The Aleutian Islands called the Aleut Islands or Aleutic Islands and known before 1867 as the Catherine Archipelago, are a chain of 14 large volcanic islands and 55 smaller ones belonging to both the U. S. state of Alaska and the Russian federal subject of Kamchatka Krai. They form part of the Aleutian Arc in the Northern Pacific Ocean, occupying an area of 6,821 sq mi and extending about 1,200 mi westward from the Alaska Peninsula toward the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, mark a dividing line between the Bering Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Crossing longitude 180°, at which point east and west longitude end, the archipelago contains both the westernmost part of the United States by longitude and the easternmost by longitude; the westernmost U. S. island in real terms, however, is Attu Island. While nearly all the archipelago is part of Alaska and is considered as being in the "Alaskan Bush", at the extreme western end, the small, geologically related Commander Islands belong to Russia.
The islands, with their 57 volcanoes, form the northernmost part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Physiographically, they are a distinct section of the larger Pacific Border province, which in turn is part of the larger Pacific Mountain System physiographic division; these Islands are most known for the battles and skirmishes that occurred there during the Aleutian Islands Campaign of World War II. It was one of only two attacks on the United States during that war. Motion between the Kula Plate and the North American Plate along the margin of the Bering Shelf ended in the early Eocene; the Aleutian Basin, the ocean floor north of the Aleutian arc, is the remainder of the Kula Plate that got trapped when volcanism and subduction jumped south to its current location at c. 56 Ma. The Aleutian island arc formed in the Early Eocene when the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the North American Plate began; the arc is made of separate blocks. The basement underlying the islands is made of three stratigraphic units: an Eocene layer of volcanic rock, an Oligocene—Miocene layer of marine sedimentary rock, a Pliocene—Quaternary layer of sedimentary and igneous rock.
The islands, known before 1867 as the Catherine Archipelago, comprise five groups the Fox Islands Islands of Four Mountains Andreanof Islands Rat Islands, Near IslandsAll five are located between 51° and 55° N latitude and 172° E and 163° W longitude. The largest islands in the Aleutians are Attu, Unalaska and Unimak in the Fox Islands; the largest of those is Unimak Island, with an area of 1,571.41 mi2, followed by Unalaska Island, the only other Aleutian Island with an area over 1,000 square miles. The axis of the archipelago near the mainland of Alaska has a southwest trend, but at Tanaga Island its direction changes to the northwest; this change of direction corresponds to a curve in the line of volcanic fissures that have contributed their products to the building of the islands. Such curved chains are repeated about the Pacific Ocean in the Kuril Islands, the Japanese chain, in the Philippines. All these island arcs are at the edge of the Pacific Plate and experience much seismic activity, but are still habitable.
The general elevation is least in the western. The island chain is a western continuation of the Aleutian Range on the mainland; the great majority of the islands bear evident marks of volcanic origin, there are numerous volcanic cones on the north side of the chain, some of them active. The coasts are rocky and surf-worn, the approaches are exceedingly dangerous, the land rising from the coasts to steep, bold mountains; these volcanic islands reach heights of 6,200 feet. Makushin Volcano located on Unalaska Island, is not quite visible from within the town of Unalaska, though the steam rising from its cone is visible on a clear day. Residents of Unalaska need only to climb one of the smaller hills in the area, such as Pyramid Peak or Mt. Newhall, to get a good look at the snow-covered cone; the volcanic Bogoslof and Fire Islands, which rose from the sea in 1796 and 1883 lie about 30 miles west of Unalaska Bay. In 1906, a new volcanic cone rose between the islets of Bogoslof and Grewingk, near Unalaska, followed by another in 1907.
These cones were nearly demolished by an explosive eruption on September 1, 1907. Newly found information in 2017, the volcanic cone erupted sending ash and ice particles 30,000 feet in the air; the Aleutians seen from space The climate of the islands is oceanic, with moderate and uniform temperatures and heavy rainfall. Fogs are constant. Summer weather is much cooler than Southeast Alaska, but the winter temperature of the islands and of the Alaska Panhandle is nearly the same. According to the Köppen climate classification system, the area southwest of 53.5°N 167.0°W / 53.5.
