Maritime Monday for March oops I mean February 25th, 2013: RMS Philately III

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February 24, 2013


US 1934 Maryland Tercentenary
“The Ark & The Dove”

The Ark – a 17th century English ship which carried emigrants bound for the new Maryland colony during the pioneering expedition of 1634. The settlers began a permanent settlement named St. Mary’s.

The Ark eventually returned to England, leaving the Dove behind to provide transportation for goods to be traded up and down the Atlantic seacoast. The following year, the Dove headed back to England but never arrived and was presumed lost at sea.


The Ark and The Dove

imageThe Maryland Dove – The first expedition from England to the planned colony of Maryland was undertaken by Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, and consisted of two ships that had formerly belonged to Baltimore’s father, the Ark and the Dove.

In October 1632, the two ships departed Gravesend with 128 settlers on board, only to be chased down and brought back by the British navy so that the settlers could take an oath of allegiance to the King (as required by law).  After a brief detention, the ships set off across the Atlantic,  arriving at Point Comfort in Virginia on February 24, 1634. +

The Society of The Ark and The Dove


sailing ships Pamir and Passat at Port Victoria, Australia
designed after an oil painting by Australian maritime artist Robert Carter OAM

Issued by Ã…land March 19, 1999 to mark 50 years since the ill-fated German Pamir was the last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn, in 1949.

The four-masted barque was built at the Blohm & Voss shipyards in Hamburg, where she was launched on 29 July 1905. She had a steel hull and an an overall length of 114.5 m (375 ft). Three masts stood 51.2 m (168 ft) above deck and the main yard was 28 m (92 ft) wide. Top speed, 16 knots.

Commissioned on 18 October 1905 and used by the Laeisz company in the South American nitrate trade, taking between 64 and about 70 days for a one-way trip from Hamburg to Valparaíso.

She escaped both World Wars unscathed despite a close call in 1943 when a Japanese submarine was spotted. Evidently the fast-moving barque, under a strong and fair wind, did not interest the submarine’s commander.


Pamir under sail c. 1905
Full resolution ‎(2,500 × 1,880 pixels)

By 1957, her shipping consortium’s inability to finance much-needed repairs or to recruit sufficient sail-trained officers caused severe technical difficulties.  On 21 September 1957 she was caught in Hurricane Carrie 600 nautical miles (1,100 km) WSW of the Azores.

Pamir was able to send distress signals before capsizing at 13:03 local time, and sunk after drifting keel-up for 30 minutes in the middle of the Atlantic at position 35°57′N 40°20′W. An extensive nine-day search for survivors was organized by the United States Coast Guard cutter USCGC Absecon (WAVP-374), but only four crewmen and two cadets were rescued alive.

It was reported that many of the 86 men aboard had managed to reach the boats, but most died in the next three days. Many sharks were reported to have been seen near the last recorded position.

News of the sinking of Pamir made headlines around the world; it was a national tragedy in Germany. In a tragically ironic twist of fate, the last voyage of the Pamir was the only one in her career during which she made a profit. +


Painting of the barque Pamir by Yasmina Van Hove (1949- )
a Belgian painter specialized in marines and depictions of tall ships
Full resolution ‎(1,650 × 1,212 pixels)


Clipper Ship Flying Cloud – Australia 1998

The Flying Cloud was a clipper ship that set the world’s sailing record for the fastest passage between New York and San Francisco, 89 days 8 hours. She held this record from 1854-1989, over 100 years.

imageThe Cloud was also known  for having a woman navigator, Eleanor Creesy, wife of Josiah Perkins Creesy; skipper on two record-setting voyages from New York to San Francisco.

Eleanor had been studying oceanic currents, weather phenomena, and astronomy since her girlhood in Marblehead, Massachusetts. With her husband, ship captain Josiah Perkins Cressy, she logged many thousands of miles on the ocean, traveling around the world carrying passengers and goods.

On 19 June 1874 the Flying Cloud went ashore on the Beacon Island bar, Saint John, New Brunswick, and was condemned and sold. The following June she was burned for the scrap metal value of her copper and iron fastenings.

above right: Clipper ship “Flying Cloud”
Online Archive of California (zoomable)


Australia honors Abel Tasman

imageAbel Janszoon Tasman (1603-1659) was a Dutch seafarer, explorer and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) (United East India Company).

