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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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Some of you may know MGM's tallship Bounty used to be docked at the St. Petersburg, Florida pier, where it was a popular tourist attraction for many years. The ship left the pier around 1998 and went to Maine for repairs, but the owners ran out of money and the ship was sold. The pier's management told me today that the ship's new owners are again restoring the vessel and the city's Chamber of Commerce is hoping to have it back in St. Petersburg next January. What a wonderful way to celebrate the New Year!

K

Mr. Christian! Thanks for that info. The whole Bounty Mutiny is very tiki, in the escapist sort of way. Probably my fav story. Thanks for letting me know this. i knew it used to be there, but hadn't come south in a few years. The Amistad repro was here in Miami, but I missed it, arghh!

I gotta email you, Kailuageoff, my car is in the shop, and I'm praying to the tikis they don't steal my rearview mirror puffer light!!

T

As corny as it may seem, the newer Bounty film with Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson is one of my favourites.

Wow, I didn't know that the Bounty had left. I truly hope that she is returned to her mooring in St Pete. Somewhere I still have a palm sized cast iron cannon from her gift shop.
Its bad enough they tore down Tiki Gardens.
TG

I love all three of the Bounty films (that I know about) Gibson, Brando and Gable. The reason I called the Pier is I found this wonderful boxed soundtrack album from the Brando film that came with a fully-illustrated book on the making of the movie. Unfortunately, I never went to the ship when she was here. My only other relic is a postcard of the ship, so I am totally jealous that Tikigardner has a cannon (and obviously went there when they had the gift shop and Tahitian village.) Tell us more about your recollections Mr. Tikigardener...

I was just a wee lad at the time, but I do remember she was quite impressive in the Florida sun. I remember going on the tour that went down into her hold, I seem to remember a brig, with some hapless prisoners, and vaguley remember picking out the cannon. You're every childhood dream of being a pirate could be fulfilled running around The Bounty.
Tg

Here's a Bounty movie I haven't seen, but want to: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1528914220

TM

The "HMS Bounty" which was used in the Mel Gibson ,Anthony Hopkins film, was built in New Zealand. It's home now is Sydney,Australia, where on any day you can see her sailing on Sydney Harbour,mingling with ferries ,yachts & pleasure craft.They have a least one 'lunch-cruise' a day I think.When not sailing,the ship is usually berthed near Circular Quay,just north of the International Terminal. This ship also doubled as Captain Cook's "Endeavour" in a TV Miniseries about Captain James Cook.

You can still sail to Catalina Island to the Isthmus and find the bar that was once "Christian's Hut", with original renderings of "The Goof" on the wall (Book of Tiki, p.133).
The New York Trader Vic's used to have a giant 40 foot outrigger from the Brando "Bounty", in the basement of he Plaza Hotel.

If you go to Catalina (two harbors), check out the pen & inks in the bar. Those have to be worth a buck! they also have several photos of the original sets. I tried to talk em' into letting me have one when I re-did or fixed up the ceiling to compensate for "Toatal Bordom!!" It's a cool place in the summer but it's worse than a ghost town in the winter.

BigBro,
I forgot the offiical name of the bar, but, it's the only bar there. It's actualy worth the trip. There are a lot of old movie pics on the walls throughout the place from when they filmed there. They built the whole town back then as a movie set. Talk to some of the locals (I think there is only 1 who lives there full time) and they will fill you in on the past history of the place. The boat goes there once a week so I suggest go to Avalon and go from there. I hitched a ride back to Avalon in the back of a truck. It was cool to see the "out back" of Catalina. Said Aloha to a few buffalo too. For you exrcise buff's, bring your mtn bike and ride the road from Avalon, spend the night in Two/Twin Harbors. Saw a lot of mtn. bikers. Watch out for the patties though. Or, if you don't feel like going at all, stop by the store and I have pics of the place. I need a new computer and a scanner!!!

while youre looking for the Bounty in St. Pete, check out the newly-reopened SUNKEN GARDENS.

They are still rennovating it, but that gardens themselves are open and verrrrry cool.

The HMS Bounty in Los Angeles is a great nautical-themed bar. Not Tiki, but a ton of fun and still has a great '60s feel... y'know, while we're on the topic of all things Bounty-related.

