Southern Cross

Сlipper ship“Southern Cross”1851.

The so-called ‘medium’ clipper “Southern Cross” was built for Baker Morrill of Boston by E. H.O. Briggs at their East Boston yard during the winter of 1850-51. Launched on 19th March 1851, she was registered at 938 tons and measured 170 feet in length with a 36 foot beam. Well-proportioned, with a lofty sail plan, and sporting a golden eagle on the wing as her figurehead, it was predicted that she would be a flyer yet her maiden voyage from Boston to San Francisco proved a fiasco when she had the misfortune to be partially dismasted on two separate occasions during the protracted 136-day voyage. Faring better out of San Francisco, she made Singapore in an excellent 43 days and was in Calcutta after a further 13 days at sea, the total passage of 56 days from San Francisco to Calcutta establishing a new record for that run. From Calcutta, she returned to Boston in only 97 days and left her home port for her second voyage on 25th June 1852 amidst high hopes of more records. On 16th August however, far out in the South Atlantic, a fire was discovered in her lower hold and although it was eventually extinguished, she limped into Montevideo 15 days later badly burned and extremely lucky to have escaped complete destruction. Repaired and refitted, she was soon back at sea and once these earlier mishaps were behind her, her subsequent career was more successful although she never actually achieved any further records despite ten more years of reliable trading to the Far East. In the spring of 1863, by which time the [American] Civil War was in full spate , 'Southern Cross' was chartered to take a cargo of dye woods from the west coast of Mexico to New York. Sailing from Buena Vista fully loaded on 21st March, she set a course south and made good time around Cape Horn and up through the South Atlantic. On 6th June, 77 days into the voyage at a point just below the equator, she was sighted by the Confederate armed merchant raider 'Florida' which ordered her to heave-to and surrender herself. Captain Benjamin Howes had no alternative but to comply and once he and his wife, his crew and his passengers had all been taken aboard 'Florida', 'Southern Cross' was put to the torch and left to burn, a tragic end to such a beautiful ship. In her short but colourful life, the renegade 'Florida' captured or destroyed no less than thirty-seven Union vessels and whilst many were more valuable as prizes than 'Southern Cross', none was so handsome as this splendid thoroughbred. The design stamp is made after painting of Fitz Hugh Lane: «Clipper Ship Southern Cross Leaving Boston Harbor 1851».

Niger 2016;SG?


Built as an Offshore Supply Ship under yard no 9 by the Umo Gemi San Tic. Ltd., KD-Eregli, Turkey for the Siem Meling Offshore DA, Stavanger, Norway.
01 August 2007 contract signed.
19 October 2007 laid down.
01 November 2008 launched as the SIEM PILOT.
Tonnage 5,106 grt, 1.531 nrt, 4,800 dwt. Dim. 88.3 x 20.0 x 8.60m., draught max. 7,19m.
Powered: diesel electric by 4 Caterpillar 3516C each 2,100 kW, two electric motors each 2,200 kW. Speed 12 knots. One Azimuth thruster 880 kW and 2 bow thrusters each 1,300 kW.
Accommodation for 64 persons in 22 single bed cabins and 21 in double bed cabins
She was fitted out under yard No 75 by Eidsvikskipsbyggeri AS, Norway.
Carried a Fast Rescue boat with two 164 hp engines.
26 March 2010 delivered to owners, Imo No 9510307. Homeport Stavanger

15.05.2015 // ‘The Norwegian Government is strengthening the Norwegian efforts in the Mediterranean by sending the vessel SIEM PILOT and personnel to participate in Joint Operation Triton,’ said Prime Minister Erna Solberg. The vessel is to sail from Norway by the end of May.
‘I would like to thank the personnel from the police and the armed forces and those from the shipping company who will be taking part in a joint European operation to save lives in the Mediterranean,’ Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.
The Ministry of Justice and Public Security, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence and the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organization, has decided to charter the vessel SIEM PILOT from Siem Offshore. A total of 48 offers had been submitted by the deadline in the invitation to tender. SIEM PILOT meets the specifications for taking part in border patrols and supporting search and rescue operations.
‘The situation in the Mediterranean is grave and calls for a joint European effort,’ said Prime Minister Solberg.
‘The Government considers it important that Triton has the capacity, the mandate and the area of operation necessary to be able to save lives. We are therefore positive to the current dialogue between Frontex and a number of countries to expand the operational plan for Triton. We are following the discussion in the EU closely, and will maintain a dialogue with the EU on what further contributions can alleviate the situation,’ Ms. Solberg added.
According to plan, the vessel will be chartered from 20 May, after which it will be fitted with the necessary equipment in order to be ready to sail from Norway by the end of the month. Estimated sailing time from Norway to Italy is 10¬–14 days, during which time the crew and the personnel from the police and the armed forces will train for the tasks they will be carrying out in the Mediterranean.
‘A human tragedy is currently unfolding in the Mediterranean. By strengthening the capacity of operation Triton, we can save more lives,’ said Ms Solberg.
The vessel that is being provided by Norway meets the needs outlined by Frontex, and has initially been chartered for six months. Triton is a border control operation conducted by Frontex. The two main tasks of the operation are to patrol the borders and to help save lives in the Mediterranean.
The Government will take a broad approach to further efforts. We will maintain our close cooperation with NGOs, and we will combat human trafficking and organized crime. ... FetheD28fg

