Thursday, June 30, 2011

Saxon Steamship Company - 175th Anniversary

Date of Issue: June 09, 2011

Sächsische Dampfschiffahrt, a.k.a. the Saxon Steamship Company, has been cruising the River Elbe when on July 08 1836, a dozen citizens from the city of Dresden obtained a royal privilege for establishing steamboat navigation in Saxony.

The company, which has changed ownership and names several times, has the oldest continuously-operating fleet of paddle-wheel steamers in Europe, along with two modern motor cruisers. Seven of its nine vintage steamboats, including the Personen Dampfschiff Diesbar were built in the 19th Century.

The sailing area stretches from the historic center of Dresden, in River Elbe to Seusslitz (near the porcelain town of Meissen) and Bad Schandau in Saxon Switzerland, is one of the most beautiful river landscapes in Europe.


Many thanks to friend Mr. Wolfgang Beyer, Germany for sending me these two registered covers, one each postmarked at Berlin and Bonn. Unfortunately, the miniature sheets on both covers were cancelled by ball pen by a careless postal worker.  :(

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) - June 18 - 26, 2011

Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) is an annual sailing event in Kiel, Germany. It is the largest sailing event in the world, and also one of the largest Volksfest in Europe.

Kiel Week is held annually in the last complete week in June.  This year 2011, it is 129th Kiel Week and was held on June 18 to 26. Kiel Week ends with a large fireworks display at 11 p.m. on Sunday, fired from pontoons or the quays at the Howaldtswerke, visible all across the Bay of Kiel.

Most ship races begin at the Olympic harbor of Schilksee, also the center of most sporting activities during Kiel Week. Other good places to view sailing races of smaller ship types are along the Kiellinie at the west coast of the Bay of Kiel.

Kiel Week usually gathers around 5,000 sailors, 2,000 ships, and about three million visitors each year. The event is organized in joint effort by the Yacht Club of Kiel, the Norddeutscher Regattaverein, the Hamburger Sailing Club, and the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee.

Another special event is the Tall Ships Parade, often led by the Gorch Fock, with more than 100 tall ships and traditional sailing ships and hundreds of yachts. The Tall Ships Parade is usually in the morning of the closing Sunday of Kiel Week.
Schleswig-Holstein (F216) - a Brandenburg class Frigate of the German Navy. These frigates primarily carry out antisubmarine warfare, but they also contribute to antiaircraft warfare defenses, the tactical command of squadrons, and surface-to-surface warfare operations. Their design includes some stealth features. 
This special postmark is to celebrate 125 years of the Lightship Laeso Rende. A lightvessel, or lightship, is a ship which acts as a lighthouse. They are used in waters that are too deep or otherwise unsuitable for lighthouse construction. The type has become largely obsolete; some stations were replaced by lighthouses as the construction techniques for the latter advanced, while others were replaced by large automated buoys. The Lightship Laeso Rende is located in the harbour of Heikendorf, a small town near Kiel.
Sail Ship Atlantis was built in 1905 in Hamburg as a light ship and served as such in the Outer Elbe River near Station Elbe II. Then she was taken out of service. Just like other light ships the underwater lines of the Atlantis have the classical shape of a sailing ship. After a thorough restoration the Atlantis began her second life in 1984. With the rigging of a barque she sails the seas of Western Europe and the Caribbean. In 2005 the windjammer was taken over by the Tallship Company and underwent another metamorphosis, while maintaining her traditional atmosphere and stylish interior. Since 2006 the Atlantis sails mainly around the Balearic Islands and the south coast of France.

Source: Wikipedia, and

Many thanks to friend Wolfgang Beyer from Germany for continuously sending these wonderful postmarks on envelopes.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Centenary of Royal Australian Navy 1911 - 2011

Date of Issue: June 14, 2011
Stamp Design: John White
National Postmark: HMAS Cerberus, VIC 3920

Marking the 100 years of the Royal Australian Navy this 'then and now' stamp issue features the Australian Navy's first flagship, battle cruiser HMAS Australia (I) and modern missile frigate HMAS Sydney (IV).

From settlement in 1788 to 1859, Australia depended on units detached from the Royal Navy based in Sydney to provide naval defense. In 1859, Australia was established as a separate British Naval Station and, until 1913, a squadron of the Royal Navy was maintained in Australian waters. This Australian unit was to be paid for and controlled by the Australian Commonwealth and was to be eventually manned by Australian personnel.

In 1909 discussions held between the British Admiralty and Australian government resulted in the establishment of an Australian Fleet Unit consisting of at least a battle cruiser, three second-class cruisers, six destroyers, three submarines and a number of auxiliaries. The first units of this Navy, the destroyers HMA Yarra and Parramatta, reached Australian waters in November 1910 and in the following year on 10 July 1911, His Majesty King George V granted the title of "Royal Australian Navy" to the Commonwealth Naval Forces. On the 4 October 1913, the Australian Fleet entered Sydney Harbour for the first time and in October of the same year formal control of these units passed to the Commonwealth Naval Board, thus ending direct Imperial control.

