Making Dreams Come True
By Kay H.
The night of the auction gala was drawing near and everyone was hurrying to finalize the last minute details.
On this task, Katie Phillips approached Angie’s desk about mid-morning. “Hi Angie, have you received anything from Dr. Ramos of the San Pacific International Marine Institute today? He promised to send me copies of the designs and photographs of the items for the gala. Edwin also indicated that he was including a surprise that the Artist at San Pacific International have especially designed as keepsakes for the guest’s selection. I can’t wait to see what they are. I really cannot imagine what they have come up with.” Katie laughed excitedly before she went on.
“You know the uniquely designed table centerpieces are being auctioned off as well and this will allow a lot of other people to bid on items at the auction. Each centerpiece is either a replica of Seaview, FS1, a giant clam embedded on top of reef, sharks walking on the ocean floor or pigmy seahorses peaking out through exquisitely detailed coral reefs. There are many other exciting designs; this should create a great deal of interest. Hopefully the oil paintings sculptures and centerpieces will achieve some high bids.”
Angie frowned and contemplated a moment. “How will that work with the silent action format, since all of the bids had to be in by the deadline, so the winners could be announced on the night of the auction?”
Katie smiled her explanation; “Sotheby’s will have staff at the event and supervise recording the individual written bids on the sculptures, paintings and centerpieces. There should about two-dozen oil paintings and sculptures created by leading marine artists. They will be displayed through out the museum, there by allowing the guests to view and bid on the items. The bidding will close at the end of the evening, then the winners will be notified in due course and Sotheby’s will collect the money and arrange for packing and shipping.”
Angie smiled and nodded. “Sounds good”, then shook her head “No, I haven’t received anything yet but I’ll let you know as soon as it comes in. You know the Admiral already ask me this morning about the designs and so have Lee and Chip. I think everyone is anxious to see what these talented people have created.” Suddenly the phone rang on Angie’s desk; by the ring tone she could tell it is an internal call. “Admiral Nelson’s office, Angie McDonald speaking how may I assist you?”
“Ms. McDonald this is John Robertson in Security, there is a courier with a delivery from Edwin Ramos of the San Pacific International Marine Institute for Admiral Nelson. The instructions on the package require your or Ms Phillips signature.”
Angie interrupted excitedly. “Johnny, please have the courier escorted to my office immediately. I will sign for the package.”
“Yes, Ma’am as soon as we finish scanning the package through security, I will personally escort it and the courier to your office.”
Angie hung up the phone and turned to Katie, “Well the package has finally arrived from Dr. Ramos. Security will escort the courier and package to us as soon as it clears security checks.”
Katie sat down in one of the chairs in the front of Angie’s desk, “I think I will just wait right here for it. I am so excited I can’t wait to see have they sent. I guess we had better let the Admiral know it has arrived. By the way I haven’t seen Lee or Chip today, where are they?”
Angie smiled, “They both came through this morning and checked their offices then they grabbed the Admiral and all headed down to the dock. Apparently they were in a hurry to check out some new upgrades that were being installed on Seaview. You know Lee and Chip have to supervise everything that is done to their baby and the Admiral is almost as bad.”
Katie just laughed “You better call down to the Seaview and let them know that the items are here from Dr. Ramos otherwise who knows when they will get back up to the office. I know that I don’t want to wait to see what’s in the package or listen to Lee and Chip complain about us having a peak and not waiting on them so we all can look together.”
Angie grinned, “I know what you mean. Lee will have the hurt little boy look, you know the one where he shyly glances up at you like you have stolen his last cookie and he really could not believe that you would do that to him.” Katie nodded her head in acknowledgement, and Angie continued. “I think the Admiral is almost as bad, except he will just look really disappointed that you did not wait for them especially since he had already asked about the delivery this morning before heading to the boat.”
Angie and Katie both giggle as Angie reached for the phone and dialed Seaview to inform the command staff that the package form Dr. Ramos had arrived.
Lee was in the control room near the chart table chatting with Chip who was over seeing the installation of some new computer equipment when the phone rang. Lee reached over and picked up the phone “Crane speaking.”
“Lee, its Angie. Security just notified me that the courier is here with the package from Dr. Ramos. They should be delivering it in a few minutes as soon as it clears security. I thought that you, the Admiral and Chip would want to know, since you all asked about it this morning.”