Alaska is a U. S. state in the northwest extremity of North America, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the state to the east and southeast, its most extreme western part is Attu Island, it has a maritime border with Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—southern parts of the Arctic Ocean; the Pacific Ocean lies to southwest. It is the largest U. S. state by the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States. Half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. Military bases and tourism are a significant part of the economy; the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U. S. dollars at two cents per acre. The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912.
It was admitted as the 49th state of the U. S. on January 3, 1959. The name "Alaska" was introduced in the Russian colonial period when it was used to refer to the Alaska Peninsula, it was derived from an Aleut-language idiom. It means object to which the action of the sea is directed. Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States and has the most easterly longitude in the United States because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere. Alaska is the only non-contiguous U. S. state on continental North America. It is technically part of the continental U. S. but is sometimes not included in colloquial use. S. called "the Lower 48". The capital city, Juneau, is situated on the mainland of the North American continent but is not connected by road to the rest of the North American highway system; the state is bordered by Yukon and British Columbia in Canada, to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea to the west and the Arctic Ocean to the north.
Alaska's territorial waters touch Russia's territorial waters in the Bering Strait, as the Russian Big Diomede Island and Alaskan Little Diomede Island are only 3 miles apart. Alaska has a longer coastline than all the other U. S. states combined. Alaska is the largest state in the United States by total area at 663,268 square miles, over twice the size of Texas, the next largest state. Alaska is larger than all but 18 sovereign countries. Counting territorial waters, Alaska is larger than the combined area of the next three largest states: Texas and Montana, it is larger than the combined area of the 22 smallest U. S. states. There are no defined borders demarcating the various regions of Alaska, but there are six accepted regions: The most populous region of Alaska, containing Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and the Kenai Peninsula. Rural unpopulated areas south of the Alaska Range and west of the Wrangell Mountains fall within the definition of South Central, as do the Prince William Sound area and the communities of Cordova and Valdez.
Referred to as the Panhandle or Inside Passage, this is the region of Alaska closest to the rest of the United States. As such, this was where most of the initial non-indigenous settlement occurred in the years following the Alaska Purchase; the region is dominated by the Alexander Archipelago as well as the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States. It contains the state capital Juneau, the former capital Sitka, Ketchikan, at one time Alaska's largest city; the Alaska Marine Highway provides a vital surface transportation link throughout the area, as only three communities enjoy direct connections to the contiguous North American road system. Designated in 1963; the Interior is the largest region of Alaska. Fairbanks is the only large city in the region. Denali National Park and Preserve is located here. Denali is the highest mountain in North America. Southwest Alaska is a sparsely inhabited region stretching some 500 miles inland from the Bering Sea. Most of the population lives along the coast.
Kodiak Island is located in Southwest. The massive Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, one of the largest river deltas in the world, is here. Portions of the Alaska Peninsula are considered part of Southwest, with the remaining portions included with the Aleutian Islands; the North Slope is tundra peppered with small villages. The area is known for its massive reserves of crude oil, contains both the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska and the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field; the city of Utqiagvik known as Barrow, is the northernmost city in the United States and is located here. The Northwest Arctic area, anchored by Kotzebue and containing the Kobuk River valley, is regarded as being part of this region. However, the respective Inupiat of the No
Redoubt Volcano, or Mount Redoubt, is an active stratovolcano in the volcanic Aleutian Range of the U. S. state of Alaska. Located at the head of the Chigmit Mountains subrange in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, the mountain is just west of Cook Inlet, in the Kenai Peninsula Borough about 110 miles southwest of Anchorage. At 10,197 feet, in just over 5 miles Mount Redoubt attains 9,150 feet of prominence over its surrounding terrain, it is the highest summit in the Aleutian Range. In 1976, Redoubt Volcano was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service. Active for millennia, Mount Redoubt has erupted four times since it was first observed: in 1902, 1966, 1989 and 2009, with two questionable eruptions in 1881 and 1933; the eruption in 1989 spewed volcanic ash to a height of 45,000 ft. It caught KLM Flight 867, a Boeing 747 aircraft, in its plume. After the plane descended 13,000 feet, the pilots restarted the engines and landed the plane safely at Anchorage; the ash blanketed an area of about 7,700 sq mi.
