Saturday, 26 November 2011
Genealogy notes Day 7 at Sea & Picton South Island Adventures
Today was an onshore day at Picton at the top end of the South Island. We were greeted by a welcoming committee giving out fresh flower posies and I Love Marlborough badges (that’s the area not the cigarette). The locals run a free shuttle bus into town but it is only about 15 minutes walk from the ship so you could choose – we opted for the shuttle as our legs are starting to complain about all the upstairs/downstairs we are doing on the ship.
As it was Saturday the local Lions Club had their regular market and there were lots of hand crafted jewellery stalls, homemade soaps, wooden crafts and other handicrafts for people to look at. From what I saw, the local craftspeople must welcome the arrival of cruise ships in Picton. I know we did our bit for the local economy and with Christmas coming up, we picked up some nice unusual gifts for family members.
We also wandered up and down the main street looking at the various touristy shops and had a latte on the sidewalk and watched our fellow travellers. As we have been to Picton before, and visited the various museums including the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum (location of the remains of the Edwin Fox, 9th oldest wooden troop ship in the world and even transported convicts to Western Australia) and the local Picton Museum we didn’t go there again. We caught the shuttle back in time to get the buffet lunch on the Lido Deck and we have been eating out on the back deck which is very pleasant and not as noisy as inside.
I haven’t been able to get an internet connection in Picton so the Wellington blog hasn’t gone up yet and neither will this Picton one. However I am taking the opportunity to still write them everyday otherwise it is too big a job at the end. Plus I might forget some of the details and highlights.
This afternoon a fellow UTP cruiser booked an appointment with me and I have had others ask me questions in passing or over coffee or a drink or even out on deck. I find that much preferable than trying to answer people’s questions at tables of eight in busy dining rooms where everyone is shouting to be heard. It’s also easier to talk without trying to eat at the same time.
There were no onshore seminars in Picton so all speakers were free to do the touristy thing.
I gave another talk tonight (there was a good turn up again so they mustn’t be sick of listening to me yet) but as we as we had entered open waters after sailing back through scenic Queen Charlotte Sound there was a bit of a swell. The talk was Behind Bars: Convicts & Criminals (an ambitious talk for just 45 minutes) and there is a version on the Resources page of my website, scroll down to Presentations. Chris Paton followed with his talk on Scottish Land Records which I heard (and reported on ) at the Auckland seminar.
It was South Pacific night at the Casino tonight so I put on the lovely blue flowered top I bought in Noumea last time and went along to get my free raffle tickets. They were offering great prizes and you have to be in it to win it. You also had to be present and what is a bit strange for us Aussies, is that the Casino is a designated smoking area inside the ship.
To get to the Hudson Room where a lot of our genealogy lectures are, you actually pass through the Casino (it is not enclosed) and the smell of smoke can be quite strong depending on how many are smoking. The smoke/smell also doesn’t stay within the Casino and drifts into neighbouring areas including the jewellery and other shops and neighbouring rooms and bars. Given that smoking is banned in all public areas including bus stops etc in Australia, I’m not sure that this smoking inside the ship will be a hit with Aussies. I also wondered if they can still do it once they are within Australian waters or is the ship outside of Australian laws. Yet another question to ask.
Tomorrow is Akaroa and last time we were there we had a delicious seafood chowder so we will be having that for lunch! I’m also a little nervous as we will be meeting my son’s girlfriend’s father and his partner. My son came over to Christchurch with his girlfriend at the beginning of the year and had a great time with them so it seems opportune to also meet them while we are so close to Christchurch.
Amazingly I am not giving any talks tomorrow - Perry will be doing Getting to Know Ireland and Keith is doing Research on the Ground in Ireland which should be interesting. I still plan to visit Ireland myself hopefully in 2013. Without internet there seems little point to be chained to this laptop so I think I will sign off and wander back upstairs and perhaps even take the shuttle back into Picton (oops there goes my secret – I partially write these blogs at various times of the day and then tidy then up when I go online).
Signing off until we connect again!