Of all remote places on this planet, to me, one of the most fascinating and most intriguing has always been Pitcairn Island (IOTA OC-044). This tiny island in the southern Pacific Ocean has quite a remarkable history, and probably few places speak to the imagination as much as Pitcairn does. The island was settled in 1790 by the British mutineers of the HMS Bounty and the Polynesian men and women that accompanied them, an event retold in numerous books and films since, and therefore still well known today worldwide as the famous Mutiny on the Bounty.
Pitcairn forms the last remaining British Overseas Territory in the Pacific and actually is a group of four islands; Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno. Pitcairn Island, the second largest of the group, measuring about 4 km from west to east, is the only inhabited one. Adamstown, called after John Adams, one of the Bounty mutineers, is the capital and only settlement on the island. The entire population of Pitcairn lives in the capital and counts about 50. The HMS Bounty was set to fire by the mutineers and its wreckage still can be found today at the bottom of Pitcairn's Bounty Bay, where in 1957 it was discovered by an explorer of National Geographic. Pitcairn Island can only be reached by boat.
|Tom Christian (1935-2013) (source)|
|QSL card from Tom Christian from the collection of Jeff Murray K1NSS. Photo courtesy of Jeff Murray.|
Above you can see a photo of a QSL card from Tom Christian from the collection of Jeff Murray. It's lying on top of a copy of the book The Bounty Trilogy. Jeff did not contact Christian himself but found the QSL card in a collection he purchased at a local flea market. The card is a very interesting piece of ham radio history indeed, and definitely is a wonderful keepsake!
|Tom Christian in his shack in 1988 (source)|
|Article by Michiel Schaay in Radio Amateur Magazine nr. 104 of September 1989. If you look closely on the map on the southern part of the island you will find the location of the radio station.|
An interesting story dealing with the history of wireless stations on Pitcairn can be found here on the blog of Shortwave Central.