Belfast Telegraph

Tall Ships: On the gangplank walked by Brando and Captain Jack

If you didn't know your foc'sle from your foresail or your spindle from your spinnaker, you certainly will by the time the Tall Ships leave Belfast.

One of the highlights for many visitors has been the opportunity to hop aboard many of the vessels pulled up alongside Belfast's quays.

Among them was The Bounty, a replica of the vessel once captained by the tyrannical William Bligh and which in 1789 became the setting of one of the most infamous ocean mutinies of all time.

The vessel, now moored at Clarendon Dock, is a star in itself as it became the set for the hit 1962 Hollywood movie Mutiny On The Bounty starring Marlon Brando.

Latterly it has also starred in one of the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, with Captain Jack Sparrow, aka Johnny Depp, among the famous footsteps to tread its boards.

For the more modern set of crew members it has also been home for the duration of the Tall Ships race, including Canadian carpenter Mitchell Mallen who bagged a volunteer's place aboard the vessel.

“I was lucky to get a place, it was a real lottery. This is the real life. I grew up quite inland near small lakes where you would take out tiny little boats,” he said.

“This is my first introduction to the ocean. There are no words to describe it, it's just amazing.

“I didn't realise the story behind the ship until I started sailing with them.”

Life is still far from easy for crew members. There is little space or light and cabins and sleeping quarters are Spartan, to say the least.

Yet it is a lifestyle which has it appeals, not just for the freedom and chance to explore, but for the camaraderie with others.

“It's the only ship for me, the others I have sailed in have never quite agreed with me as much as The Bounty,” another crew member remarked.


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Quick links

For more Tall Ships news go to

Event Map: What's on and where to find it

Order the programme here

For more information log onto


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