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Published: June 23rd 2017
Geo: -42.8827, 147.33
After we left Milford Sound we had two pretty rough days in the Tasman Sea. Despite the rough seas got a 5th workout in (1:41 and 1,067 cals). Dinner at Sette Mari, our first shared table, with a couple from New Jersey - Vern and Nancy (Financial/Life & Teacher). I posted on Facebook but will include Vern's comment here as well - "Aren't you folks a little young to be on this cruise? We thought you were the talent - either singers or dancers". LOL!
Our 3rd day at sea, we did email, laundry and got massages at Canyon Ranch Spa. I caused the Canyon Spa reception desk some stress when I pressed a button in the steam room, which I thought was more heat, but was actually the emergency button!! I guess I am old! I did not have my readers on!
I heard one woman say "In 30 years of cruising I never been in rougher seas/worse weather", but the maitre d indicated he had seen worse. We dropped from 15-18 knots down to 8-9 knots as the bow was slamming into the swells and the result was a cannon-like boom!
We arrived in the second city to be
settled in AU - Hobart, Tasmania. The British settled Sydney in 1788, but both the French and English were exploring the coastlines, so the British landed in Tasmania to claim it and Hobart was founded in 1804.
Hobart's port is 3 blocks from the city centre which is rather unique, similar to Auckland and Sydney. We travelled up the Derwent River, past the Tasman bridge and over Bridgewater Bridge and Causeway, the 1st bridge built by the British across the river in 1829. We saw numerous brick houses, which despite the availability of wood, were built courtesy of bank financing programs, which felt brick houses were more solid investments.
Early trade was based on ship building and whale oil, as whales were plentiful in the Derwent River (easy to hunt). Today agriculture is key - fuji apples, boutique wineries and poppies (grow 60%!o(MISSING)f the opium in the world, export powder for pill production). As we passed a McDonalds, the driver said "There's the American Embassy, of which Ronnie is the President"! Too funny, these Aussies!
We visited the Bonorong Wildlife Centre Sanctuary and were blessed with very close and intimate encounters with kangaroos, wombats, kookaburras, Tasmanian devils and the like. It was
magic, far exceeding our expectations.
On the way back to the ship, we stopped to visit the oldest catholic church in AU just outside Richmond and stopped for coffee in the Georgian village of Richmond. The bridge across the river was built in 1823 and still stands today. We got a couple of sausage rolls and meat pies that were the BEST I have ever tasted and that is saying a lot, as I have sampled plenty in my lifetime.
When we got back to Hobart, Bonnie spent some time shopping and I parked myself in a little pub called The Fluke and Bruce. The bartender was kind enough to give me a tour of the local pints, which were most enjoyable. I know, I know - not many pints I have met that I haven't liked!! The pub had a special atmosphere and caused my mind to wander to memories of my father, whom I imagined would have loved to be sitting across from me as Mom and Bonnie shopped. Caused my eyes to moisten more than a bit and again as I write this in recollection of a dear man who enjoyed a pint and a hauf.
A great day in
a city that has benefitted from the establishment of the Museum of Modern Art (MONA), which is classified by CNN Travel as the world's most far out museum and is entirely funded by Tasmanian David Walsh, a mathematician and art collector, who made millions perfecting algorithms that led him to beat casinos and bookies at their own game.
Hobart is very vibrant and friendly!
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