Monday, August 31, 2009

Admiral Zheng-He's Voyages - 580th Anniversary

(Click stamps to view larger picture)
Date of Issue: July 11, 1985
Scott #: 1992 - 1995

Thanks to Ms. Jia Caixu, China for sending these stamps on exchange.

Zheng-He (1377 - 1433), Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat and fleet admiral, who made the voyages collectively referred to as the travels of "Eunuch Sanbao to the Western Ocean" or "Zheng He to the Western Ocean", from 1405 to 1433.

There are claims that Persian stories of Sinbad the Sailor are based on the voyages of Zheng He.

China Post issued commemorative stamps for "The 580th Anniversary of Zheng-He's Maritime Expeditions."

The first stamp shows Zheng-He standing in front of a map of the Indian Ocean. In the margins are pictures of his fleet. The second one presents the scene of Zheng-He 's first meeting with the Champa Empire (in modern-day Vietnam). Local people sing and dance cheerfully to welcome Zheng-He' visit. The third stamp shows Zheng-He's fleets arriving at Arabia, where envoys of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) offer silk and porcelain in exchange for the local products. The last one depicts Zheng-He's fleets reaching Africa. The king welcomes Zheng-He in a full dress. Zheng-He embraces his fist and expresses thanks to the local people.

Click here to read more about Zheng-He and his seven voyages in Wikipedia.

Click here to see 600th Anniv. stamps of Zheng-He by China.

Source:, wikipedia.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

River Canoe, Brazil

Date of Issue: August 01, 1980
Scott #: 1707

This stamp was issued on occasion of Stamp Day.

It shows the river canoe commonly found in the Sao Francisco river.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ary Rongel (H44) - Brazilian Antarctic Research Ship

Date of Issue: May 13, 1997
Scott #: 2630

This souvenir sheet issued to Commemorate 15 years of PROANTAR - which began in 1982, the year in which the first Brazilian expedition to the Antarctic took place.

The souvenir sheet shows the Oceanographic Support Ship Ary Rongel - H 44, ex-Polar Queen, was the first ship to bear that name in the Navy of Brazil, from Admiral Rongel Ary dos Santos; map of South America, and a detailed map of the South Shetland Islands showing the Ferraz base (antarctic base of Brazil) with a Brazilian flag.

Source: many websites.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Expedition of Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira Bicentennial

Date of Issue: May 09, 1992
Scott #: 2379

LUBRAPEX - An international philatelic exhibition for collectors of Portugal and other Portuguese speaking countries. The first Lubrapex meeting was conducted in the year 1966.

This souvenir sheet was issued for the purpose of 14th Lubrapex held on Lisbon, Portugal during May 09 - May 17, 1992, and also to commemorate 200th Anniversary of the Expedition of Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira, a naturalist, in Brazil.

Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira was a Brazilian naturalist. He undertook an extensive journey which crossed the interior of the Amazon Basin to Mato Grosso, between 1783 and 1792.

Queen Maria I of Portugal, desiring to know more about the central and north of the Brazilian colony, which at that point remained practically unexplored, in order to implement developmental measures, ordered Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira, as a naturalist, to undertake a "philosophical voyage through the captaincies of Grão-Pará, Rio Negro, Mato Grosso e Cuiabá." The idea was to provide an impetus for economic exploration and enable conquest of disputed territory.

His was the most important voyage of discovery in Brazil during the colonial period.

Source: wikipedia

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Card #6 from Germany

Received this picture postcard this week from Mr. Wilhelm, Germany through Postcrossing.

The ship in this card is Queen Mary 2 at Hamburg Port, Germany.

Some facts of Queen Mary 2 of Cunard Line:

* QM2 is five times longer than Cunard's first ship, Britannia (230 ft.)
* QM2 is 113 feet longer than the original Queen Mary
* QM2 is more than twice as long as the Washington Monument (550 ft.)
* QM2 is 147 feet longer than the Eiffel Tower (984 ft.)
* QM2 is more than 3½ times as long as Westminster Tower (Big Ben) (310 ft.)
* QM2 is only 117 feet shorter than the Empire State Building (1248 ft.)
* QM2 is more than three times as long as St. Paul's Cathedral (366 ft.)
* QM2 is as long as 41 double-decker London buses (31½ ft. each)
* QM2's whistle is audible for 10 miles


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Icebreaker MS Fennica

Date of Issue: September 07, 2005

Received this stamp through postcrossing from Ms. Laura, Finland.

