As we are going from Europe to the US on this ship, I am thinking about my ancestors, who all came to the new world on ships too. Obviously, my journey is so much different than theirs, but I feel a certain sense of connection to them as we traverse the great ocean.
My Greek grandfather is the last of my relatives to make it to the New World. He arrived in 1911, after about a two-week journey. He came by himself, to meet his brother who had already immigrated. While we heard stories about his life in Greece before he came here, and some stories about when he arrived in New York, I don’t remember him ever talking about the journey itself. I have, however, been able to find the passenger manifest from his voyage in the Ellis Island records.
The only other ancestor that I have details about is my great grandmother, who arrived in New York State by sled from Canada. Her ancestors made the journey from Scotland to Canada at some point, but I don’t have those details.
I think about my Irish ancestors, who left their country in the mid-1800’s to come to the US. The stories of the ships that took Irish immigrants across the ocean at that time are horrifying. So many people died on that journey that they called them the “coffin ships”.
Today, on our ship (in an illustration of how different my ship is than those of my ancestors), I had a massage in the spa. After it was over, I was waiting to speak with someone else, and was relaxing in the waiting area. There was a nice man there doing the same thing, and we got to talking. He is from New Zealand, but his great great grandfather came from Scotland too. He is very lucky, because his great grandfather actually left a lot of records that he has used to learn about why people left Scotland and headed for New Zealand.
He is a honey farmer, which is so interesting! My Scottish relatives are also bee keepers that sell honey, but on a much smaller scale. He gave me a small sample of his Manuka honey, and I am looking forward to giving it a try.
In other cruise news, we are currently in the Wheelhouse Bar, having a belt before dinner. There are about a dozen Australian passengers who are doing some kind of dancing that reminds me of square dancing. They are having a great time and it is fun to watch them.
I have given up on the G&Ts (due to the tonic selection on board) and am searching for my new cruise drink. Today, I tried a bramble, which is a gin drink with chambord. I think I will try something different tomorrow. Haven’t zeroed in on a good option yet.