bit excitable and a little difficult to take seriously.

Almost from the beginning the ship seems to hit bad luck. The weather in the Channel is awful and barely have you sailed out of port than you lose your grip while climbing the rigging. You are plunging towards the deck and almost certain doom when you manage to grab a rope tied between two sails, halting your fall with a heart-stopping judder. Days later a storm breaks the windows of Bligh’s cabin, quickly flooding it with water.

As the year of 1788 and the voyage of the Bounty begins you hope that things will get better…

A List of all 46 Crew Members of the HMS Bounty Crew List of the HMS Bounty