Tuesday, December 29, 2009

CGS Sagar

Date of Issue: November 03, 2003

Many thanks to Mr. D.H. Rao, Chennai; Chairman - Indian Naval Philatelic Society for sending me this valuable cover signed by the Commanding Officer of CGS Sagar, VJS Chawla.

The Coast Guard Ship (CGS) Sagar is the fourth ship in the advanced offshore patrol series built by Goa Shipyard Limited for Indian Coast Guard, the predecessors being Samar, Sangram and Sarang. The ship's keel was laid on July 6, 2000 by Vice Admiral JC De Silva, the then Director General of Indian Coast Guard. The ship was commissioned on November 3, 2003 by the then Defence Minister, Mr. George Fernandes at an impressive ceremony at Goa.

CGS Sagar has been equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Her special features include an external fire fighting system for rendering assistance to ships at sea, pollution response equipment for controlling oil spillage and a system interfacing all the navigational sensors and equipment to a central computer and display known as chart station. The pride of the ship is the sophisticated Oto Melara super rapid-gun with anti-shipping and anti-aircraft capability. She is designed to operate Chetak helicopter as well as the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH). She has been provided with two high speed boats enabling her to prosecute fleeing smugglers even in shallow waters.

At an economic speed, she can cover 6000 nautical miles and stay at sea for 20 days without any replenishment. Her weapons, sensors, communication systems and computerised action information system provide her a capability to perform the role of a command and control platform for the conduct of Coast Guard operations.

Click here to see Coast Guard miniature sheet issued on August 12, 2008.

Text source: mod.nic.in (Ministry of Defence, India)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gibraltar Packet Agency - 200th Anniv

Date of Issue: September 15, 2006
Illustrator: John Batchelor

In these days of instant communication it is difficult to conceive the difficulties that existed regarding mail communication 200 years ago. After Gibraltar came under the British crown in 1704, mail was carried by ships whose Masters agreed to carry packets. However over one hundred years later, the Gibraltar Packet Service was created and commenced in July 1806. The first Gibraltar marks on letters were then introduced by the Packet Agency. After the first Packet Agent, John Hardcastle, had been in post for a few months, he asked for some marks that he could use to apply to letters. Two were produced: an arc with the name "Gibraltar", and a further arc reading "Gibraltar Paid". They were the first marks to be used on Gibraltar mail to denote that a letter had originated in Gibraltar in early 1807.

The set comprises of four stamps featuring specially commissioned illustrations on the HMP Cornwallis, HMP Meteor, HMP Carteret and HMP Prince Regent who regularly brought mail to and from Gibraltar during the 1800’s.

Text Source: Gibraltar-Stamps.com

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sir Peter Blake (1948 - 2001)

Date of Issue: November 25, 2009

New Zealand post issued this set of five stamps, miniature sheet, and limited edition imperforated miniature sheets, presentation packs etc., for Sir Peter James Blake - an inspirational leader, brilliant yachtsman, record breaker, passionate Kiwi and ardent environmentalist.

Sir Peter Blake was a New Zealand yachtsman who won the Whitbread Round the World Race (now known as Volvo Round the World Race), the Jules Verne Trophy – setting the fastest time around the world of 74 days 22 hours 17 minutes 22 seconds on catamaran Enza, and led his country to successive victories in the America’s Cup.

Sir Peter was on the Amazon River monitoring environment change when he was murdered in Brazil on 6th December 2001.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand (Rt. Hon. Helen Clark) called Sir Peter a living legend and a national hero in her eulogy she said in part:
Our small nation went into shock. Peter Blake was a living legend. As an outstanding sailor, he had brought great honour and fame to New Zealand. His death was unthinkable.

Sir Peter Blake is buried at Warblington churchyard, near Emsworth on the south coast of England. His headstone bears the words of John Masefield's famous poem, Sea Fever: "I must down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and sky, and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by....".

Text source: wikipedia

Many thanks to my swap partner and friend, Ms. Corinne Pegler from New Zealand for sending me this beautiful set of stamps.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Battle of Trafalgar Bicentennial - Lesotho

Date of Issue: August 22, 2005
Scott #: 1381, 1382

Lesotho issued two sheets of stamps to commemorate 200th Anniversary of Battle of Trafalgar.

The first sheet has four stamps that shows the flagship of Lord Nelson, the HMS Victory; second one shows Admiral Lord Nelson; third one shows Nelson wounded in the battle; and last stamp shows a view of ships engaged in the battle.

Click here to see other stamps on 200th Anniversary of Battle of Trafalgar.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ships that visited Christmas Islands

(click on image to view larger picture)
Date of Issue:
February 05, 1972 - 6c, 7c, 8c, 20c
June o6, 1972 - 1c, 2c, 3c, $1
February 06, 1973 - 4c, 5c, 9c, 50c
June 04, 1973 - 10c, 25c, 30c, 35c

Scott #: 39 - 54

1c - Eagle (1714)
Under the command of Capt. Beeckman, this ship passed Christmas Island on April 5, 1714, on a voyage from England to Borneo.

2c - H.M.S. Redpole (1890)
H.M.S. Redpole visited the island in 1890. The Redpole was a gunboat (1st Class), one of half-a-dozen sister-ships all named after birds.

