14th Unlock the Past Cruise: Days 6-8 Friends, Canada, Chainmail and Martinis

Now for the last installment of my Alaska cruise reports. With squirrels, icebergs, seals, an aurora, and a whale already sighted on the trip, who knew what else was to come?

Wednesday – 12 September 2018 (at Sea)
Wednesday was a sea day, which means a whole day of talks scheduled. And as often happens at conference, there were some tough choices to be made as to what to go to. But the eight I made it to were:
– My Ancestor was a 19th Century Goldminer: Don’t Rule it Out (Kae Lewis)
– Begotten by Fornication (Helen Smith)
– Caring for your Family Archives (Shauna Hicks)
– Madness, Mania and Melancholia: The Mental Health of our Ancestors (Janet Few)
– Seven Habits of Highly Effective Genealogists (Pat Richley-Erickson)
– Beyond Just Indexes: Why We Should Check Source Records (Rosemary Kopittke)
– Software Your Never Knew (Ed Thompson)
– Are You Related to Royalty? (Caroline Gurney)

a busy schedule for the day

It was a long day, and a lot to take in, and I admit that by the afternoon I wasn’t taking as many notes as I did in the morning, as weariness had set in. So I must check the speakers handouts for those.

The evening began with a very special presentation by Mia Bennett who represented the Society of Genealogists (London), in presenting Cyndi Ingle with her Prince Michael of Kent Award for her contribution towards genealogy. You can read more about the award and how seriously awesome it is here.

It was a fabulous presentation, and one which had Cyndi and few others shedding a few tears. As it was streamed live on Facebook, you can watch the presentation here if you wish. But I don’t think you’ll find a person that doesn’t agree with the SOG’s choice to give the award to Cyndi. So very well deserved.

Cyndi sheds a a few tears

Cyndi Ingle and Mia Bennett with Cyndi’s award

it really is a gorgeous award

After the evening talk on Are You Related to Royalty? by Caroline Gurney, the evening was spent celebrating with Cyndi and some friends.

celebratory drinks with Caroline Gurney and Cyndi Ingle

me and my roommate, Helen

my new friends Mia Bennett and Helen Pickles

Thursday – 13 September 2018 (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)
Yay, I made it to Canada. For a day. But I got there. Another first. And I even got my passport stamped to prove it!

The day started cool and cloudy, but fined up to a beautiful day. Again I didn’t have any tours booked, so my mum and I caught the shuttle bus into Victoria and just wandered the streets. It’s such a pretty place, so clean and well looked after.

Welcome to Canada

the orca whale garden feature

I found the chocolate shop!

you know you’re in Canada when you see Maple Tea and Maple Coffee

I’m pretty sure we went into every single souvenir shop that place has, along with numerous stores, including the bookshop (of course). But my favourite part was the markets.

One of the sellers was making chainmail, and while it’s not something I’d wear, his creations were stunning. For those interested in this kind of thing, he has pics on his Facebook Page. Anyway I didn’t buy any those, but I did buy a bracelet that he’d made. So now I have bracelets from the US, Indonesia, Germany and Canada! And, yes, I do have a thing for jewellery.

wear it, chainmail-style

add some colour with chainmail

Anyway, back to the report.

The top photograph of two ships was the view I had when coming back from the day in Victoria. Our ship, Royal Caribbean’s ‘Explorer of the Seas’ is on the left, with a Princess ship on the right. It’s always an amazing site to see more than one ship docked together. Particularly when you walk between them.

There was one final talk scheduled for the evening, Maurice Gleeson’s “How I cloned myself after a Couple of Martinis” which is one that needs to be heard if you ever get the chance. It was a great closing talk for the program. After that we had the prizedraw, and the group photos were taken. Then it was back to our rooms to finish packing our bags (if we hadn’t already), then out for a final drink with friends, before we departed back to our various corners of the world.

Maurice Gleeson talks on “how I accidentally cloned myself over a couple of martinis”

(most of) the speakers on the 14th UTP cruise (photo: Evan Lewis)

the group of genealogy bloggers on this cruise (photo: Evan Lewis)

drinks to finish off the cruise

Friday – 14 September 2018 (Seattle, Washington, USA)
Well, that’s it folks. The cruise is over. By 9.30am we were off the ship, collected our luggage and on a bus headed to the airport … ready for the long three-flight-home scenario.

As with all the genealogy cruises I’ve been on, it was a lot of fun, a lot of learning, great places too see, great food onboard, and of course great to catchup with friends, and make new ones.


If you are ever interested in a genealogy cruise, why not check out Unlock the Past cruises, they currently have three cruises that are open for bookings  (Singapore, Mediterranean, and Tasmania). So maybe I’ll see you on a future one?

One Response to “14th Unlock the Past Cruise: Days 6-8 Friends, Canada, Chainmail and Martinis”

  1. GenieJen says:

    Thanks for great pictures. Loved hearing about the cruise.

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