Monday, March 29, 2010

A wish made TRUE

I thank Ms. Aaron Enriles, Customer Service Manager - Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau, and other staff of the bureau for favoring my request. Getting a ship stamp of Gibraltar on envelope addressed to me was one of my wishes and I got my favorite stamp, which makes me much more happy. The £1.60 stamp issued in 2005 shows Lord Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory. What makes this stamp more special and a collector's item is that the actual wood from the ship has been taken, processed, and sprinkled upon the stamp through a special process.

Anyone interested to buy this set of stamps, click here to go to the online store page of Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau.

Ships of Canada - 1978 14c

Date of Issue: November 15, 1978
Scott #: 776 - 779

These are the fourth and last in the series - Ships of Canada, depicted as ice vessels.

Chief Justice Robinson - Built in 1842 as a wooden side-wheel steamboat, named after Sir John Beverley Robinson (1791-1863), who became a Chief Justice and Speaker of the Canadian Legislative Council in 1829. She was designed with an ingenious form of hull, characterized by a plough-shaped ram, when sailing in ice would give the ice an upward thrust, then throw it outward on each side of the ram. She was not an icebreaker in modern terms. She was an very comfortable passenger vessel, used in a six-day service between Toronto and Niagara.

St. Roch - She was special built for the Arctic regions as a supply and detachment ship. Her diesel engine provided also heat for the well-insulated accommodation. Horizontal and vertical beams in the main hold supported the sides of the ship from the strength of the ice. Her hull was made of Douglas fir, sheated with Australian ironwood. In 1940 when Canada was at war she was refitted, and she sailed out in June under command of Sergeant Henry Larsen that year from Vancouver for a voyage through the mostly uncharted Northwest Passage to Halifax.

Northern Light - Built in 1876 as a wooden hulled ferry-icebreaker for the ferry service between Georgetown and Pictou on the Northumberland Strait. When Prince Edwards Island was brought in to Canada, the terms or agreement implied a year round ferry service. Built of wood it was thought that ice would not puncture the wood, also the hull was very rounded, and the weight of the vessel would break the ice. She was a odd looking craft. With a roman nose rather than a ram.

Labrador - Built during 1948 - 1953, and commissioned in 1954, as an icebreaker by Mil Tracy Marine Industries at Sorel, Canada for the Canadian Ministry of Transport. She was the first warship, which voyage to negotiate the Northwest Passage across the top of the continent; she visited homeward bound San Francisco, Panama City and Grenada. In 1958 due to manpower shortage, the Navy withdrew from the Arctic, and the LABRADOR was transferred to the Coast Guard. The Labrador served with the coast Guard for 29 years.

Text Source: Ships of Canada by Thomas Appleton, and

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ships of Canada - 1977 12c

Date of Issue: November 18, 1977
Scott #: 744 - 747

Third set in the series, Ships of Canada - depicted here are sail ships.

Pinky - Emerging around 1815 as a fishing schooner, the pinky quickly achieved popularity because of her carrying capacity, comfort and seaworthiness. Two such boats were among the few smacks to withstand a ferocious gale in Chaleur Bay in October 1851. The craft was also particularly adept at mackerel fishing, since it could pursue schools of these creatures as they swam windward.

Tern Schooner - A North American 3-masted or "tern" schooner, which generally had a high carrying capacity but a low speed. The First World War stimulated demands for faster models. Nova Scotia boat-builders combined the modern fishing schooner's hull with the 3-masted fore and aft rig to produce a streamlined type of craft. They had a high attrition rate, several being lost on their maiden voyages. They were originally built in the 19th century, and over the years, terns pried the South American, West Indian, Mediterranean and coastal routes, trading in salt, fish, gypsum, lumber, and sugar.

Mackinaw - Sometime in the 1870s a man from the Atlantic coast of Canada named Carmichael turned up in Collingwood, Ontario, and ordered a boat to be built to his specifications: ketch rigged, double-ended, clincher-built, in the 25 to 35ft. range. It was a new type of craft to the Georgian Bay area. The Mackinaw boat, as it came to be known, impressed the locals and became popular in the remote fishing camps of Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior and even Lake Winnipeg, Hudson Bay and the Fraser River.

