Another family going down under

Around 1930, travel writer Erling Tambs, like Ross, took his family to Australasia. Their trip was more spectacular, but remained an isolated case.

Erling Tambs’ big sailing trip is the stuff that publications like Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung were made for. Departing from their native Norway in 1928, Tambs and his wife Julie arrived in New Zealand in 1930 with their son Antonio, who had been born en route in Las Palmas. “A European child who has strolled under the palm trees of Tahiti, of Samoa, who will grow up without an unquenched longing for the South Sea”, the anonymous writer for the weekly rhapsodizes. Both the text and the photographs present a mixture of wholesomeness (a dog! a baby in a sombrero!) and excitement (a shark! danger of scurvy!) not unlike the reporting on traveling with his family that Ross delivered.

Another similarity, the article notes, is that Tambs partially financed his trip with a big advance from a newspaper for which he reported along the way. He also fashioned this and subsequent sailing adventures into a number of books, but his travel writing career didn’t approach the longevity or intensity of Ross’s.

Joachim Schätz

Anonymous. Ein Baby Weltumsegler. Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung: 1932 Mar 27; cover page, 348–9.

Topic: The Ross Family
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30

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