SIEM PILOT rescued more than 600 migrants from two wooden boats on June 2015 in the southern Mediterranean Sea, marking its first ever rescue.

2016 In service, same name and owner. I believe she is still in service as a rescue boat in the Mediterranean.

Mozambique 2016 100.00MT sg?, scott?
Source: and various internet sites.


Discussions about Great Britain taking possession of Tristan da Cunha began in 1815. Captain Peter Gordon of the East India Company's ship BENGAL MERCHANT stopped for several days at Tristan in November 1814 and encountered Tommaso Corri (known as Thomas Currie), the only survivor of the American Jonathan Lambert's project to settle Tristan. In May 1815, at Currie's request, Gordon, addressed a letter to the government of the Cape of Good Hope Colony seeking British aid and protection. Britain had taken control of the Cape in August 1814.
The Governor, Lord Somerset, forwarded the letter on to Earl Bathurst, the British Secretary for War and the Colonies, asking "sanction for taking a formal possession of the [Tristan] Islands in His Majesty's Name". He cited Gordon's views on the benefits of the islands as a watering stop for ships sailing to India and China, but he particularly noted that the Americans had used the islands as a rendezvous point for cruisers and privateers attacking British ships during the War of 1812. Taking possession would deter further mischief by the Americans or any other power. As if to emphasise the point, Lord Somerset's letter arrived in London about the same time as news of the capture of HMS PENGUIN off Tristan by the USS HORNET.
Following consultation in September 1815 with the Prince Regent (the future King George IV), Bathurst sent authorisation to take possession of Tristan as a dependency of Cape Colony. Lord Somerset, however, delayed taking action because of the winter weather. Meanwhile, separate orders were enacted on St Helena, where Napoleon Bonaparte had been newly exiled. It is unclear if they came from the government in London or were issued by the Governor, Sir Hudson Lowe. In any case, Rear Admiral Sir Pulteney Malcolm, dispatched HMS FALMOUTH from the naval blockade to Tristan under Captain Robert Festing. He was to take possession of the island with a temporary garrison, and then proceed with a letter to Lord Somerset at the Cape, with orders to provide a permanent garrison.
HMS FALMOUTH arrived at Reception Bay, Tristan (soon renamed Falmouth Bay) on 14th August 1816. He found two men living there, Thomas Currie, a native of Livorno, Italy, and his servant boy Bastiano Camilla of Mahon, Minorca. Captain Festing departed Tristan for the Cape after three days, having also taken possession of Nightingale and Inaccessible islands. He left a small garrison of seamen and marines under the command of Lieutenant David Rice RN.
Festing's arrival at the Cape brought matters forward, and Somerset wrote to Bathurst on the 24th October 1816 with full details of the army garrison he was sending to relieve Lieutenant Rice and his men. The new garrison under the command of Captain A.Josias Cloete, 21st Light Dragoons sailed for Tristan on HMS FALMOUTH, and arrived at Falmouth Bay on the 28th November 1816. The other officers were Lieutenant Aitchison, Royal Artillery, Lieutenant Atkinson, 72nd Regiment, and Medical Hospital Assistant Dr Evers. Captain Dugald Carmichael, 72nd Regiment, also accompanied them to make a botanical survey of the island.
Much of the stores and livestock were lost or damaged during the rough passage, and they had difficulty manhandling what was left up the cliffs to the plateau. Lieutenant Aitchison set about building a defensive work named Fort Malcolm above Little Beach. Somerset Camp (named for Lord Somerset) was established further inland, and tents were gradually replaced by huts and stone buildings. They also built a much needed road from the beach to the plateau.
A census appended to a report to Lord Somerset by Captain Cloete states that on the 7th December 1816 there were 72 people living on the island, including 5 officers, 36 NCOs and privates, 9 male civilians, 10 women and 12 children. At Cloete's request, Captain Festing had left a boat's crew consisting of a coxswain and 5 seamen capable of handling the treacherous waters around Tristan. There were also 6 Hottentots.
One of the artillery drivers was Corporal William Glass. He, with his wife and children, stayed to become the founders of the new colony after the garrison left Tristan in 1817. Somerset Camp was later renamed Edinburgh in honour of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, who visited Tristan in 1867.
25p - A six pound carronade with Royal Artillery crew at Fort Malcolm, which was established above Little Beach.
35p - Lt. Rice landing on the 14th August 1816, with Currie and Camilla waving the Union Flag as they approach. (The stamp shows a boat of HMS FALMOUTH.)
£1 - Capt. Cloete arriving to relieve Lt. Rice. (The stamp show a deck-scene of HMS FALMOUTH.)
£2 - Corporal William Glass arriving with his pregnant wife Maria and 18 month old son. (The HMS FALMOUTH is in the background with in the foreground a boat of HMS FALMOUTH)
The first day cover illustration is based on a sketch of the artillery huts at Tristan in 1816, drawn by Midshipman CW Browne of HM Sloop JULIA.