Five-masted schooner - The name of the ship on this stamp is unknown. In 1917-18, 12 five-masted auxiliary schooners were ordered, and six came from the Wallace Shipyard in North Vancouver, six more from the Cameron Genoa Mills at Victoria, while Lyall Shipbuilding of North Vancouver laid down a batch to their own account for sale on speculation. Some had top masts and upper sails, but most became 'bald headed' and were left with stump masts. The last one to survive among the 12 was The Malahat, which became highly successful as a rum-runner in the 1920's and when she was wrecked in 1944, the five-masted Canadian schooner became another extinct species in the long history of sail.

Text Source: Ships of Canada by Thomas Appleton and

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ships of Canada - 1976 10c

Date of Issue: November 19, 1976
Scott #: 700 - 703

This is the second set of four stamps in the series - Ships of Canada. These are mentioned as Inland vessels.

Northcote - In 1874, above Grand Rapids, on the Saskatchewan River, the Hudson's Bay Company launched the Northcote, a Mississippi style river vessel. The Northcote acted as a Canadian gunboat and hospital ship during the Saskatchewan rebellion.

Passport - The Passport was built in England in 1846 and reassembled at Kingston, Ontario. She plied the Hamilton-Montreal passenger route and was described in 1850 as being "fitted up in the most modern style". Shooting the rapids of the St. Lawrence was the greatest thrill of the voyage. The ship attained speeds of 20 miles an hour with her engines shut down.

Chicora - The Chicora was built at Liverpool, by Miller, in 1864, and was an iron paddle steamer. In 1870 she helped carry the military expedition heading for Manitoba in the aftermath of the Riel affair. She ended her career as the coal barge Warrenko, in Kingston, Ontario harbour, where she eventually sank in 1942.

Athabasca - The Canadian Pacific Railway entered the Upper Great Lakes shipping business with three steel sister ships, the Alberta, Algoma and Athabasca, the latter vessel being the ship depicted on the stamp. She was built by Aitken and Mansel at Glasgow, in 1883, and was a steel screw steamer. The three ships steamed to Montreal M1883 and had to be sliced in half to fit the lock system. Reassembled at Buffalo, they arrived at Owen Sound in May 1884 ready for the lakehead run. They were the first "lakers" to be equipped with electric light and were so well constructed that people believed "that 20ft. could have been ripped off the bow of the ships without endangering their seaworthiness". Besides normal passenger traffic, they transported troops returning from the 1885 Riel Rebellion and carried grain. She was only scrapped after the Second World War.

Text Source: Ships of Canada, by Thomas Appleton, and

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ships of Canada - 1975 8c

Date of Issue: September 24, 1975
Scott #: 670 - 673

This set of four stamps was the first in the series - Ships of Canada. These are mentioned as Coastal Ships.

W.D. Lawrence - A three-masted full-rigged ship, named after her builder and owner, William D. Lawrence, at Maitland. At the time of her launch she was the largest sailing vessel of the world. (there was a other larger sailing vessel but she was a conversion of a steam vessel). I am glad to know that this ship has visited Calcutta and Cochin, in India during 1880 - 1884.

Beaver - A wooden paddle steamer, built in 1834, was the first steamship in the North Pacific. She made her first voyage by sail because she could not carry enough coal to go under steam. The vessel overcame American competition on the coast, thus helping not only to trade furs but to carry passengers and cargo to transport cattle, to tow log booms and barges and to conduct surveys.

Quadra - A single deck, steel, screw steamship built in 1891, named after Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, a famous Spanish explorer. She was employed in servicing aids to navigation, supporting government administration, surveying, transporting officials and dignitaries and of policing the sealing and fishing industries.

Neptune - A barque-rigged, wooden, screw steamer built in 1872. She was engaged in the Newfoundland sealing industry and during her career brought in over a million pelts. In 1884, the Canadian Government chartered the Neptune for surveys in Hudson's Bay. There was a proposal that a railway be built from the prairies to the bay to open a new route for the export of grain. An expedition set up ice observation posts and sought a potential railway terminus. Three years later, the Government of Canada chartered the Neptune for the winter mail run to Prince Edward Island. The scheme failed because although the vessel could withstand ice pressure, she was not an icebreaker. Early in this century, the Neptune returned to the Arctic to help establish Canadian sovereignty there.

Source: Ships of Canada, by Thomas Appleton

Ships of Canada - Booklet

Today I would like to share info on a 100-page booklet which I received as a swap item from Mr. John Dawn, exchange partner who resides in Nova Scotia, Canada.