“Thanks Angie, that’s great. I will let everyone know. We should be up in a few minutes.” Lee hung up the phone and picked up the microphone to page Admiral Nelson. Just as he was about put out the call he heard footstep coming down the stairs and Admiral Nelson appeared.
Nelson looked at Lee and Chip “Gentlemen everything appears fine in the lab, if everything is okay with the installation of the new computer system, why don’t we head back to the office.”
Lee glanced at Chip “Everything is going fine Admiral; I was just going to call you. Angie just telephoned to inform us that the package from Dr. Ramos has arrived and is clearing security right now. I was going to check to see if you were ready to head back. I told her we would be there in a few minutes.”
“Gentlemen shall we go see what Dr. Ramos sent us. “
Lee, Chip and Nelson all arrive at the administration building as the courier was leaving. Nelson entered the office and said, “Angie, Katie let’s take the package into my office? We can spread everything out on the conference table for a better look.”
With that the gentlemen of the Command Staff along with Katie and Angie moved to the Admiral’s office to peruse the contents. Angie gently laid out the exquisitely detailed drawings of the sculptures and photographs from the package. At the very bottom of the box was a small sealed box. She took it out and laid it on the table next to the other items. “Admiral this box is sealed, do you know anything about it.”
Nelson held his hand out to Angie for the box, “This must be the surprise that Ramos mentioned.” He took the box and opened it. Everyone watched as the admiral removed the individual items inside. Displayed were several different items of jewelry. There were earrings, rings, bracelets, and each item beautifully detailed and representing one of the auction lots. Enclosed in the top of the box was a note.
Nelson picked it up and began to read out aloud. “Harry, the staff wanted to design some keepsake items for the guests attending the auction to go along with the sculptures, paintings and centerpieces that we are already preparing. Some of our talented jewelry makers thought that individual keepsakes would be a great way for everyone to remember this unique event, so they designed individual items of jewelry. We have created an equal number of items for both men and women. We should have enough for everyone to have a piece of jewelry and there should be a number of pieces left over that can be sold to raise additional funds, either at the auction event or a later fundraiser, whatever the committee think is to best way to utilize them. I have included just a sample of the selection that will be available for the event. We will include these in the shipment along with the sculpture, paintings and centerpieces to Monaco.”
Nelson laid down the note from Dr. Ramos. “All right everybody, let’s take a look at everything, so I can call Dr. Ramos and thank his group for their generous donation.”
Katie reached into the box and picked up a pair of earrings. “Admiral look at the exquisite detail. It looks like the flying sub launching from the Seaview. It’s clever how they make it look like Seaview is bobbing on the surface and by a very thin filigree piece of gold the FS1 is just hanging below it.”
Meanwhile Angie was looking in the box and brought out a matching necklace. “Katie here is the matching necklace.”
Harry took a look at the necklace and earrings. “They are very nice indeed. Beautiful work.”
Angie and Katie both reached into the box again. Angie picked up a charm bracelet. Each charm represented a different one of that auction lots displayed in the catalogue. The marine life was beautifully created from gold and silver with semi-precious jewels bringing the charms to life.
Lee glanced over at the box and saw a brilliantly colorful exquisitely detailed bracelet that reminded him of the coral reef where he and Chip saw the giant clams. He carefully picked it up, “Chip does this remind you of anything?”
Both men smiled.
Dr. Jamieson entered the Administration Building and headed for the elevator to Executive Floor. It was approaching noon and he hoped to catch the Admiral before he left for lunch. He had been busy all morning updating charts from recently completed crew physicals and decided to take a break. He thought he’d check and see if any of the Command Staff were available for lunch. He was also hoping to talk with Lee and Chip about some of the modifications scheduled for Sickbay during the current upgrades. As he approached Angie’s desk he was surprised to find it vacant, but he heard voices coming from the open door to the Admiral’s office. When he approached the open door he was surprised to see everybody crowded around the Admiral’s conference table. Jamie lightly knocked on the open door. “May I come in?”
Nelson looked up in response to the knock and motioned Jamie into the room. “Jamie come on in. Did you need something? You’re just in time to take a look at the designs and photos of the art exhibits created for the gala auction.”
“Not really, I was just taking a break from updating charts. I was wondering if anyone wanted to grab some lunch with me before this afternoon’s meeting, that way none of us will forget to eat.” said Jamie while pointedly looking directly at Lee knowing how easily he would forget about lunch.