The 1989 eruption is notable for being the first volcanic eruption to be predicted by the method of long-period seismic events developed by Swiss/American volcanologist Bernard Chouet. As of August 2015, the Alaska Volcano Observatory has rated Redoubt as Aviation Alert Level Green and Volcano Alert Level Normal; the official name of the mountain is Redoubt Volcano, a translation of the Russian name "Sopka Redutskaya", referring to, as does the word "redoubt", "a fortified place". A local name, "Ujakushatsch" means "fortified place", but it is difficult to determine if one name is derived from the other; the Board on Geographic Names decided on the name "Redoubt Volcano" in 1891. The Global Volcanism Program of the Smithsonian Institution refers to the mountain as "Redoubt", lists the following as alternate names: Burnt Mountain, Mirando, Ujakushatsch and Yjakushatsch; the Alaska Volcano Observatory uses "Redoubt". The volcano is about 3.7 miles in diameter at its base with a rough volume of 7.2 to 8.4 cu mi.
The sides of the upper cone are steep. Made up of pyroclastic flow deposits and lava flows, resting on Mesozoic era rocks of the Aleutian Mountain Range batholith, the mountain has been somewhat weathered by movement of several glaciers that reside on it; the current main vent is on the north side of the crater by the head of the Drift glacier. Present on the mountain are Holocene lahar deposits that extend as far as the Cook Inlet; this mountain has produced andesite and dacite, with silicic andesite dominant in recent eruptions. Captain James Cook saw Mt. Redoubt during the summer of 1778, describing it as "emitting a white smoke but no fire which made some think it was no more than a white thick cloud such as we have seen on the Coast, for the most part appearing on the sides of hills and extends along a whole range and at different times falls or rises, expands or contracts itself and has a resemblance to Clouds of white smoke, but this besides being too small for one of those clouds, remained as it were fixed in the same spot for the whole time the Mountain was clear, above 48 hours."
However, several sources call this a "discredited eruption". There are several other of these activities. In 1819, smoke was observed at the mountain. However, this is not recorded as an eruption as the information was insufficient to identify it as such. In 2003, a blowing cloud of snow was mistaken by an employee of the ConocoPhillips Building in Anchorage for an ash plume. Possible steam-vapor let off was observed in 1933 at the mountain. There was an eruption described as "to the eastward, Redoubt Volcano, 11,060 feet high, is smoking, with periods of exaggerated activity. Fire has been seen issuing from its summit far out at sea. A great eruption took place in 1881, when a party of native hunters half-way up its slopes were overwhelmed by a lava-flow and only two escaped." However, this eruption is not well documented by other sources. The volcano erupted rather abruptly in 1902. A local newspaper stated, "Word has just been received that Redoubt, one of the volcanoes at Cook's Inlet had an eruption on January 18, the country for 150 miles around was covered with ashes and lava.
The news comes from Sunrise, but nothing definite has been ascertained as to whether any damage was done, for no boats have as yet been in the neighborhood of the volcano." There were many other news reports on the eruption, one describing the eruption as "a terrific earthquake which burst the mountain asunder leaving a large gap," which could suggest the crack formation in the volcano's crater, however, it is unlikely. The volcano was ejecting "flames" from its crater, the eruption terrified natives in the area. Newspapers seemed to suggest that the ash had traveled for more than 150 miles, reaching the opposite side of the Cook Inlet; the volcano erupted on December 14, 1989, continued to erupt for over six months. Sudden melting of snow and ice at the summit caused by pyroclastic flows and dome collapses caused lahars, or mudflows, which flowed down the north flank of the mountain. A majority of the mudflows coursed about 22 miles from the volcano; the lahars entered a nearby river, worrying officials that they might destroy an oil storage facility located along it.
