March 25, 2013
Sandra T., by Rhapsody of the Seas before Earth Hour

Sandra T., by Rhapsody of the Seas before Earth Hour

Sydney celebrated Earth Hour at 8.30 p.m. on Saturday 23 March with most people turning off their lights and bringing out the candles.

Royal Caribbean Lines’s Rhapsody of the Seas participated in Earth Hour while she was docked at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal on the night.  Along with the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, the 78,500 tonne ship dimmed its lights from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

Captain Rob Hempstead, the captain of Rhapsody of the Seas made an announcement to all guests and crew explaining the event and the ship’s desire to participate.  Cruise guests got into the spirit and assisted by turning off their cabin lights and closing their window curtains.

Rhapsody of the Seas, ferries and other vessels in the harbour all blew their horns at 8.30 p.m. sharp for the commencement of Earth Hour.

At 10 p.m.
Rhapsody of the Seas departed Sydney and set sail on her 11-night Queensland cruise.

Sandra Tiltman     Photo:  John Pond ©

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March 25, 2013
Del Kathryn Barton with her winning portrait

Del Kathryn Barton with her winning portrait

Del Kathryn Barton was named as this year’s winner of the 2013 Archibald Prize for her portrait entitled “hugo”, and receives a prize of $75,000.

Selected from 868 entries, the winning portrait of Sydney actor Hugo Weaving, was announced at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on Friday, 22 March.

Abdul Abdullah with his portrait of Boxer, Anthony Mundine "The Man"

Abdul Abdullah with his portrait of Boxer, Anthony Mundine “The Man”

First awarded in 1921 and now in its 92nd year, the Archibald Prize is judged by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Awarded annually to the best portrait, J.F. Archibald established the prize to foster portraiture and to perpetuate the memory of great Australians, distinguished in art, letters, science or politics and painted by any artist resident in Australasia.

Visitors to the Art Gallery of New South Wales can enter the “People’s Choice” competition, where they can nominate their favourite Archibald painting.  The winner will be announced on 16 May 2013.

The finalists will be on display at the Gallery until 2 June 2013.  They will then begin a regional tour of New South Wales and Victoria from 8 June 2013 to 29 June 2014.

Words & Photos:   Sandra Tiltman ©

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March 25, 2013

QM 800w

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 was berthed at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal on Tuesday morning, March 19.  The surrounding area in the historic Rocks was buzzing with activity.  Lines of taxis were waiting to transport the disembarking passengers, delivery trucks unloading supplies for the next voyage plus the many excited Sydneysiders who had just come down to see this famous ship.

Docking facilities at the Terminal have recently been lengthened to accommodate this giant Queen, which previously could only dock at the near by Garden Island Naval Base.  I am sure the Base’s Admiral is very happy about not having to move his naval vessels to make way for the Queens.

Queen Mary 2’s arrival in Sydney from her historic New Zealand circumnavigation marked the return of some items from the State Library of NSW’s renowned Captain James Cook collection.  The items, which had been on display in the liner’s library during the twelve night voyage, included personal possessions which the master navigator had with him on his 18th century voyages to New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Items included Cook’s tea caddy and a spoon, also signed 1768 correspondence about his preparation for the first New Zealand voyage on Endeavour and an excerpt from Cook’s handwritten draft journal from his first voyage to New Zealand, including his account of Endeavour’s arrival at Poverty Bay and a violent first encounter with Maori.

This is the second time the State Library of NSW has entrusted Queen Mary 2 with items from its prized collections.  In 2012, Queen Mary 2 carried Matthew Flinders’ historic journals and map atlas from his circumnavigation of Australia on the liner’s own maiden circumnavigation of the country.

Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said the Cook items had been a highlight for the Australian and New Zealand guests onboard during the historic voyage.

“We’re so grateful to the Library for allowing Queen Mary 2 to take these Captain Cook possessions on a similar journey to his 18th century exploration of New Zealand, albeit under vastly different circumstances this time,” Ms Sherry said.

Queen Mary 2’s circumnavigation included a maiden visit to Milford Sound in New Zealand’s stunning World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park, where she made history on becoming the largest ship to visit.

Sandra Tiltman      Photo:  John Pond

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