Saturday, 3 December 2011

Unlock the Past 2nd Cruise: Milford Sound

Today (well actually a few days ago but due to the restricted internet on the ship I am behind in my blogging) we cruised along Dusty Sound then into Doubtful Sound then Milford Sound.


I have been to Doubtful Sound a number of years ago (originally then the plan was to visit Milford Sound but an avalanche had closed the access tunnel) during a bus tour after a conference. It was interesting this time to do it from the sea.


Perry McIntyre spoke on the 19th Century Irish Landscapes which was very interesting. It is so important for anyone who is researching people, rather than just names and dates, to be aware of the geographic area of our ancestors which has an impact on their lives.


Jan Gow then spoke on New Zealand BDM records online. I don't have any New Zealand research (apart from following one Quested family that settled there and most of the work on that family has been done) but it is always interesting to hear how sites are set up.


In the afternoon session I was scheduled to talk on Researching UK Archives and Shauna Hicks was scheduled to talk on Google your Family Tree.

However the time the Volendam was  to be in Milford Sound was the same time as our scheduled presentations. Needless to say, our talks were rescheduled as Milford Sound would obviously be the premiere attraction!

And when you look at the image, could there be any doubt?

I sat most of the day glued to the window watching the majestic scenery. In fact I was so busy watching that I took very few photos! I did venture on deck but it was quite cold and I returned to watch in comfort with a large cup of chai latte. 

We are in quite a large ship yet the steep cliffs tower over the vessel. There were some small boats cruising the Sound as well and the view from them must be awe inspiring! I didn't see any animals but did see a number of birds.


That evening we were given a wonderful presentation by Chris Paton on  Scottish Weavers. Chris did a dissertation on the hand-loom weaving community in Perth, Scotland 1770-1845 as part of his Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical Studies. The depth of knowledge and sheer passion for the subject shines through in his presentation and in the stories of the people and the records he shared. If you ever get a chance to hear Chris talk, run don't walk for the opportunity!



Then we left the Sounds on our way across the Tasman to Burnie which is on the top of Tasmania.  This did mean two wonderful days at sea which means a full conference program about which more in the next entry.



I can't leave you without some comment on some things about the ship. Each night I am greeted on entry to my cabin by another towel creation.

Each day the crew let us know the day by changing the mats in the lifts. Without this reminder it would be very easy to forget the day unless of course you are attending family history presentations and earnestly waiting on each new days talks!