If we're gonna go into Nautical theme land, I suggest the Tripoli on the corner of Clinton and Atlantic in Brooklyn. Libyan cuisine. Never ate there, but it was done up as the interior of an 19th century sailing ship.
TG
http://www.exotic-tiki-gardens.com

The Bounty of St. Petersburg was a member of Trander Franks' "Five of Florida's Finest" marketing group. A photo of Frank on the Bounty is on the "community" page of our web site.

Lono
http://www.tikigardens.com

Just got back from a weekend in St. Petersburg with my in-laws. While there we drove by the Pier and noticed two tall ships docked nearby. One of them was the HMS Bounty!
I was very surprised because I knew the ship was to return to St. Pete next January after years of absence. Marian and I even had loose plans to go over and see it when it returned. I asked one of the crew if they had arrived early and he said, "no". He told me they had docked two days ago on their way to New Orleans and were leaving the next day. He said the ship would return to St. Pete in January as scheduled.
Unfortunately, the ship looked horrible. The decks and hull were very weathered and neglected. This was disapointing because I had read the ship was being refitted in Maine before sailing to Flordia. Obviously, she is still a work in progress, however. I also saw a sign that said they were looking for people to work aboard, and seeking financial donantions.
Perhaps after we get our tiki raised at Tiki Gardens, we should consider a fund raiser for the HMS Bounty. It would be a damn shame if they couldn't keep this tiki-related vessel afloat.
I also want to mention two other pleasant experiences we had this weekend. First, we went to a Florida vintage and collectibles show at the old Gulfport Casino. They had lots of cool retro stuff and we managed to score two Westwood mugs and an Orchids of Hawaii scorpion bowl (the brown one with masks on the side). One vendor had six of the old Bali Hai mugs and a set of Bali Hai Salt & Pepper shakers. He wanted $50 each for the mugs, and $45 for the shaker set. These prices seemed kind of high to us.
The second thing is, we ran into Chris Holland who we had not seen since the Hukilau in Atlanta. He was moving to Houston the following day (though not sailing on the Bounty), so it was nice to have a chance to reconnect and wish him luck. He's hoping he'll make it to the Hukilau next summer.

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff 2006-03-21 18:50 ]

Last night on TCM they showed a newsreel from 1962 of the HMS (MGM) Bounty sailing from Nova Scotia to Seattle (I think) for the World's Fair and then to San Francisco before heading to Tahiti for the filming of Mutiny on The Bounty. I missed the first part, but what I saw was very charming. Picture the Bounty sailing by the Golden Gate... pretty nifty. Aterwards they showed the Brando film.
I think the Bounty is now in St. Pete. Anyone over on the west coast (of Florida) should check it out. I believe they are doing day sails. Man, I wish I could go do that, but I have to make a quick trip to Delaware this week to see my in-laws.

The book "Rascals in Paradise" by Michner has a couple Captain Bligh stories other than his Bounty experience. That Captain was no stranger to mutinies. I have not seen Brando as Bligh, but Hopkins as Bligh was intense. I can't imagine being stuck on a boat with a hothead like that. I would be hanging from the yardarm for sure.
"Damn my wretched hide"
chongolio

D

Few have seen Brando as Bligh, since he played Fletcher Christian in the 1962 "Mutiny on the Bounty."

How do TCers feel about the whole Bounty debacle? Has anyone ever been to Pitcairn? Can you get breadfruit here on the mainland? Do we know who bought those Bligh artifacts in that auction last year?

Hey Danetiki,
You could be into Witco tiki as well as Witco Viking.:)
I read the Norman and Hall books on the Mutiny this summer. I think the whole story is completely mind-blowing. The mutiny is just part of it. In my opinion, things don't get really interesting until the mutineers start making liquor from Ti plants on Pitcairn and become a bunch of raging demons. I say to hell with the Breadfruit, I'd like to try some of that Ti-ki liquor.

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff 2006-03-21 17:59 ]

Thanks for the Brando correction DT. I forgot that Brando was once young and could pass himself off as a strapping young lad. Raging Demons on ti-ki juice! That sounds like a good read. I was kind of curious myself as to what transpired on Pitcairn after the mutineers hunkered down. What were the titles of those books?

