Tall Ships: History meets Hollywood aboard the Bounty

05/06/2012 12:00 PM |

HMS Bounty is the movie star of this Memorial Day weekend’s Tall Ships Challenge and the only ship that claims Greenport as its homeport.

HMS Bounty was inspired by the original Bounty, a royal British naval vessel best known for the 1789 mutiny led by Fletcher Christian and several others. The mutiny ended badly for commanding officer William Bligh and those loyal to him, who were set afloat in a small boat in the South Pacific 1,300 miles west of Tahiti.

The Bounty replica, which will be present at the tall ships event, was built in Nova Scotia in 1960 for the 1962 movie “Mutiny on the Bounty,” starring Marlon Brando, and has since traveled the seas as a teaching vessel.

The ship called St. Petersburg, Fla., home as a tourist attraction until MGM studios sold its film library, and the Bounty, to Ted Turner in 1986. During Mr. Turner’s ownership the ship appeared in the Charlton Heston film “Treasure Island” in 1989.

In 1993 Mr. Turner donated the Bounty to the Fall River Chamber Foundation in Massachusetts. That group sold the Bounty in 2001 to the HMS Bounty Organization, which operates sail training programs, an at-sea summer camp and dockside education program.

HMS Bounty has also been featured in several documentaries and made an appearance as the Edinburgh trader in the 2006 film “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” with Johnny Depp.

The ship underwent extensive renovation in 2006-07 in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and completed its third trip to Europe by 2011.

It’s last visit to Greenport came two years ago when the ship hosted an on-board fundraiser for Eastern Long Island Hospital.

The previous year, 2010, HMS Bounty sailed all five of the Great Lakes as part of the American Sail Training Association’s Tall Ships Challenge.

Following the Memorial Day event in Greenport, HMS Bounty can be seen in Port Jefferson from June 29 through July 1.

gvolpe@timesreview.com

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