Many thanks to my friend at, Vera Radnell for the mint set of stamps and same on envelope.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

500 years of discovery of America by Columbus - PNG

Date of Issue: April 15, 1992
Scott #: 782-785
Scott #: for sheet - 785a. Date of Issue: June 03, 1992

Year 1992 marked the 500 years of discovery of the America by Christopher Columbus. Papua New Guinea issued a set of four stamps to commemorate this event. Three stamp shows the three ships with which he made the voyage - Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. The fourth one shows young Columbus with all three ships on background. A souvenir sheet was issued during World Columbian Stamp Expo 1992 held at Chicago, with two stamps from the set.

Click here to see stamps issued by other countries commemorating this event.
Click here to see Europa stamps issued in 1992.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ships of Finland, postcards - Paintings by Håkan Sjöström

Håkan Sjöström (born 1933) - is considered to be one of the foremost marine painters in Scandinavia today.  Painting was an important part of Håkan’s years of growing up. Upon completing his Bachelor of Science degree (Econ.), he started working at a shipyard in Turku, where he remained until retirement. Parallelly with his work, he even painted the newbuildings of the shipyard. Håkan has also had commissions for several  shipping companies, Viking Line among others. A few seascape commissions remain. In addition, he has  illustrated magazines and books.* He also has designed few stamps for Aland Post.

*Source: Aland Post bulletin No.1/2009

Suomen Joutsen (Swan of Finland in English) - 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. Before World War II she made eight long ocean voyages. From 1956 she was a stationary Seamen's School for the Finnish Merchant Navy. Since 1991, she has been a museum ship owned by City of Turku, Finland.
Sigyn (1887) - built in Göteborg 1887, now museum ship in Turku, is the last remaining wooden barque used for trade across the oceans. At the time she was built there were thousands of similar vessels, but she was one of the last ones built. She was quite small even for her time, considering she was built for long-distance trade, but well built and considered fast and beautiful.

Herzogin Cecilie - was a German four mast barque, built in 1902, was one of the fastest merchant sailing ships of her time, on a par with the Flying-P-Liners. The trip around Cape Horn from Portland (Oregon) to The Lizard (England) was done in 1903 in only 106 days.

Thanks to postcrosser Sirpa in Finland for sending me these artistic cards.

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Swedish Warship Wasa

Date of Issue: September 03, 1969
Scott: 830a

All the stamps in this booklet were engraved by Sweden's master engraver Czeslaw Slania.
Many thanks to my dear friend, Laura Termes for sending these wonderful materials to my collection.

Monday, June 13, 2011

500 years of discovery of America by Columbus

Date of Issue: March 10, 1988
Scott #: 2718 a-c

Many countries issued stamps to commemorate this event. These strip of three stamps and also a souvenir sheet were issued by North Korea. Christopher Columbus' ships Santa Maria is seen on first stamp, Pinta on the second, and Nina on the last stamp.

I wonder why these stamps were issued in 1988 instead of 1992.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Apia Hurricane Centenary (1889 - 1989)

Date of Issue: March 16, 1989
Scott #: 755 a-d

Samoa issued a strip of four stamps to commemorate 100 years of cyclone, which swept across Apia, Samoa on March 15, 1989 during the Samoan crisis. The effect on shipping in the harbor was devastating, largely because of what has been described as 'an error of judgement that will forever remain a paradox in human psychology'.

Apia is an exposed harbor, unprotected by high ground or an enclosing reef. The northern part of the harbor is open to the Pacific, and thus wind and waves can sweep through the area and drive any shipping which remained in the bay onto the reefs at the Southern end, or toss them right up the beach. However, even though the officers of the various navies were well aware of the necessary procedures in the face of such a threat, none made a move. This has been attributed to jingoism or national pride; none of the men in the harbor were willing to admit in front of the other nations' navies, that they were afraid of the elements, and so refused to take precautions, and refused to allow the merchant ships which accompanied them to move either, leaving thirteen ships, some larger vessels, at anchor close to one another in Apia harbor.

SMS Eber - German gunboat. The Eber was anchored in Apia Harbor, Samoa, during the 1889 Apia cyclone of 15-16 March 1889. Though she was the most modern of the seven warships present, damage to her propeller made it impossible for her to survive the violent wind and seas. After a long struggle, Eber was forced against the edge of the harbor reef and sank quickly, with the loss of 73 of her crewmen.

SMS Olga - German - beached & repaired

HMS Calliope -  British - a Calypso-class corvette of the Royal Navy which served from 1887 until 1951. She was the only ship that survived the tropical cyclone that struck Samoa in 1889.

USS Vandalia - was a screw sloop in the United States Navy.  The ship wrecked during the cyclone and 43 of the crew were dead.

Source: Wikipedia

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Portugal: Charles Darwin Birth Bicentenary (1809 - 2009)

Date of Issue: February 12, 2009

This souvenir sheet was issued exactly on Charles Darwin's Birthday, along with a set of six stamps. Many other countries too commemorated this event by issuing postage stamps.

Charles Robert Darwin FRS (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.

The design of the stamp sheet is based on the watercolor painting by Conrad Martens, draughtsman of HMS Beagle, and also a landscape painter.
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