Bicentenary Sheetlet 2

Bicentenary Sheetlet 2:  The Mutiny on the Bounty
            28 April 1989            6 x 90c                                                    Mint and CTO        $5.40
                                                                                                             FDC                       $5.90

Technical Details

        Release Date:                    28 April 1989
        Tablet Values:                   6 x 90c
        Artist:                                Clive Abbott
        Printer:                              The House of Questa Limited
        Process:                            Lithography
        Paper:                               CA Watermark
        Stamp Size:                       28.45 x 42.58 mm
        Perforation Gauge:            14 per 2 cm
        Pane Format:                    Sheetlet 110 x 152 mm of six stamps with brief descriptive text
        Mint and CTO:                 $5.40
        First Day Cover:               $5.90

Bicentenary Sheetlet No 2 marks 200 years since the mutiny on the Bounty, which took place on 28 April 1789.

After a five month stay, Bounty left Tahiti on 4 April 1789 on her westbound voyage to the West indies.  In order to collect water and wood supplies and a small number of breadfruit to replace those which had died or were "a little sickly" according to Lt. Bligh's account, the vessel anchored in the Friendly Islands (Tonga), probably at Nomuka Island in the Ha'apai group.

Bounty sailed from Nomuka on 26 April and two days later near the island of Tofua several crew members mutinied.

The reasons for the mutiny - which has been the subject of four major movies - have been described, pondered upon, excused and debated in dozens of books and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.  The characters and motivation of the leading characters, Lt. William Bligh and Master's Mate Fletcher Christian, have been examined as under a microscope yet still the debate continues as to who bore ultimate responsibility for the circumstances leading to the mutiny.

As a result of the mutiny eighteen men were set adrift with Bligh in the ship's boat while Christian with twenty four others, not all of whom supported his actions, took control of the Bounty.

Bligh and his party, after one of history's longest open boat voyages, eventually reached safety in Timor.  Bounty, meanwhile, headed back to Tahiti.