Chongolio

Mutiny on the Bounty (the trip to Tahiti and the mutiny on the way home), Men Against the Sea, (how Bligh and his men survived on the open sea), Pitcairn Island (what happened to the mutineers and their Polynesian lovers and friends, including Christian, after they left Tahiti). Although there are other books on the mutiny, these were best sellers when written in the early 1930's and contributed to the birth of Polynesian pop culture. They were written by James Nordoff and Charles Norman Hall, and are available seperately or in a single volume. I found multiple copies in a local used book store.

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff 2006-03-21 18:00 ]

I am resurrecting this old thread because Marian and I finally had the opportunity to set foot aboard the legendary MGM Bounty earlier this month when we were checking out the site of the old Trader Vics in St. Pete. (Maybe this should be moved to Locating Tiki, however.) It was nice to see the ship all cleaned up and in good repair. The crew told us it had just been used in filming Pirates of Carribean II.

I have to say seeing this ship moored next to the wacky upside pyramid building on the end of the St. Pier is really fantastic.

Our idea for next year's East Coast Tiki Revival is to stay at the hotel where Vics was (see my other thread on Vic's St. Pete) and to charter the Bounty for a day sail. Walking the decks of a ship built and sailed in one of the most classic of all Polynesian movies of the tiki era, and that actually sailed to Tahiti for the filming, is kind of mind-blowing so I am sure being aboard her while under sail will be even better.

Here are the pics...


Captain's cabin


Aloha,
Captain KailuaGeoff

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff 2006-03-22 03:58 ]

Just to give a bit more context to the photos above, here are pics from a few ebay listings depicting Bounty memorabilia...

First the brochure of the tourist attraction

An advertisement and a publicity photo;

The wheel on MGM's Bounty is the same one used in the Gable and Brando films. How cool is it to grasp this with your own hands? Very cool.

A couple more..

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff 2006-03-21 18:47 ]

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff 2006-03-22 05:34 ]

S

You should ask Kern or Dave at the Mai Kai what's up. The story I was told was that the rigging in the Molokai wa sfrom this very ship. I wonder what's the truth.

Man. I'd love to be on that cruise! Give me a year to plan for it though...

HL

The ship got a big write up earlier in the year when it was revealed that it was used to film exterior scenes for a porn movie.

http://www.stpetetimes.com/2006/01/18/Tampabay/Yo_ho__yo_ho__oh_no.shtml

I choose to believe the ship was simply engaging in creative anachronism echoing the amorous exploits of its crew and their Tahitian hosts.

[ Edited by: Kailuageoff 2006-03-22 14:30 ]

Sail back to England on a cramped ship, being tossed about by the water and running out of food, or move to paradise. Who wouldn't.

I'm glad the ship is still with us and, yes, it does still have that certain spark.

I enjoyed reading this thread. Anyone that enjoyed any of the Bounty films I would reccommend checking out "Son of Fury". A black and white film from old Hollywood with Tyrone Power jumping ship and swimming to a Polynesian island with Gene Tierney as the native girl. A dated swashbuckler to be sure but I enjoyed it.

Great thread, KG! Magnificent ship, really. (Her original name was "Bethia")

I also thought the Gibson/Hopkins "MOB" was a splendid version -- if only it had a symphonic score instead of a synthesized one (no offense to Vangelis).

And "Son of Fury" in every Polynesiac's film library!

Cheers

[ Edited by: Son-of-Kelbo 2007-03-26 11:21 ]

The Bounty's in Victoria, BC right now (hear that Tikiwahine?). It's going on to Tacoma, San Francisco, LA, San Diego and Hawaii - the full schedule is here. I'm watching the DVD of the '62 Mutiny On The Bounty right now (I'm taking an extended intermission) and loving it lots. The 2 disc edition has lots of bonus features, mostly about the construction of the replica ship (in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia) and all the places it toured. Here's some screen caps:


In Victoria harbor


In Seattle - docked next to the Polynesia Restaurant (more pix here)


At the New York World's Fair 1964. At the fair they built a "Tahitian village" for it:


Outrigger also built for use in the film


-Sweet Daddy T.
Because crap doesn't buy itself.

blog

[ Edited by: Sweet Daddy Tiki 2008-06-29 00:23 ]

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