He was the first known European explorer to reach the islands of Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand, and to sight the Fiji islands. His navigator François Visscher, and his merchant Isaack Gilsemans, mapped substantial portions of Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific Islands.


Portrait of Abel Tasman, His Wife and Daughter c.1637
Attributed to Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp (1594–1651)
National Library of Australia


A view of the Murderers’ Bay, as you are at anchor here in 15 fathom

A 1642 drawing made by Abel Tasman’s artist on the occasion of a skirmish between the Dutch explorers and Māori people at what is now called Golden Bay, New Zealand. This is the first European impression of Māori people.


William DampierMatthew Flinders
Australian issue

William Dampier (1651-1715) was the first man of English descent to explore sections of New Holland (Australia) and also the first person to circumnavigate the world three times. After impressing the Admiralty with his book New Voyage Round the World, Dampier was given command of a 26-gun ship and made valuable discoveries in Western New Holland, but was eventually court-martialled for cruelty. On a later voyage, he was able to rescue Alexander Selkirk, who was Daniel Defoe’s inspiration for Robinson Crusoe.

Captain Matthew Flinders RN (1774 – 1814) was a distinguished navigator and cartographer and the first to circumnavigate Australia and identify it as a continent.  In 1801 he was commissioned to chart the whole coastline of New Holland. While recording details of his voyages for future publication, he put forward his rationale for naming the new continent ‘Australia’, as an umbrella-term for New Holland and New South Wales.


CANADA: Captain Robert “Bob” Abram Bartlett (1875 – 1946)

imageNewfoundland navigator and Arctic explorer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By the age of 17, he mastered his first ship and began a lifelong love affair with the Arctic.

Bartlett spent more than 50 years mapping and exploring the waters of the Far North and led over 40 expeditions to the Arctic, more than anyone before or since.

In 1914, Bartlett’s leadership in the doomed Karluk Expedition helped save the lives of most of its stranded participants after leader Vilhjalmur Stefansson abandoned the party.

After being stranded for several months, Bartlett and an Inuit hunter walked 700 miles over  ice on the Chukchi Sea, across Siberia, then mounted an expedition from Alaska to rescue his surviving companions on Wrangel Island. He received the highest award from the Royal Geographical Society for his outstanding heroism. +

see also: Champlain Surveys the East Coast


Canada: Martin Frobisher; 1535-1594

imageSir Martin Frobisher was an English seaman who made three voyages to the New World searching for the Northwest Passage.

It took him 5 years to gain necessary funding for his project. In 1576, Frobisher managed to convince the Muscovy Company, an English merchant consortium,  to license his expedition.

On his second voyage, Frobisher found what he thought was gold ore and carried 200 tons of it home on three ships.  Frobisher returned to Canada the following year with an even larger fleet and dug several mines. He carted 1,350 tons of the ore back to London where, after smelting, it was realized that it was nothing more than worthless iron pyrite.

In November 1594, he was engaged with a squadron in the siege and relief of Brest, where he received a gunshot wound during the Siege of Fort Crozon, a Spanish-held fortress. Poor medical treatment resulted in his death days later at Plymouth. +


 Robert Wolfall, Presbyter, and the First Anglican Eucharist in North America, 1578


Dudes Who Drew Ships (?)

left: François Chéreau; Engraver to the King
right:  Franz Huys

Ok…  I’ve been beating my skull against the intarwebs for an hour now and can find nothing about any ships ever with the above names, which philatelic layout customs would lead one to believe were being depicted.  Best I can put together is that this issue was to honor famous engravers, both of whom did illustrations of ships of their day.  A bit convoluted, thematically.

A Google-Image search on “Franz Huys” came up empty.  Change the Z to S, and Voila!  an entire page of FRANS HUYS engravings of ships! Try it yourself, you know how.

See Frans Huys naar Pieter Brueghel I for a detail of the image depicted above (Henry VII’s Mary Rose), except it’s in bloody Dutch, so that’s no help to anyone without wooden shoes and a fistful of tulips.

While you’re at it, cast your hairy bloodshot eyeballs upon Carracks similar to the Mary Rose, engraving by Frans Huys after a design by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c. 1561 for more nautically inspired engravings.

