When Fletcher Christian and his fellow mutineers were looking for a hideout from the Royal Navy, they decided that Pitcairn was the most isolated island in the South Pacific. Thus on 15 January 1790, HMS Bounty deposited eight Englishmen and 18 Polynesian companions on the island and the ship was promptly burned to avoid detection. Eighteen years were to pass before another vessel called at Pitcairn. By then only one member of Captain Bligh’s original crew, John Adams, was still alive, and he was eventually pardoned by the British Admiralty.
Arguably, Pitcairn is still the most isolated corner of the South Pacific. The nearest inhabited island is Mangareva in French Polynesia, 490 km northwest. Easter Island is 1,900 km east. There’s been talk of building an airstrip on Pitcairn for years, but it’s still just talk. What’s new is that between now and March, 2009, Pacific Expeditions Ltd will operate five cruises from Mangareva to Pitcairn aboard the RV Bounty Bay. It’s the only sure way of getting there as cruise ships sometimes promise Pitcairn but are unable to land passengers due to weather conditions. My Pitcairn Islands Travel Guide has lots more information on Pitcairn, Henderson, Oeno, and Ducie, the four components of Britain’s only remaining South Pacific colony.