Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Coincidence....I Think Not

This morning I was asked the most random question I’ve heard in a long time: Is your family related to Fletcher Christian of the Bounty?

At first I thought, “OK, what’s the joke?” Then I found out this Fletcher character was a real person and somewhat famous throughout history. After reviewing his history, I became weirded out by some eerie facts of Mr. Fletcher Christian of the Bounty.

First off, Fletcher Christian was born on the same day as I was: September 25. He was born in England and soon became a sailor. He sailed to Jamaica (my honeymoon location) twice with a man named William Bligh. In 1787 a British ship Bounty under Captain William Bligh went on a trade mission to Tahiti. Their mission was to bring in something called Breadfruit for the English. The trip was troubled from the beginning basically because of Bligh's incompetence as a commander (reportedly). He had asked his buddy Fletcher Christian to serve on the crew.

During the trip, Christian was moved up from second mate to 1st mate. By the time the crew arrived in Tahiti, they were totally exhausted. Bligh ordered the crew not to cohabitate with the native women. Many did and didn't want to return to the poverty and harshness of the English people. Christian fell in love with the daughter of the Tahitian chief who became pregnant with Christian's child. They named their child Thursday October Christian (good way to remember your kids birthday), who is the ancestor of almost everybody surnamed Christian on the Pitcairn and Norfolk Islands, as well as the many descendants who moved to Australia and New Zealand. Fletcher was rumored to have either died on the island or escaped back to England.

Hollywood has made a few films depicting the most famous mutiny in history. One of which was Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), which won the Oscar for Best Picture that year. It starred Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh and Clark Gable as Christian.

I dont' know if I'm really related to this Flecther character, but this was just too weird to not write about today. I’m just waiting for Robert Stack's ghost to slowly walk out of a foggy alley wearing his brown trench coat saying, in his resonating monotone voice, “Join me for an intriguing edition of 'Unsolved Mysteries'."