5th Unlock the Past Cruise – One Thing Crossed Off my Bucket List

Life works better for a blogger when with internet. Due to the lack on internet on the ship it prevented me from reporting as I went, so now that I’m back on land, I have some catch-up posts to do. As I’m not reliant on dodgy internet now, I can write a bit more about each day. So I apologise for my short reports earlier, but it was simply a case of getting it up in the time (and internet) I had available.

Anyway so far I have told you about my pre-cruise days, the day we left, and the first few after that, and  our journey has taken us up the east coast of the UK, over the top around the Scottish islands, and now  we come down on the west coast. Our next stop was on the tiny island called Mull, which is one of the islands in the Hebrides in Scotland, so let me start by telling you all about that!

5th cruise map

This was our fourth stop out of eight places on this cruise, and as I visit each place I try and think of at least one thing that I’m going to remember it by. On Tobermory that was easy, it was the coloured buildings. These multi-storey high buildings are on what I understand to be Tobermory’s main road, which sits on the shore line and bay, which being horseshoe shaped it quite a sight seeing them as we made it to shore.

Anyway I headed off the ship along with my mum and dad , so we handed the guy on the ship our seapass cards to swipe which advises their system that we have disembarked. And this time we were tendered ashore, as our ship couldn’t come all the way into the port, so the ship’s lifeboats ferried people to and from the ship to shore and back all day. It was another  gorgeous blue sky, hot day – so apparently Scotland can get hot weather (who knew!). Dad found an internet cafe in a bakery and parked himself there, and as much as I also wanted internet, I also wanted to wander and shop – and surprisingly wandering around actually won out. So below are a few pics from my few hours on Tobermory.

each day we get a newsletter delivered to our cabin with details of the next day's happenings. Here's the one for Tobermory.

each day we get a newsletter delivered to our cabin with details of the next day’s happenings. Here’s the one for Tobermory.

view of our ship at the Isle of Mull

the Marco Polo ship docked at the Isle of Mull

Tobermory, Isle of Mull

Tobermory, Isle of Mull – very tall buildings and very steep roads

Tobermory, Isle of Mull

Tobermory, Isle of Mull

As far as the conference aspect of the cruise goes, there were eight talks scheduled for the afternoon and evening (in two streams). From those I had three chosen that i’d go to, but ended up with just two. The first one in the afternoon was Jackie Depelle’s talk on Family Historian – as I still need to get my head around the program more before I finally take the leap of swapping from Legacy. However I didn’t get to that talk, as it was actually cancelled as Jackie was out on a tour which got back late so that didn’t work out which was a shame, but I’ll persevere with learning it when I get time anyway.

Next up it was Lesley Silvester talking about the Quarter Sessions, which covered a short history of them, what they are, and where to find them … which was all very fascinating and I must utilise these record more in my research.

The last session I attended for the day was Jackie Depelle’s talk on Family history resources before 1837. Here she talked about records beyond the usual ones. Those such as: Church records (and be sure to use their catalogues), marriage bonds and allegations, other Parish chest records, Wills, Death duty registers, Chancery records, Alumni records, Deeds registers, Heath tax records, Manorial records, Fire insurance records, and of course wills … the list of potential records is endless. The trick is knowing about them, and then tracking down what exists where – but that’s all part of genealogy isn’t it!

Dublin was fun – well apart from the crazy busdrivers who seriously only miss a person or lightpole by about 1 centimetre when they turn corners – still Dublin was fun, because I had two things on my “wish list” for the trip, and making it to Trinity College Library was one of them … and I got there!!!

Anyway back to the beginning of the day, the Marco Polo docked at a shipyard as we often do on ships, and were then bus-ed into Dublin city. I went in with my good friend Helen, and we were escorting a small group of the Unlock the Past geneacruisers to the National Library of Ireland as they were off to hear a talk from Carmel Gilbride who is the head researcher at Eneclann talk about the Irish records, you can read more about that in their newsletter.

After that Helen and I found a cafe with food and internet and parked there for a while, before heading off to Trinity College Library. While there we saw the Book of Kells, which if you don’t know the significance of, check out Wikipedia’s description and pics – as visitors are forbidden to take pictures of it, then it was on to the “Long Room” of the Library. That’s the one I really wanted to see … and YES it really is as breathtaking as it looks. And the smell of old books hits you as soon a you walk in. It really is booklovers heaven.

Trinity College Archive, Dublin

Trinity College Library, Dublin

staircase at Trinity College Library

staircase at Trinity College Library

Helen as close as she can get to the books at Trinity College Library

Helen as close as she can get to the books at Trinity College Library

After a day in Dublin, our ship left port at 7pm, and because of the later departure there was only two talks scheduled. One by Lisa Louise Cook on Genealogy on the go with iPads and Tablets, and the other was Mike Murray talking on How to make your online searching more effective. Both would have been good to go to but as they were on at the same time, and while having two me’s would be handy, I have no doubt that it would scare the world, so I ended up choosing Lisa’s talk, and I guarantee that EVERYONE who went to her talk learnt something.

Now I admit I don’t as yet have an iPad or tablet. I do however have an iPod Touch which I have put a number of genie apps on it. Anyway she listed a heap of her favourite apps, and broke them down into groups:
– Genealogy
– Reading
– Audio/Visual
– Location Based
– Education
– Organisation & Storage
– Collaboration
– History & Genealogy

Genealogy involves far more than something with the word “genealogy” or “family history” in the title. And there are all these apps out there which can be used – recording apps, photo apps, sharing apps, history apps and so on.

The one key thing that she mentioned is that “APPS AREN’T EXACT COPIES OF YOUR PROGRAMS”, so don’t expect them to work the same, and don’t think your tablet will work exactly the way your computer does either. Lisa says you need to get a “TABLET MINDSET”. She gave an example of a fax machine. People used to send faxes – pop it on the machine, hit the send button, and then the message was sent. Now people send emails. These contain the same content as we would have faxed, but it is being sent in a different way. They same goes for computers & tablets.

She mentioned education in her list. She stresses that you NEED to continually educate yourself, be it via YouTube, Magazines, Podcasts – all of which can be done from your tablet. Or reading genie books, going to meetings etc., or taking a course. You need to keep up with whats new and available to HELP you with your research. So it pays to stay informed.

So after a trip to Dublin, then listening to Lisa’s talk, and the continued gorgeous fine sunny weather, it was another fabulous day on the 5th Unlock the Past cruise.

I know that I have reported on the 5th cruise a lot already, but please bear with me, as I still have another 3 days left to write about … and in that time there was certainly more genealogy learning, more touristing, more sunshine and more fun!

One Response to “5th Unlock the Past Cruise – One Thing Crossed Off my Bucket List”

  1. Alona,

    Thanks for the wonderful details of the cruise in this and your other posts. Sounds like a fantastic time. I hope lots of people are reading these and are getting the urge to GeneaCruise.

    You did mention in this post that you’re planning to change from Legacy to Family Historian. I looked in your past posts but you only seemed to mention this once before In your May 18, 2013 post. I’m curious about your reasons for wanting to switch and what features you feel you need in a program that FH gives you. Maybe the topic of a future post?


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