Captain Bligh’s Caribbean Cargo


Many know the story of the Mutiny on the Bounty.

In 1789, a 23 year-old Fletcher Cristian organized the take-over of the Royal Navy Vessel HMS Bounty from the abusive ship-master; Captain Bligh.

The Bounty and Captian Bligh were contracted to bring breadfruit from French Polynesia to the Caribbean to be used as a food staple.

But the Bounty never made it to the Caribbean from Tahiti.

Very few know that Bligh and his cargo of breadfruit did eventually make it to the Caribbean on his second voyage between 1791 and 1793 aboard the HMS Providence.

In the St. Vincent Botanical Gardens in Kingstown, you can visit a fruit-bearing bread fruit tree that is is over 226 years old and was actually delivered by Captain Bligh’s second voyage.

You can visit the St. Vincent Botanical Garden and see the site for yourself.

Bligh organized the transport of over 1,000 breadfruit sappers, and converted his great cabin aboard the Bounty into a green house for Breadfruit sappers.

Today, bread fruit is ubiquitous on all of the islands of the Caribbean.

He was perhaps an abusive leader, but Bligh was a masterful ocean navigator and seaman.

After the mutiny and being cast off with 19 of his loyal sailors in a 23ft (7 meter) launch, Captain Bligh managed to sail over 3,500 nautical miles safely delivering his remaining crew to the Dutch East Indies.

Meanwhile, Fletcher Cristian and his mutineers along with their Tahitian consorts fled to Pitcairn Island where they remained undiscovered for decades.

Contributed by Steven Keats of Kestrel Group.