Aerogramme issued by Australia with World Stamp Expo 99 Logo. Many thanks to my friend, Vera Radnell for mailing me this wonderful postal stationery.
The ship depicted is the James Craig, a three-masted iron-hulled barque built in 1874 in Sunderland, England, by Bartram, Haswell, & Co., she was originally named Clan Macleod. She was employed carrying cargo around the world, and rounded Cape Horn 23 times in 26 years. In 1900 she was acquired by Mr J J Craig, renamed James Craig in 1905, and began to operate between New Zealand and Australia until 1911. In 1932 she was sunk by fishermen who blasted a 3-metre hole in her stern.
Restoration of James Craig began in 1972, when volunteers from the 'Lady Hopetoun and Port Jackson Marine Steam Museum' (now the Sydney Heritage Fleet) refloated her and towed her to Hobart for initial repairs. Brought back to Sydney under tow in 1981, her hull was placed on a submersible pontoon to allow work on the hull restoration to proceed. Over a number of years the vessel was restored, repaired by both paid craftspeople and volunteers and relaunched in 1997. In 2001 restoration work was completed and she was able to set sail.
James Craig is currently berthed at Wharf 7 of Darling Harbor, near the Australian National Maritime Museum. She is open to the public, and takes passengers out sailing on Sydney Harbor and beyond. She is crewed and maintained by volunteers from the Sydney Heritage Fleet. The cost of maintaining her is approaching $1 million a year and the ship relies on generating income from visitors alongside, charters, events, and regular fortnightly day-sails with up to 80 passengers.