Four-Master and Two Three-Masters Anchored near a Fortified Island with a Lighthouse, ca. 1561–62 Frans Huys after Pieter Bruegel the Elder has a bit more information, but its focus is on the windmill-worshipping Euro-Swamp People’s fetishistic  depictions of ships and not a whole hell of a lot about Mr. Huys.  He seems to have just been an engraver that reproduced the work of other artists.  I know, Big Wuh! (eye roll)

François Chéreau  (1680-1729) was an engraver of portraits and reproductions (ahem, I’m sensing a theme here) of famous works of art during the reign of Louis XIV. In other words, a Society suck-up and Royal ass kisser that did the occasional technical job to pay off his pub debts. Read more about him on wikipedia.

So..  what we have is a stamp series not about any particular ships, nor honoring any illustrious citizens native to the country of issue, just “Dudes Who Drew Ships.” That’s fine. They still meet the requirements for inclusion in this post.  I want that font, dammit. –mf.


Cook Islands Half Penny

British navigator Captain James Cook arrived in 1773 and named the atoll the Hervey Islands. The name “Cook Islands”, in honour of Cook, first appeared on a Russian naval chart published in the 1820s.

The Cook Islands became a British protectorate in 1888, due largely to community fears that France might occupy the territory as it had Tahiti. When the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act of 1948 came into effect on 1 January 1949, Cook Islanders who were British subjects gained New Zealand citizenship. The country remained a protectorate of New Zealand until 1965.

The Cook Islands’ main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga.

imageThe Cook Islands have a large non-native population of black Ship rats which have dramatically reduced the bird population on the islands.

The rats are thought to have arrived in Australia with the First Fleet, and subsequently spread to many coastal regions in the area. +


France II designed by Roger Chapelet and engraved by Claude Durrens
Issued by France on June 10, 1973

imageNickel ore carrier completed 1912. The France II was the largest commercial merchant sailing ship ever built. She was square rigged as a five-masted steel-hulled barque with 38 sails: 20 square sails, 12 staysails, 4 foresails, and 2 spanker sails for a total 68,350 sq ft (6.350 m²) sail area.  Her five masts, all yards and the spanker boom were made of steel tubing; lower mast and topmast, in one piece.

146.5 meters (480.5 ft) long, displacement 10,541 tons standard; she could carry 7,300 tons of cargo. In addition to cargo, the France II carried passengers in seven luxury cabins.  Accommodations included  a beautiful lounge equipped with a piano and precious furniture, a library, a darkroom, and seawater therapy equipment.

Homeward bound to Europe on July 12, 1922, she went aground on a reef near New Caledonia carrying a cargo of chrome ore. Owners refused to pay to tow her free. American bombers used the wreckage for target practice in 1944. +

above rt: FRANCE II in Valparaiso


Paquebot-poste “La Guienne”
issued by France on March 29, 1965

Paddle-wheel steamship La Guienne was launched at La Ciotat, France on October 15, 1859. 96 meters in length;  gross tonnage 1,200. She had a 460 horse-power engine, plus fully-rigged fore-and-aft masts for auxiliary sails. She completed 33 Bordeaux-to-Rio de Janeiro (and back again) voyages during the 1860s.


left:Cote d’Emeraude (Emerald Coast) was a barquentine rigged fishing schooner built in 1925.

right: Issued for use in the French Southern and Antarctic Territories

In 1771-72, Breton-French naval officer and explorer Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen-Trémarec (1734-1797), sailed with two flutes, La Fortune and Le Gros-Ventre, to the Antarctic in search of the fabled Terra Australis.

see also: HMS Melpomene; issued by France on December 4, 1975


Christmas Harbour, Kerguelens Land, 1811

Instead, he discovered the Kerguelen Islands, one of the most isolated places on Earth, being more than 3,300 km away from the nearest civilized location.

While the surrounding seas are generally rough, they remain ice-free year-round. Soon after their discovery, the archipelago was regularly visited by whalers and sealers (mostly British, American and Norwegian) who hunted the resident populations of whales and seals to the point of near extinction. From 1825–1827, the British sealer John Nunn and three crew members were shipwrecked on Kerguelen.