MS Fennica is one of the four stamps on theme - "Icebreakers" issued by Finland.

MS Fennica, built in 1993, is the first multipurpose icebreaker in Finland. In the winter, the multipurpose icebreakers sail in domestic icebreaking duties. In the summer they have offshore duties in the service of international oil and gas industry.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Card #6 from Finland

Received this card today from Ms. Laura, Finland through Postcrossing. She also written some details of the ship on the card - Suomen Joutsen (Swan of Finland) and also fixed a ship stamp of Finland issued on 2005, which we see in a separate posting.

Suomen Joutsen (Swan of Finland in English) (former names are Laënnec, Oldenburg) is a three-mast, steel hull, full rigged ship. She was built in 1902 in St. Nazaire, France to serve in the trade between Atlantic and Pacific ports. In 1930 she was bought by the Government of Finland to serve as Finnish Navy training ship. She was renamed Suomen Joutsen on November 01, 1931. Before World War II she made eight long ocean voyages. From 1956 she was a stationary Seamen's School for the Finnish Merchant Navy. In 1951 she made her last trip on the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland. Since 1991, she has been a museum ship owned by City of Turku, Finland.

She celebrated her 100th Anniversary in 2002 in Turku.

Source: Wikipedia and

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Coin # 1 - Maldives 10 Laari

Bought this coin recently as it has a ship design.

The reverse side of coin has mint mark MMA that represents Maldives Monetary Authority. The reverse of this coin has a watercraft which is known as Odi or Dhoni, traditional fishing boat of Maldives. It is a multi-purpose sail boat with a motor or lateen sails that is used in the Maldives. It is handcrafted and its use within the multi-island nation has been very important.

A dhoni resembles a dhow, a traditional Arab sailing vessel. The traditional dhoni is one of the oldest known sea vessels in the Maldives. Many of these traditional sailing vessels were, of necessity, built using coconut palm timber. The sailing dhoni was used in earlier days by Maldivian fishermen. During the industrial revolution many fisherman changed to a mechanized dhoni.

Source: Wikipedia

Transatlantic Cable - 150th Anniversary

Date of Issue: August 15, 2008
Quantity Printed: 0.252 million
Illustration: Vincent Killowry
Typography & Layout: Steve Simpson
Printing Process: Lithography
Printer: Irish Security Stamp Printing Ltd.

On 16 August 1858, the first official transatlantic cable message from Europe to America was sent by Britain's Queen Victoria to James Buchanan, President of the United States.

Cyrus West Field, an American businessman, was the driving force behind the transatlantic cable connection. As well as founding the Atlantic Telegraph Company in 1856, Field also supplied a quarter of the company's capital.

While the first two attempts failed on 17 July 1858, the two ships involved, the HMS Agamemnon and the USS Niagra, set out once more on their historic mission and were successful. They connected Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, Canada with Knightstown on Valentia Island, Ireland on 5 August 1858.


Cover from Ireland

Received this registered cover recently from Mr. Brian Kavanagh, Ireland. It has a ship stamp and an ATM stamp with boat. Thank you Mr. Brian for accepting my request for fixing a ship stamp on cover.

The 82c stamp was issued last year (2008).

I will update the details of the stamp in a separate post.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Europa 1992 - Isle of Man

Date of Issue: April 16, 1992
Scott #: 506a, 508a

Isle of Man issued four stamps in two pairs on series "Pilgrims' voyage to America" to commemorate 500th Anniversary of discovery of America by Columbus.

The first pair of stamps show Pilgrims in longboats and Speedwell, Delfhaven, Holland.

The second pair of stamps show the ship Mayflower; and Speedwell, Dartmouth, England.

Europa 1992

In 1992, 41 countries issued a total of 90 stamps in order to celebrate the 500 years of the discovery of the Americas by Columbus and it was the last year in which the CEPT logo was in use on Europa stamps.

Europa Stamps - An Intro

Europa stamps have been issued annually since 1956. First sets representing the founding 6 members of the ECSC, European Coal and Steel Community, then by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) in 1959, (first stamps issued in 1960) and by PostEurop since 1993.

CEPT is from the French acronym Conférence Européenne des administrations des Postes et des Télécommunications.

Submarine TAPAJO (S33)

Date of Issue: May 05, 1998
Scott #: 2679

This stamp was issued on the occasion of launching of the submarine TAPAJO of Brazilian Navy.

