Saturday, January 19, 2013

Day 14 - Tasman Sea Again

After leaving Hobart last night we headed north along the coast of Tasmania.  Our next port will be Melbourne.  

We went to another of Sandra Bowren's lectures after breakfast.  This one was on the history of Sydney.  Since Sydney was first chosen as a British penal colony in 1788, it doesn't have a long history.  Botany Bay, a little further south, was originally supposed to be the colonization site, but the land around it was too marshy, so the British went a little further up the coast and found Sydney harbor more suitable.
View out of our Stateroom

Yesterday afternoon and again at breakfast this morning, Ray said he saw dolphins near the ship.  I didn't see them, so I am taking his word for it.  We are moving fast enough that, if you don't see them initially, we are long past them for anyone else to catch a glimpse.

This afternoon I went to the art auction to see what they were selling.  Every cruise ship has an art auction and I've learned a lot about art over the years by attending these.  I've also learned to recognize works by certain artists without looking at the labels or signatures, making it more fun.   Park West ran this auction.  They are probably the auction house you most often find on cruise ships and they have excellent inventories.   I've noticed that they offer art in different price ranges, depending on the cruise line they are on.  This was a high-end auction, showing works by "the Masters."  They featured some contemporary work, but today's auction offered more Picassos, and Rembrandt than I have ever seen at a ship auction.  One of the things they do at these auctions is to offer a few select pieces at a highly discounted price.  Usually these are good, collectible works by contemporary artists.  They are usually numbered lots so several people can purchase copies of these specially priced items.  This time they shocked me.  One couple was able to purchase 5 art works - a Picasso, a Rembrandt, a Goya, a Chagall, and a Miro, for a total price of $29,670.  I have seen the same Rembrandt sell for close to that by itself.   That couple made a great investment.  I hope they also like the art.  I don't believe in purchasing any art I don't personnally connect with, regardless of how famous the artist is.  To be honest, I like Rembrandt's work but ir's not the kind of art I would have in my home.  The other artists I don't like at all.  My favorite artists are Faunch Ledan, Itzchak Tarkay, Peter Max, Alec Pauker, and Igor Medvedev.  

The other fun thing on this ship is the chocolate art.  This ship has been traveling around the worls, and they have been adding to a chocolate map as they go.  I took these pictures of the map so far:

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