The Bundy Family Cruise to Fiji - in 1975!
This is the story of how Geoff Bundy sailed with his wife and family to take up an appointment near Fiji in 1975. It took a year and 11 days. In the days before GPS, satellite communications or any other form of electronic gizmo, he and Jan set off with 2 year old Morwenna in the 52ft ketch Spellbound II, with friend Carol and her six year old son Jan.
They were joined for the Atlantic and Pacific crossings by another friend. Six weeks before departure from Dartmouth, Jan realised she was pregnant. This did not deter them. Nor were they deterred when, 8 days out from La Palma, a major fault developed with the engine (a cracked piston casing). They decided to continue engineless which meant sometime was spent in the doldrums, and the trade winds didn’t blow until 7 days out from Barbados. On December 27th, their 23rd day at sea, a small sloop, the first boat they had seen, veered off course to greet them. “Had a nice Christmas?”. “Not bad. Quite Quiet really” was their reply. By New Year's day their 28th day at sea, still no wind, a big Atlantic swell and they sighted a merchant shipping vessel whose crew, after hailing them and seeing there were children on board, came alongside (a fearsome maneouvre in the enormous glassy swell) and filled their water tanks, gave sweets and fruit and a copy of the astronomical tables for the new year which, in those days, were needed for the daily astronav calculations! They promised to order an engine part to be sent on to Barbados!
The Bundys made landfall at Barbados, after 36 engineless days at sea, and stayed with the HPO for the birth of Eugene, making sure, prior to the birth, that they followed in the steps of the intrepid Eric and Susan Hiscock, by sailing up the Windward Islands and into English Harbour.
After waiting in Grenada for a self steering vane they set off again, this time with a new born as well as a toddler, (Jan recommended the trailing of nappies astern as the best form of washing machine), passing through the Panama Canal and crossing the Pacific visiting the Galapagos, the remote Tuamotu archipelago and various South Sea Islands. In the seventies, a sole white European male, with a crew of two women, one small boy and two blond tiny tots was an extreme and puzzling rarity!