June 1, 2015

1623 UNITED KINGDOM (Pitcairn Islands) - Adamstown, the smallest capital in the world

The Pitcairn Islands, the last British Overseas Territory in the Pacific, are a group of four islands, of which only Pitcairn, the second largest, is inhabited, by the 56 descendants of the Bounty mutineers and the Tahitians (or Polynesians) who accompanied them. All the residents are Seventh-day Adventist, due to a successful mission in the 1890s, and live in a single settlement, Adamstown. Actually it is where most residents eat and sleep, while they grow food in other areas of the island. The hamlet currently holds the record for being the smallest capital in the world. It has access to television, satellite internet, and a telephone. The main means of communication is still the ham radio. According to Google Maps, the only named road in the capital is called "The Hill of Difficulties".

Pitcairn Island doesn't have an airport (nor airstrip) or seaport; the islanders rely on longboats to ferry people and goods between visiting ships and shore through Bounty Bay. The island has one shallow harbour with a launch ramp only accessible by small longboats. A dedicated passenger/cargo supply ship chartered by the Pitcairn Island Government, the MV Claymore II, is the principal transport from Mangareva, Gambier Islands, French Polynesia although passage can also be booked through Pitcairn Travel, Pitcairn's locally owned tour operators who charter the SV Xplore, owned by Stephen Wilkins, which also departs from Mangareva.

About the stamps

The stamp, depicting HMS Pelican, belongs to the first part of the series Royal Navy Visitors, about which I wrote here.

Adamstown, Pitcairn Islands - Wikipedia

Sender: Pitcairn Islands Philatelic Bureau
sent from Adamstown (Pitcairn Islands), on 29.01.2015

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