Kerguelen has been continually occupied since 1950 by scientific research teams, with a population of 50 to 100 frequently present. There are no indigenous inhabitants, but France maintains a permanent presence of scientists, engineers and researchers.  There is no airport on the islands, so all travel and transport from the outside world is conducted by ship.


set of five issued by Great Britain on June 16, 1982 honoring Royal Navy tradition

Robert Blake (1598-1657) HMS TriumphHoratio Nelson (1758-1805) HMS Victory John Arbuthnot “Jacky” Fisher (1841-1920) HMS DreadnoughtAndrew Browne Cunningham (1883-1963) HMS Warspite


Ancient ship, issued by Israel on December 7, 1958


HMS Ariadne; wooden steam frigate
issued by Liberia on September 6, 1972

HMS Ariadne (1859) – wooden screw frigate launched 1859. In 1884, she became part of the torpedo school HMS Vernon shore establishment (or ‘stone frigate of the Royal Navy). Later changed to HMS Actaeon in 1905. She was finally sold in 1922.


Martinique & Saint Lucia 1766 (1998 issue)

Saint Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse by the French, the island’s first European colonizers. According to local tradition, a group of shipwrecked French sailors landed here on December 13, 1502, the feast day of St. Lucia.

image_thumb9_thumbThere was no European presence established on the island until its settlement in the 1550s by the notorious buccaneer Francois le Clerc, a.k.a. Jambe de Bois, or Wooden Leg. Peg-Leg le Clerc, who set up a pirate base on Pigeon Island. The first real attempt at colonizing the island occurred in 1605, with the arrival of 67 English settlers aboard the ship Olive Branch.

After the Seven Years’ War, the British acquired the island and imported enslaved Africans to work the sugar plantations established by the French. One of which, Paix Bouche, is reputed to be the birthplace of Napoléon’s first empress, Joséphine, born on June 23, 1763. +

Disease and harsh conditions necessitated continued importation of new captives. By the time the English abolished slavery in 1808, ethnic Africans outnumbered the native Carib.





see also: Guy’s Ship The Endeavour and

1887 Newfoundland Atlantic Brigantine


Centennial of New Zealand


paddle steamer Prinds Gustav; issued by Norway on July 1, 1988
to mark her 150th anniversary

Built in London for Norwegian government in 1837; designed to carry passengers and mail. Her service run between Trondheim and Tromso began on March 5, 1838. Transferred to the Norwegian Navy in 1870/71.


Buque Armada Peruana Amazonas
issued by Peru on March 8, 1961 to mark the 100th
anniversary of the ship’s successful circumnavigation

1,320-ton warship built at the Money Wigram & Sons shipyards of Blackwood, England, commissioned 1852, and the Peruvian Navy’s first screw-frigate. Amazonas was the first Latin-American warship to sail around the world (1856-58.)

On January 15, 1866, while on convoy duty during the war with Spain, she was wrecked on a submerged rock and beached on the island of Abtao, having never fired a shot in battle.


Pitcairn Islands; Casting Adrift of Bligh from HMS Bounty


São Tomé and Príncipe

Portuguese-speaking island nation off the western coast of equatorial Central Africa; named in honour of Saint Thomas by Portuguese explorers who arrived at the island on his feast day. Uninhabited before the arrival of the Portuguese sometime around 1470; current population of 163,000 (2010).

Attracting settlers proved difficult, however, with a majority of the earliest inhabitants were “undesirables” sent from Portugal, mostly Jews. By the mid-16th century the Portuguese settlers had turned the islands into Africa’s foremost exporter of sugar,with plantations worked by slaves imported from the mainland. By the mid-17th century, the economy of São Tomé had changed. It was now primarily a transit point for ships engaged in the slave trade between the West and continental Africa.

In the early 19th century, two new cash crops, coffee and cocoa, were introduced. By 1908, São Tomé had become the world’s largest producer of cocoa, which remains the country’s most important crop. +

see alsosee also


Fijian JunkGolekkan
see also: PalariCaravel


Tonga 1990; “Ancient Navigators”

Original artwork on thick artcard in pencil signed by George Bennett who designed the set


Canada: Le Kraken / The Kraken postage stamp

In Case You Missed It:
Maritime Monday for February 11th, 2013: RMS Philately I

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