Since lahars were produced sci
The Northwest Passage is, from the European and northern Atlantic point of view, the sea route to the Pacific Ocean through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The eastern route along the Arctic coasts of Norway and Siberia is accordingly called the Northeast Passage; the various islands of the archipelago are separated from one another and from the Canadian mainland by a series of Arctic waterways collectively known as the Northwest Passages or Northwestern Passages. For centuries, European explorers sought a navigable passage as a possible trade route to Asia. An ice-bound northern route was discovered in 1850 by the Irish explorer Robert McClure; until 2009, the Arctic pack ice prevented regular marine shipping throughout most of the year. Arctic sea ice decline has rendered the waterways more navigable for ice navigation; the contested sovereignty claims over the waters may complicate future shipping through the region: the Canadian government maintains that the Northwestern Passages are part of Canadian Internal Waters, but the United States and various European countries claim that they are an international strait and transit passage, allowing free and unencumbered passage.
If, as has been claimed, parts of the eastern end of the Passage are 15 metres deep, the route's viability as a Euro-Asian shipping route is reduced. A Chinese shipping line is planning regular voyages of cargo ships using the passage to the eastern United States and Europe, after a successful passage by Nordic Orion of 73,500 tonnes deadweight tonnage in September 2013. Loaded, Nordic Orion sat too deep in the water to sail through the Panama Canal. Before the Little Ice Age, Norwegian Vikings sailed as far north and west as Ellesmere Island, Skraeling Island and Ruin Island for hunting expeditions and trading with the Inuit and people of the Dorset culture who inhabited the region. Between the end of the 15th century and the 20th century, colonial powers from Europe dispatched explorers in an attempt to discover a commercial sea route north and west around North America; the Northwest Passage represented a new route to the established trading nations of Asia. England called the hypothetical northern route the "Northwest Passage".
The desire to establish such a route motivated much of the European exploration of both coasts of North America. When it became apparent that there was no route through the heart of the continent, attention turned to the possibility of a passage through northern waters. There was a lack of scientific knowledge about conditions. Explorers thought; the belief that a route lay to the far north persisted for several centuries and led to numerous expeditions into the Arctic. Many ended in disaster, including that by Sir John Franklin in 1845. While searching for him the McClure Arctic Expedition discovered the Northwest Passage in 1850. In 1906, the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen first completed a passage from Greenland to Alaska in the sloop Gjøa. Since that date, several fortified ships have made the journey. From east to west, the direction of most early exploration attempts, expeditions entered the passage from the Atlantic Ocean via the Davis Strait and through Baffin Bay. Five to seven routes have been taken through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, via the McClure Strait, Dease Strait, the Prince of Wales Strait, but not all of them are suitable for larger ships.
From there ships passed through waterways through the Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait, into the Pacific Ocean. In the 21st century, major changes to the ice pack due to climate change have stirred speculation that the passage may become clear enough of ice to permit safe commercial shipping for at least part of the year. On August 21, 2007, the Northwest Passage became open to ships without the need of an icebreaker. According to Nalan Koc of the Norwegian Polar Institute, this was the first time the Passage has been clear since they began keeping records in 1972; the Northwest Passage opened again on August 25, 2008. It is reported in mainstream medias that ocean thawing will open up the Northwest Passage for various kind of ships, making it possible to sail around the Arctic ice cap. and cutting thousands of miles off shipping routes. Warning that the NASA satellite images indicated the Arctic may have entered a "death spiral" caused by climate change, Professor Mark Serreze, a sea ice specialist at the U.
