From Sunday 15th April through to 29th April I'll be mostly offline as I take some leave to visit Pitcairn Island, one of the remotest inhabited islands with a population of about 50 people.
My first stop is flying from New Zealand to Tahiti where I spend a couple of days, then I fly to Mangareva on the 17th to board the Xplore sailing yacht for the approximately two day trip to Pitcairn. I spend a couple of days on the island itself, then return on the Xplore back to Mangareva, followed by flying back to Tahiti for a few more days.
The trip was easy to organise through Pitcairn Travel. Longer trips are available than the one I'm taking but none are scheduled at this time of year. Assuming this trip goes well I hope to go for longer, and maybe to the other Islands in the Pitcairn group, in the future.
Why Pitcairn? Pitcairn is the island that was settled by the Bounty mutineers. My grandmother was born on the island and through her I'm a descendant of three mutineers (Fletcher Christian, John Mills, Ned Young and their Tahitian wives are my sixth great grandparents). I'm looking forward to visiting the Bounty monument in Tahiti and the Bounty plaque on Pitcairn.
Electricity is available on Pitcairn for about 10 hours per day which limits laptop/gadget usage time. Luckily I plan to spend as much time as possible exploring the island, weather permitting.
I'll have internet access while in Tahiti but I suspect access to be a bit hit or miss on Pitcairn. In the past internet access was available by sharing satellite internet that was provided by a United States Geologic Survey station on the island. A description of the setup is available here.
Later the Pitcairn Island Government arranged their own satellite internet capability. Recently speeds have been improved to 512 kilobits per second - shared amongst the approximately 50 people on the island. Costs for residents of the island are around $40 per 400MB of usage from what I hear. I would imagine that if someone wanted to regularly access the internet there for work they'd require a dedicated satellite internet connection just for that (Something like Pactel's VSAT internet maybe). I'll be sure to do a later post on what using the modern web is like in this part of the world.
Anyone in the area of Tahiti, Mangareva or Pitcairn, let me know, I'd be keen to meet.