We got up at the crack of dawn to hear Chris Paton speak on ‘The Godly Commonwealth’. Unfortunately Chris did not get up quite so early, having had an alarm clock malfunction when moving to a new time zone. Nonetheless, the session was well worth waiting for. I give my penultimate talk on emigration from North Devon in ‘Celebrity Central’. This was followed by ‘Using Manorial and Parochial Records’ from Caroline Gurney and the story of Miss Monk’s ‘bride ships’ from Tricia Fairweather.
After lunch, my final session and Mistress Agnes made an appearance once again, extolling the delights of life in the seventeenth century. The day was not yet over. Chris Paton again, on ‘Irish Land Records’, Paul Milner speaking about ‘Maps and Gazetteers’ and then Cyndi Ingle encouraging us to ‘Build a Digital Research Plan’. After our final evening meal, we foregathered in the Sky Observation Lounge to hear Carol Becker’s hilarious ‘So you are married to a Genealogist’. Then it was time for sad goodbyes. Most of the others will meet again on future cruises but sadly we are unlikely to be able to travel to Australia to start another UTP event.
On Saturday morning we played our very last game of ‘Guess the Lift’ and wait in the Eclipse Theatre for our disembarkation slot. The gangplank is on deck 5. At one point the Australian announcer suggests that a group head to deck 15, then realises her mistake. We have visions of people leaping on to the quay from deck 15 but she hastily corrects herself. ‘I don’t mean deck 15, there is no gangplank on deck 15, please don’t go to deck 15’ she pleads. We wonder how many tourists are still aimlessly wandering around deck 15 looking for a way out.
There are the inevitable issues as Chris tries to reclaim his confiscated equipment. He lacks the required receipt therefore the box has not left the ship and there is a distinct lack of security persons who can fetch it for him. As Chris has been officially disembarked there seems no way he is going to be allowed to return to fetch the box himself. The wait does give me a chance to use Southampton Port’s free wifi and download over 1000 emails. It has been a great trip. I have visited seven countries, listened to 46 lectures, drunk several gallons of coffee and made some amazing new friends. I also proved that I can go internet free (you can scarcely count half an hour’s limited access at Vasa Museum) for two weeks and survive.