Lee dipped his head in response to Jamie’s look, while Chip and the Admiral just laughed.
Jamie decided to let Lee off the hook. “I also had some questions about the upgrades for Sickbay that I wanted to clarify with all of you before the staff meeting this afternoon and thought if you weren’t too busy we could go over them during lunch.”
The admiral motioned Jamie toward the conference table. “I didn’t realize how late it was getting. Angie, why don’t you order us all lunch from the cafeteria? This way we will still have a chance to eat before the meeting.” As Angie left the room to place the lunch request, Nelson smiled at Jamie. “Doctor, does that fill your prescription? We really need to finish looking over the items for the gala event so I can call Dr. Ramos today. You should enjoy examining the artist representations for the auction catalogue. I know you saw the catalogue flyer.”
Jamieson smiled and approached the table to look at the items displayed.
Chip glanced over from where he was examining one of the photos depicting a vibrant oil painting. “Lee, this is magnificent, it looks like the coral reef where we found the giant clams embedded.” Chip moved over to where Lee could examine it closely. “You know they captured it exactly from the photo we took while diving. How did they see our diving pictures? This wasn’t one of the pictures used in the auction catalogue.”
Nelson turned to Chip. “Dr. Ramos requested some pictures of the area that they could use for the designs. It was in the group of pictures that I sent to him.”
Lee picked up the design and photo of a sculpture depicting the Seaview riding the waves with dolphins leaping along side the majestic boat. “The design of this crystal sculpture is exquisite. I wonder how he got the brilliant colors; it looks just like Seaview riding cobalt blue waves on the ocean. He even shows the dolphins leaping above the white caps caused by Seaview’s wake. I have never seen anything like it.”
Nelson looks over the picture, ‘I know what you mean Lee. I saw a Swarovski - Longnose Butterfly fish, and Seahorse sculpture a long time ago with this type of detail and the use of colors. I never knew who the artist was. I wonder if it was the same person.” Nelson looked thoughtful for a moment. “Lee, is the artist name listed in the design description?”
Lee glanced at the papers attached behind the photo “Yes, Sir. His name is Robert Lyn Nelson. Any relation, Sir.”
Harry looked thoughtful for a moment. “It’s possible I guess. My grandfather’s baby brother Sean had a son named Robert, I think. I wonder if it’s him. I remember my father telling me about his Uncle Sean when I was small. My father said Uncle Sean and my grandfather had some sort of falling out and he moved away. I don’t remember ever seeing him or hearing anything else about him.”
Chip reached for another set of designs and photos, which showed the flying sub just breaking the surface of the ocean as it, launches into the air. “This small crystal statute is only 2 x 3 3/16 inches, but it beautifully displays the flying sub just seemingly hanging in the air.”
Lee picked up another one of the photos showing a beautiful painting of the Seaview under the waves teaming with sea life all around the vessel. The depth and brilliance of the colors made for a striking painting. Several of the other sculptures or paintings were representations of items featured in the auction. Their attention to detail and beauty would make them highly sought after he was sure.
When the San Pacific International Marine Institute were contacted and ask about participating in this unique event, they had requested the honor of creating the table centerpieces for the dinner and other special auction items including the sculptures, paintings and keepsakes.
Nelson smiled and felt overwhelmed by their skill and generosity.
Several weeks’ later Seaview’s upgrades had been completed and the night of the Auction Gala in Monaco had finally arrived.
The event started with cocktails served in the luxurious reception room of the Monaco Oceanographic Institute. Then guests were invited to view a film in the conference room depicting the area of Bird’s Head or stroll through magnificent paintings and sculptures depicting the auction lots.
The guests were also encouraged to examine the brilliantly lit Oceanographic Museum exhibits as well as the displays of sculptures and paintings specifically created for this event. The Sotheby staff were everywhere and available to help record the bids on the unique items from hopeful buyers.
Prince Rainer and Princess Grace, the main hosts of the evening and other Heads of State
headed the guest list. Celebrities such as Robert Redford, Pierce Brosnan and other stars of stage and screen, Jacques Cousteau and the Cousteau Society, along with noted environmental and charitable organizations including Peter Seligmann, Chairman of Conservation International (one of the other hosts for the evening).