She is based at the Base Almirante Castro e Silva, Mocangue Island near Niteroi, just across the bay to the east of Rio de Janeiro.

The Tupi class is a German design and the lead ship the TUPI was built by the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW), Kiel, Germany, while the other three were built by Arsenal de Marinha.

The propulsion system provides a surface speed of more than 10 knots and a submerged speed of 24 knots.

Source: and

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Card # 5 from Germany

Received this colorful postcard from Ms. Astrid, Germany through Postcrossing.

The card shows ships at Hamburg harbor at night with beautiful view and colorful lights on the river Elbe.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

MV Doulos - Special Cover - Taiwan

Date of Issue: May 23, 2009

Many thanks to Mr. George Wu (Gulfmann Stamps Collection), Taiwan, for sending me this special cover of MV Doulos with Taiwan Keelung Port temporary post office on the ship deck.

The MV Doulos is the world's oldest active ocean-faring passenger ship. She is now owned by the German charity - Gute Bücher für Alle (English: Good Books for All), and is used as a floating bookshop. The ship has previously been known as the SS Medina, the SS Roma, and the MV Franca C.

The Medina was built in 1914 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company for the Mallory Steamship Company of the United States. She was a freighter serving the Atlantic; during World War II she served with the United States Coast Guard.

In 1977, Gute Bücher für Alle acquired the Franca C, and renamed her the Doulos (Greek for servant). In her current role, she is manned by a crew of 320 volunteers representing 54 countries and has visited more than 100 countries, welcoming more than 19 million people onboard!

The MV Doulos currently holds the biggest floating library in the world. Normally there is somewhere around 3000 to 5000 books on the shelf and half a million in the hold.

She is currently doing her last world tour and was planned to be de-commissioned in 2010 when the SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea) regulations are due to be introduced.

Source: Wikipedia.

Monday, August 3, 2009

IMCO 25th Anniversary - 1983 ancient sailing ships

Date of Issue: March 17, 1983
Scott #: 1090 to 1095

This set of six stamps on series "Ancient Sailing Ships" issued to commemorate 25th Anniversary of Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), presently known as International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Many thanks to Mr. Mauro Bernasconi, (Libyan Philatelic Center) who sent this set as a gift to me.

Each stamps show, starting from top left, ancient sailing ships of Phoenician, Viking, Greek, Roman, Libyan, and Pharoah's of Egypt.

Click here if anyone interested in buying Libyan stamps from Mr. Mauro Bernasconi's store on the delcampe site.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

9th Asian Games - Delhi 1982

Date of Issue: November 25, 1982
Scott #: 997 and 999

These two stamps show the Sailing and Canoeing, two of the 21 sports events held during the 9th Asian Games at Delhi, November 19, 1982 to December 04, 1982.

The special cancellation on stamps depicts a man on windsurfing.

M.V. Senlac - Inaugural Commemorative cover

This is the first Paquebot cover in my collection.

Click here to see the definition of Paquebot.

M.V. Senlac Sealink is a steel twin screw motor vessel built at the Arsenal de Brest, for British Railways Board in 1973. It was delivered to Sealink UK Ltd, London, England on April 1973.

On May 02, 1973 it commenced service from Newhaven to Dieppe.

Getting started in paquebot cover collecting 

Paquebot - Definition

Covers and cards mailed at sea are generally referred to as "paquebot" covers. "Paquebot" is French for "packet boat," and postal administrations use paquebot handstamps to mark mail received from a seagoing vessel that has no on-board post office.

Originally packet boats were small vessels employed by a government to carry dispatches, mail, passengers and cargo on relatively short voyages on fixed sailing days. Over time, however, paquebot mail came to mean any mail received at sea.

Other paquebot markings that have been used include
"Loose Ship Letters" or "Ship Mail" (Australia),
"Posted at Sea" (various countries),
"New York Ship" (New York City),
"Schiffsbrief" (Germany and Austria),
"Pacchibot" (Italy),
"Paketboot" (Netherlands and colonies),
"Paquete" (Portugal and colonies) and
"Paquetboat" (United States).

The paquebot marking is often a straightline or boxed handstamp applied somewhere on the cover. Sometimes it is incorporated into a postmark or canceling device. Even handwritten paquebot markings are acceptable, as long as they are written in ink.
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