S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said: "The passages are open. It's a historic event. We are going to see this more and more as the years go by."On the other hand, some thick sections of ice will remain hard to melt in the shorter term. Such drifting and large chunks of ice in springtime, can be problematic as they can clog entire straits or damage a ship's hull. Cargo routes may therefore be slower and uncertain, depending on prevailing conditions and the ability to predict them; because a plurality of containerized traffic operates in a just-in-time mode and the relative isolation of the passage, the Northwest
The Alaska Range is a narrow, 650-km-long mountain range in the southcentral region of the U. S. state of Alaska, from Lake Clark at its southwest end to the White River in Canada's Yukon Territory in the southeast. The highest mountain in North America, Denali, is in the Alaska Range, it is part of the American Cordillera. The range is the highest in the world outside Asia and the Andes; the range forms a east-west arc with its northernmost part in the center, from there trending southwest towards the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutians, trending southeast into the Pacific Coast Ranges. The mountains act as a high barrier to the flow of moist air from the Gulf of Alaska northwards, thus has some of the harshest weather in the world; the heavy snowfall contributes to a number of large glaciers, including the Canwell, Black Rapids, Yanert, Eldridge, Ruth and Kahiltna Glaciers. Four major rivers cross the Range, including the Delta River, Nenana River in the center of the range and the Nabesna and Chisana Rivers to the east.
The range is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Denali Fault that runs along the southern edge of the range is responsible for a number of earthquakes. Mount Spurr is a stratovolcano located in the northeastern end of the Aleutian Volcanic Arc of Alaska, USA which has two vents, the summit and nearby Crater Peak. Parts of the range are protected within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Denali National Park and Preserve, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve; the George Parks Highway from Anchorage to Fairbanks, the Richardson Highway from Valdez to Fairbanks, the Tok Cut-Off from Gulkana Junction to Tok, Alaska pass through low parts of the range. The Alaska Pipeline parallels the Richardson Highway; the name "Alaskan Range" appears to have been first applied to these mountains in 1869 by naturalist W. H. Dall; the name became "Alaska Range" through local use. In 1849 Constantin Grewingk applied the name "Tschigmit" to this mountain range. A map made by the General Land Office in 1869 calls the southwestern part of the Alaska Range the "Chigmit Mountains" and the northeastern part the "Beaver Mountains".
However the Chigmit Mountains are now considered part of the Aleutian Range. Denali Mount Foraker Mount Hunter Mount Hayes Mount Silverthrone Mount Moffit Mount Deborah Mount Huntington Mount Brooks Mount Russell Neacola Mountains Revelation Mountains Teocalli Mountains Kichatna Mountains Central Alaska Range/Denali Massif Eastern Alaska Range/Hayes Range Delta Mountains Mentasta Mountains Nutzotin Mountains Mentasta Lake to Kitchatna Mountains: Scott Woolums, George Beilstein, Steve Eck, Larry Coxen by skis: first traverse. 375 miles in 45 days. Canada to Lake Clark: Roman Dial, Carl Tobin, Paul Adkins by mountain bike and packraft: first full length traverse. 775 miles in 42 days. Tok to Lake Clark: Kevin Armstrong, Doug Woody, Jeff Ottmers by snowshoe and packraft: first foot traverse. 620 miles in 90 days. Lake Clark to Mentasta Lake: Gavin McClurg by paraglider and foot: first vol-biv traverse. 466 miles in 37 days. Summit Lake, Alaska Churkin, M. Jr. and C. Carter.. Stratigraphy and graptolites of an Ordovician and Silurian sequence in the Terra Cotta Mountains, Alaska Range, Alaska.
Washington, D. C.: U. S. Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological Survey
The sea otter is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Adult sea otters weigh between 14 and 45 kg, making them the heaviest members of the weasel family, but among the smallest marine mammals. Unlike most marine mammals, the sea otter's primary form of insulation is an exceptionally thick coat of fur, the densest in the animal kingdom. Although it can walk on land, the sea otter is capable of living in the ocean; the sea otter inhabits nearshore environments. It preys on marine invertebrates such as sea urchins, various molluscs and crustaceans, some species of fish, its foraging and eating habits are noteworthy in several respects. First, its use of rocks to dislodge prey and to open shells makes it one of the few mammal species to use tools. In most of its range, it is a keystone species, controlling sea urchin populations which would otherwise inflict extensive damage to kelp forest ecosystems, its diet includes prey species that are valued by humans as food, leading to conflicts between sea otters and fisheries.
Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at 150,000–300,000, were hunted extensively for their fur between 1741 and 1911, the world population fell to 1,000–2,000 individuals living in a fraction of their historic range. A subsequent international ban on hunting, conservation efforts, reintroduction programs into populated areas have contributed to numbers rebounding, the species occupies about two-thirds of its former range; the recovery of the sea otter is considered an important success in marine conservation, although populations in the Aleutian Islands and California have declined or have plateaued at depressed levels. For these reasons, the sea otter remains classified as an endangered species; the sea otter is the heaviest member of the family Mustelidae, a diverse group that includes the 13 otter species and terrestrial animals such as weasels and minks. It is unique among the mustelids in not making dens or burrows, in having no functional anal scent glands, in being able to live its entire life without leaving the water.
The only member of the genus Enhydra, the sea otter is so different from other mustelid species that, as as 1982, some scientists believed it was more related to the earless seals. Genetic analysis indicates the sea otter and its closest extant relatives, which include the African speckle-throated otter, European otter, African clawless otter and oriental small-clawed otter, shared an ancestor 5 Mya. Fossil evidence indicates the Enhydra lineage became isolated in the North Pacific 2 Mya, giving rise to the now-extinct Enhydra macrodonta and the modern sea otter, Enhydra lutris. One related species has been described, from the Pleistocene of East Anglia; the modern sea otter evolved in northern Hokkaidō and Russia, spread east to the Aleutian Islands, mainland Alaska, down the North American coast. In comparison to cetaceans and pinnipeds, which entered the water 50, 40, 20 Mya the sea otter is a relative newcomer to a marine existence. In some respects, the sea otter is more adapted to water than pinnipeds, which must haul out on land or ice to give birth.
The full genome of the northern sea otter was sequenced in 2017 and may allow for examination of the sea otter's evolutionary divergence from terrestrial mustelids. The first scientific description of the sea otter is contained in the field notes of Georg Steller from 1751, the species was described by Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae of 1758. Named Lutra marina, it underwent numerous name changes before being accepted as Enhydra lutris in 1922; the generic name Enhydra, derives from the Ancient Greek en/εν "in" and hydra/ύδρα "water", meaning "in the water", the Latin word lutris, meaning "otter". The sea otter was sometimes referred to as the "sea beaver", being the marine fur-bearer similar in commercial value to the terrestrial beaver. Rodents are not related to otters, which are carnivorans, it is not to be confused with the marine otter, a rare otter species native to the southern west coast of South America. A number of other otter species, while predominantly living in fresh water, are found in marine coastal habitats.
The extinct sea mink of northeast North America is another mustelid that had adapted to a marine environment. Three subspecies of the sea otter are recognized with distinct geographical distributions. Enhydra lutris lutris, the Asian sea otter, ranges from the Kuril Islands north of Japan to Russia's Commander Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. In the eastern Pacific Ocean, E. l. kenyoni, the northern sea otter, is found from Alaska's Aleutian Islands to Oregon and E. l. nereis, the southern sea otter, is native to central and southern California. The Asian sea otter is the largest subspecies and has a wider skull and shorter nasal bones than both other subspecies. Northern sea otters possess longer mandibles while southern sea otters have longer rostrums and smaller teeth; the sea otter is one of the smallest marine mammal species. Male sea otters weigh 22 to 45 kg and are 1.2 to 1.5 m in length, though specimens up to 54 kg have been recorded. Females are smaller, measuring 1.0 to 1.4 m in length.
For its size, the male otter's baculum is large and bent
HMS Bounty known as HM Armed Vessel Bounty, was a small merchant vessel that the Royal Navy purchased for a botanical mission. The ship was sent to the Pacific Ocean under the command of William Bligh to acquire breadfruit plants and transport them to British possessions in the West Indies; that mission was never completed due to a mutiny led by acting lieutenant Fletcher Christian. This incident is now popularly known as the mutiny on the Bounty; the mutineers burned Bounty while she was moored at Pitcairn Island. An American adventurer rediscovered the remains of the Bounty in 1957. Bounty was the collier Bethia, built in 1784 at the Blaydes shipyard in Hull, Yorkshire in England; the Royal Navy purchased her for £1,950 on 23 May 1787, renamed her Bounty. The ship was small at 215 tons, but had three masts and was full-rigged. After conversion for the breadfruit expedition, she was equipped with four 4-pounder cannon and ten swivel guns; the Royal Navy had purchased Bethia for a single mission in support of an experiment: the acquisition of breadfruit plants from Tahiti, the transportation of those plants to the West Indies in the hope that they would grow well there and become a cheap source of food for slaves.