Admiral Nelson, Captain Crane and Commander Morton circulated among the guests welcoming each one to this exceptional event. Angie and Katie looked lovely in their designer gowns, but it was the Seaview Command Crew who was drawing the most admiring looks in their formal Mess Dress Uniforms.
Lee and Katie came upon Pierce Brosnan and his wife Keely admiring the painting by Brian Treesalou showing the sea fans fluttering in the current with the pigmy seahorse hiding in the shadows created by the sun shining down from the surface. The depth and detail was fascinating. Lee had become a personal friend with the Brosnan’s when they had met at a Presidential dinner last year. “Hello Keely, Pierce, May I introduce Katie Phillips. Katie, this is Keely and Pierce Brosnan.”
Pierce smiled as he greeted Lee and Katie, “Nice to meet you Katie. Lee, how have you been?”
“I’ve been fine, just real busy. I see you are admiring the Treesalou painting.”
Keely smiled and nodded, “Yes, I love his paintings. The colors are always so vibrant and the subject has such depth and intensity. Pierce and I were just trying to figure out where this dive area was. I have never seen sea fans like this or the pigmy seahorses.”
Lee grinned, “It’s in the Bird’s Head area off of Mike’s Point. The channel is very narrow between the underwater reefs in the area and the current is really fast. That’s what causes the sea fans to sway. I have never seen that type of sea fan anywhere else though. It seems to be specific to the area and is one of the new species identified in the region.”
Pierce scowled at Lee, “You lucky dog, you’ve dived there haven’t you?”
Lee just laughed, “Yes, Chip, Patterson and I took most of the photographs used in the auction catalogue and by the artists used to create the oil paintings and sculptures. Chip and I spent a diving vacation in the area and then Seaview was contracted to survey the area. It is a beautiful area and definitely deserves to be protected.”
Pierce nodded his head, “I hope one of the secret auctions is a chance to dive in this area. I know that there are some diving packages offered in the region by some of the resorts, but I’m sure that they are nothing like a chance to see the areas you did from the Seaview. Keely and I bidding on one of the secret lots in the hopes that diving in this area was one of the prizes. That’s what we hope to win.”
Lee nodded and smiled. “Good Luck. I can’t say if it is one of the auction lots or not, but maybe someday you will have your chance to dive in this beautiful area. The area’s resort diving packages aren’t bad. That’s what Chip and I did on the working vacation to this area prior to Seaview’s cruise. The main draw back is the travel arrangements getting to and from the area. Since flights are only a certain days you have to be careful, we missed our connecting flight, so we were a day late getting back from our leave.”
Lee looked around, “It looks like they are starting to round up people for dinner, so we will see you later. Have fun.”
“We already are. Talk to you soon.”
Dinner was held in the luxurious “La Terrasse” restaurant located on the top floor of the Oceanographic Museum from which the guest could admire the magnificent panoramic views of the Principality of Monaco and the Italian Riviera. The dinner was a six-course meal with guests having a choice of several selections for each course. All of the courses were appetizer portions except for the entrée.
The First Course allowed the guest to select from a Walnut, Arugula & Gorgonzola Crostini or Baked Truffled Brie en Croute or Roasted Olives with Fennel and Lemon.
The second presented a selection from Northwest Mini Crab Cakes with Orange Sauce or Shrimp Martini Ceviche with Chili-Cumin Chips or Seared Autumn Spice Scallops.
The third course gave the guests the chance to select Greens with Goat Cheese or Green Herb Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette and Blue Cheese or Tomato-Basil Crab Bisque.
The fourth selection included a choice of Minty Grapefruit Sorbet or Lime-Basil Sorbet or a Pinot Gris-Prickly Pear Sorbet.
The main course was the entrée had a choice of several different selections. For individuals choosing beef there was a choice of Cabernet Filet Mignon, Baked Portabella Mushrooms or Truffled Mashed Potatoes. For individuals who doe not care for beef an option of Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pinot Noir Marinade and Asparagus Parmigiano or Butter- Poached Lobster Tails with Caviar Mousse & Dijon Mustard Sauce. For the vegetarian guest they had chance to select another item from the first or third course along with the Baked Portabella Mushroom, and Asparagus Parmigianino.