I am happy and proud to possess this booklet, Ships of Canada - Heritage Stamp Collection, which was issued in 1978 by Canada Post. Ships of Canada is a famous series of set of four stamps issued during the years 1975, 1976, 1977, and 1978.

There is a very detailed information regarding the importance and significance of these ships which have been a part of the growth and development of Canada as a whole. One can see numerous pictures, paintings, chart, etc., along with the history linked to them.

Thank you Mr. John. This is my first booklet in my collection and will remember you whenever I see this booklet :)

Please see images of stamps of individual years in separate posts.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Captain Cook Bicentenary - Exploring Alaska's Coast

Date of Issue: June 01, 1978
Scott#: for Captain Cook stamp - 1732, issued - Jan 20, 1978

This First Day Cover was issued to commemorate 200 years of exploration of Alaska's coast by Captain James Cook. The cancellation was made at Captain Cook Station at Anchorage, Alaska and a pictorial cancellation showing the Cook Inlet, named after him. The second picture is a postcard that was issued along with this cover with the following information, which is very interesting....

The statue of Captain James Cook overlooking Cook Inlet from Resolution Park at the foot of "L" Street and West Third Avenue was presented to the Municipality of Anchorage by British Petroleum Ltd., in 1976 as its contribution to the nation's bicentennial celebration. It is the only statue of the famed British navigator-explorer in the United States.

Under orders from the Royal Navy, Capt. Cook, in command of the ships, RESOLUTION and DISCOVERY, set out to explore the Pacific Ocean and to find the fabled "Northwest Passage," a sea link between that body of water and the Atlantic Ocean. In 1778, after having sailed north along the American coast on his Third Voyage of Discovery, Cook entered a long channel which looked like a promising lead and finally anchored in a large bay off the site of the present city of Anchorage. The date was June 01, 1778.

Having charted the waters and shore of the main channel, Capt. Cook dispatched two boats to examine the arm leading toward the East where, finally, towering mountains closed off any further hope of passage. Convinced that no link to the Atlantic Ocean existed here, Cook ordered a landing party ashore to claim possession of the land in the name of the King. The arm which at first had promised to be the passage, but then proved to be the end of the quest, was named "River Turnagain". The majestic waterway, stretching from the open sea 150 miles to present-day Anchorage, was chosen by the Admiralty to pay tribute to the memory of England's greatest navigator; hence it bears the name Cook Inlet.

The cachet for the souvenir cover in which this postcard is enclosed was reproduced from an original drawing by Janis Carty Neill of Eagle River, President of the Alaska Watercolor Society, and is sponsored by the Capt. Cook Bicentenary Committee, assisted by members of the Anchorage Philatelic Society.

KD TAR - First Malaysian Submarine

Date of Issue: September 03, 2009

POS Malaysia issued a set of three stamps to commemorate the First Malaysian Submarine - KD TAR, in short for Kapal Diraja Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Many thanks to my exchange partner, Mr. Ronny Wong, Malaysia for the set of stamps, brochure, and the FDC.

KD TAR is the first of the two Malaysian Scorpene class submarines. As a high technology strategic asset, the arrival of KD TAR in September 2009 is a historic milestone not only for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), but also for Malaysia as it is a great achievement in Malaysia's defence arena.

The 30 sen stamp shows the graphic sketch of KD TAR. The second stamp shows KD TAR equipped with the latest high technological navigation system, communication equipments, and fire control system appropriate with its role and responsibility to face the future modern warfare. The final stamp portrays KD TAR sailing in the oceans to begin her journey and its mission in protecting Malaysia's sovereignty. KD TAR is one of the sophisticated asset owned by the Royal Malaysian Navy since its inception 75 years ago.

Text source: POS Malaysia Information brochure.

Card #1 from Russia

This is the first card I receive from Russia related to my theme. Many thanks to Ms. Elena, Russia, who lives at close proximity to Vladivostok, Russia's largest port city on the Pacific coast. It is the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet.

On the card, we can see the modern warship as well as a traditional sail ship side by side, and some more views of ships of navy and a cruise ship in the distance.

Cover from Russia

Received this wonderful cover with a neat postmark from Ms. Elena, Russia.

The first stamp on cover was issued on 2007 to commemorate International Polar Year. On the stamp, we can see an icebreaker ship and the drifting scientific station - "North Pole."

The second and third stamps are from a set of four stamps issued on 2009 to commemorate 50 years of atomic icebreakers.
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