Sir Joseph Banks had recommended William Bligh as commander. Bligh in turn was promoted through a prize offered by the Royal Society of Arts. In June 1787, the Bounty was refitted at Deptford; the great cabin was converted to house the potted breadfruit plants, gratings were fitted to the upper deck. William Bligh was appointed Commanding Lieutenant of the Bounty on 16 August 1787 at the age of 33, after a career that included a tour as sailing master of James Cook's Resolution during Cook's third and final voyage; the ship's complement was 46 men: a single commissioned officer, 43 other Royal Navy personnel, two civilian botanists. On 23 December 1787, the Bounty sailed from Spithead for Tahiti. For a full month, the crew attempted to take the ship west, around South America's Cape Horn, but adverse weather prevented this. Bligh proceeded east, rounding the southern tip of Africa and crossing the width of the Indian Ocean. During the outward voyage, Bligh demoted Sailing Master John Fryer, replacing him with Fletcher Christian.
This act damaged the relationship between Bligh and Fryer, Fryer claimed that Bligh's act was personal. Bligh is portrayed as the epitome of abusive sailing captains, but this portrayal has come into dispute. Caroline Alexander points out in her 2003 book The Bounty that Bligh was lenient compared with other British naval officers. Bligh enjoyed the patronage of Sir Joseph Banks, a wealthy botanist and influential figure in Britain at the time. That, together with his experience sailing with Cook, familiarity with navigation in the area, local customs were important factors in his appointment; the Bounty reached Tahiti on 26 October 1788, after ten months at sea. Bligh and his crew spent five months in Tahiti called "Otaheite", collecting and preparing 1,015 breadfruit plants to be transported. Bligh allowed the crew to live ashore and care for the potted breadfruit plants, they became socialized to the customs and culture of the Tahitians. Many of the seamen and some of the "young gentlemen" had themselves tattooed in native fashion.
Master's Mate and Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian married a Tahitian woman. Others of the Bounty's warrant officers and seamen were said to have formed "connections" with native women. After five months in Tahiti, the Bounty set sail with her breadfruit cargo on 4 April 1789; some 1,300 miles west of Tahiti, near Tonga, mutiny broke out on 28 April 1789. Despite strong words and threats heard on both sides, the ship was taken bloodlessly and without struggle by any of the loyalists except Bligh himself. Of the 42 men on board aside from Bligh and Christian, 22 joined Christian in mutiny, two were passive, 18 remained loyal to Bligh; the mutineers ordered Bligh, two midshipmen, the surgeon's mate, the ship's clerk into the ship's boat. Several more men voluntarily joined Bligh rather than remain aboard. Bligh and his men sailed the open boat 30 nautical miles to Tofua in search of supplies, but were forced to flee after attacks by hostile natives resulted in the death of one of the men. Bligh undertook an arduous journey to the Dutch settlement of Coupang, located over 3,500 nautical miles from Tofua.
He safely landed there 47 days having lost no men during the voyage except the one killed on Tofua. The mutineers sailed for the island of Tubuai. After three months of bloody conflict with the natives, they returned to Tahiti. Sixteen of the mutineers – including the four loyalists, unable to accompany Bligh – remained there, taking their chances that the Royal Navy would not find them and bring them to justice. HMS Pandora was sent out by the Admiralty in November 1790 in pursuit of the Bounty, to capture the mutineers and bring them back to England to face a court martial, she captured fourteen men within two weeks. The men called their cell "Pandora's box", they remained in their prison until 29 August 1791 when the Pandora was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef with the loss of 35 lives. After setting the sixteen men ashore in Tahiti in September 1789, Fletcher Christian, eight other crewmen, six Tahi