The final course ended the delightful meal with a selection from several different desserts. Panna Cotta with seasonal fruit or White Cheddar with Apple/Walnut Conserve or Lavender Crème Brulee with Lavender Tea Cookies or Assorted Chocolate Truffles served with Pinot Noir Wine or Prince Albert Millefeuille Pastry with Strawberries & Whipped Cream.
After dinner the winners of the auction lots were announced. The bids had been submitted by the required deadline then tabulated and sealed until tonight when the Sotheby’s representative Gabrielle Hightower opened them. The guests were breathless waiting for the announcement of the lucky winners.
Gabrielle Hightower announced the winners for lots 15-20 and released the details for each of the secrets lots, exciting groups of winners and causing the losers to groan with envy.
“Mesdames and monsieur’s, the lucky bidder for Lot # 15 is Aaron Persil. Monsieur Persil will be the personal guest of Princess Grace and Prince Rainer for the weekend of the Grand Prix of Monaco, along with 5 friends of his choice. Included in the package is attendance at a Gala Reception hosted by Prince Rainer and Princess Grace in honor of the Grand Prix. Also included are accommodations at the Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo in one of the exclusive apartment suites, a VIP admission package to the les Casinos De Monte Carlo where you can enjoy and evening of gambling or take in a show in the Cabaret Du Casino. On race day you will have unprecedented access to the pit area along with a chance to talk with some of the racing teams and their drivers and watch the Grand Prix Race from the Royal Yacht just off shore. During this fun filled weekend there will also be free time to enjoy exploring the Italian Rivera coast or spending the day shopping.”
There was a round of applause for the lucky winner as he stood to take a bow. Ms Hightower continued.
“Lot # 16 has been successfully won by Mr. Pierce Bronson and his wife Keely. They along with 6 of their friends will be spending 10 days aboard Seaview experiencing fabulous diving in the area of Bird’s Head Island. They will dine with the Admiral in the nose of Seaview on a gourmet meal provided by Seaview’s master chef. The officers and crew of Seaview would love to lead your party diving in these warm beautiful waters. For the members of the party who does not dive, you will have a chance to view the wonderful marine sites through the nose of the Seaview and a short flight on the Flying Sub or even opt to have a private lesson from the Captain, XO or a member of the Seaview crew. Everyone will also have a chance to explore the pristine beaches, play in the surf, enjoy a picnic lunch and if you desire a short hike into the interior of the island to view some of the newly discovered botanical plants and animal recently discovered in this area. This unique experience will allow for the winners to enjoy seeing newly discovered marine life, plant life and wildlife of the area.”
Again a round of excited applause rippled around the room.
“Lot # 17 has been successfully won by Mesdames Christie Brinkley and a guest will have a chance for a private flying lesson in the NIMR FS1. Captain Crane of the Seaview will personally give you and your guest a flying lesson on the FS1 over the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. After a delightful time flying the FS1 you will submerge to investigate some fabulous rarely viewed underwater ruins off the coast of Greece. You and your guest will then dock with the Seaview for a gourmet lunch served by Seaview’s premier chef in the nose of the Seaview, while dinning you will have a wonderful view through the Seaview herculite windows. Seaview will take you on a day cruise through the Gibraltar Strait then down the coast of Spain to view the submerged megalithic ruins off the southern coast of Spain. During this short cruise you will see some fabulous underwater views of some of the ancient treasures of this area that normally not seen.
Again a round of excited applause rippled around the room. The announcements of the other winners were announced sequentially and received with smiles and general approval.
Finally the evening ended with a concert by Celtic Woman against the backdrop of a lovely sunset over the water from the “magic garden” which had some highly unusual exotic essences resulting from the several thousand “succulent” subtropical flora plant varieties, daringly landscaped on the rock-face.
Some weeks later the final total of money raised was announced, everyone involved was elated by the amazing success. The event was declared an overwhelming triumph and the charitable organizations involved were extremely pleased with the funds available to continue their conservation work.
Author’s Note: Thanks to Lill H. for her usual great job betaing. Any mistakes are mine alone, I just had to tweak and play with the story after Lill finished. This story can be read as a stand alone, but I will make more sense if you have read Invitation to Marine Auction, Auction Flyer Catalogue, and Auction Catalogue for Unique Marine Auction, A Fantastic Voyage, Working Vacation and Taking Care of Details. The organizations mentioned are real groups, which support environmental causes, and their names as well as the celebrities’ names are used without their permission, Celtic Woman is an actual Irish singing group.