3c - M.V. Hoi Houw (1959)
Hoi Houw (Sea Queen), a motorship owned by Skibs A/S Corona of Haugesund, Norway. Her service route is Whampoa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Port Swettenham, Christmas Island. She made her first voyage to the island on May. 14, 1959, and carries general cargo and passengers to and from Singapore.

4c - Pigot (1771)
Visited Christmas Island in 1771.

5c - S.S. Valetta (1968)
The Valetta, a bulk carrier on charter to the British Phosphate Commissioners. She visits the island at intervals to load phosphate rock for ports in New Zealand and Australia.

6c - H.M.S. Flying Fish (1887)
Originally Daring, renamed Flying Fish on January 14, 1873. On her homeward voyage from Australia to England, under command of Capt. J.F.L.P. MacLear she visited Christmas Island in January 1887.

7c - Asia (1805)
East Indiaman built 1803. A 3-deck merchantman on London-India service. Ships of iron from 480 to 520 tons were the most suitable vessels for bringing home what was known as 'gruff' goods, that is, cargoes of Indian goods consisting of such raw materials as cotton, rice, sugar, pepper, hemp and saltpetre. Fine goods, such as silks, muslins and teas were carried in the companys ships, over the 520tn mark.

8c - TSS Islander (1929 - 1960)
A Christmas Island Phosphate Company's and later the British Phosphate Commissioners' ship, built by the Grangemouth Dockyard Company, in 1929. The vessel's service ended in 1960.

9c - H.M.S. Imperieuse (1888)
The Imperieuse (wrongly spelt Imperious) on the stamp was a visitor to the island in June 1888. On this occasion, Capt. H. W. May, R.N. landed at Flying Fish Cove and formally declared Christmas Island to be part of the British Empire.

10c - H.M.S. Egeria (1887)
H.M.S. Egeria (actually HMS Hecate) visited the island in 1888 and a party from the warship discovered phosphate deposits, with the consequent annexation of the island by Great Britain.

20c - Thomas (1615)
Visited the Island on 1615.

25c - H.M.S. Gordon (1864)
This is reputed to be the ship from which Capt. Gardner landed an attempted exploration party in 1864 on the island. The first and only Gordon in the Royal Navy was in 1907.It would seem that either the name is wrong or the "H.M.S." is incorrect.

30c - Cygnet (1688)
Cygnet, made the first recorded landing on Christmas Island by a party sent by William Dampier in the year 1688.

35c - S.S. Triadic (1958)
The Triadic, was launched as the repair ship, H.M.S. Dungeness at the West Coast Shipbuilding Yard, Vancouver, on March 15, 1945. She was sold in September 1947, and was renamed Leuvuka. Sold again in 1948, she was renamed Triadic.Owned by the British Phosphate Commissioners, she is registered at London.

50c - H.M.S. Amethyst (1857)
H.M.S. Amethyst visited Christmas Island in 1857, when Capt. Grenfell, R.N., made the first attempt to reach the summit of the plateau, which has several prominent heights.

$1 - Royal Mary (1643)
An East Indiaman, under the command of Captain William Mynors, sighted and named the island on december 25th, 1643 while homeward bound to England from the East Indies.

Text Source: Shipstamps.co.uk

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

IOM - Battle of Trafalgar Bicentennial

Date of Issue: January 09, 2005
Scott #: 1082 a&b, 1083 a&b, 1084 a&b, 1085 a&b

Technical Details:
Design: Eddie Cassidy, Mannin Design
Paintings: National Maritime Museum
Printer: TBA
Text: Mr David Taylor, National Maritime Museum
Stamp Size: 28 x 42
Format: se-tenant pairs, 4 sets per sheet
Colours: 4 plus metallic
Process: offset lithography
Perforations: 14 per 2cms
Paper: 102gms PVA gummed

Isle of Man Post issued a set of eight stamps which captures the atmosphere and drama around Lord Nelson and the events of the Battle of Trafalgar which marked a turning point in British naval history.

Following the failure of the treaty of Amiens 1803, Britain was once more under threat of invasion. Nelson, a Vice Admiral, was again sent to the Mediterranean. After a long chase across the Atlantic and back, Nelson's final battle came on the 21st of October 1805, off Cape Trafalgar. He attacked the combined fleet of France and Spain in two columns. The battle was decisive. Twenty of the thirty-three enemy ships were either taken or sunk. Whilst pacing the deck on his flagship, Victory, at approximately 1.15pm, a musket ball, fired from the French 74, Redoubtable, struck Nelson. The wound was fatal. He was carried below and died just after 4.30 pm on hearing news that the battle was won. His final words were, "Thank God I have done my duty".

Trafalgar is possibly the most famous sea battle ever fought but it had more significance than just a victory over an enemy fleet. It established Britain as the dominant sea power for the next century and laid the foundations for a confidence in the Royal Navy that still exists to the present day. Nelson practiced the initiative of taking full advantage of every situation. His tactics were revolutionary and his objectives were always the same; total victory over the enemy but with humanity. His reputation not only inspired the men he served with, but a whole nation during his life and generations of naval officers and seamen since his death. Nelson had become the Royal Navy's Immortal Memory and secured his place in European history.

Text source: paintedships.com
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