The details and history of HMS FALMOUTH you can find on: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7606
Tristan da Cunha 2016 25p/£2.00 sg?, scott?


Vietnam and Thailand jointly issued a set of commemorative stamps in Hanoi and Bangkok on August 5, 2016 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations (August 6, 1976).
The stamp set, which consists of two pieces, features the traditional puppetry of Vietnam and Thailand.

The first tells the legend of Hoan Kiem Lake where Le Loi returned his magic sword to the Golden Turtle after his forces defeated the Ming Chinese army in 1428; while the second features Thailand’s folk puppet play, Hun Krabrok, by King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The set, designed by painters Nguyen Du from Vietnam and Pisit Prasitthanadoon from Thailand, will be on sale until June 30, 2018.

Both stamps shows a watercraft, the Hoan Kiem Lake craft is almost sinking and it shows a puppet dragon boat. Vietnamese water puppetry has a long history. Vietnamese water puppetry is an age-old typical and traditional art, closely bound to rural culture and agricultural civilization of Vietnamese peasants.

The Hun Krabrok shows, three ladies puppets standing on deck what looks like a Thai junk.

Wikipedia gives on Hoan Kiem Lake legend:
Stories of the Hoàn Kiếm turtle began in the fifteenth century with Lê Lợi, who became an emperor of Vietnam and founder of the Lê Dynasty. According to legend, Lê Lợi had the sword named Heaven's Will given to him by the Golden Turtle God, Kim Qui.
One day, not long after the war and the Chinese had accepted Vietnam’s independence, Lê Lợi was out boating on the lake. Suddenly the Golden Turtle God surfaced, prompting Lê Lợi to return Heaven's Will and thank the divine turtle for its help. The Golden Turtle God took back the sword and disappeared into depths of the lake. Lê Lợi then renamed the lake Hoàn Kiếm Lake (or Hồ Gươm), meaning “The Lake of the Returned Sword”.

Of the Thailand stamp I can’t find some background information.

Thailand 2016. 3B sg?, scott? Vietnam 2016.? Sg?, scott?
Source: Internet.


On the 6th of October 2016 An Post issued a stamp to commemorate The Commissioners of Irish Lights.
The Commissioners of Irish Lights (Irish Lights) is a unique organisation that provides an essential safety service around the coast of Ireland, protecting the marine environment and supporting the marine industry and coastal communities.
Ireland has had lighthouses for a very long time: the oldest still inuse today dates back well over 1,000 years to perhaps the 5th century. Then, the monks of Rinn Dubháin in Co. Wexford (now known as Hook Head), lit a beacon to warn shipping away from dangerous rocks.
Today, Irish Lights provides and maintains over 300 general aids to navigation, lighthouses for example. They manage about 4,000 local aids to navigation (buoys, etc) and marks or removes dangerous wrecks outside harbour areas.
Irish Lights is crucial to the safety of our nation and to the success of our economy: 95% of our imports and exports are carried on ships. Each year, over 30 million tonnes of goods, almost 4 million passengers and more than 1 million containers pass through Irish ports and Irish Lights make sure it’s plain sailing for all of it.
There are four stamps in the collection designed by Vermillon Design and they feature Irish Lights staff working on a Buoy; a helicopter at work near Fanad lighthouse in Donegal; the technology Irish Lights offers to the sea user; and the ILV Granuaile, the service’s multifunctional vessel. ... houses.htm

Built as a buoy lighthouse tender under yard no 940 by Damen Galati, Galati, Romania for the Irish Light, Dublin.
26 July 1998 laid down.
14 August 1999 launched as the GRANUAILE MEANING: Described as “one of the most remarkable women in Irish history” Granuaile or Grainne Ni Mhaille (ang. as Grace O’Malley) was a renowned sea captain who led a band of 200 sea-raiders from the coast of Galway in the sixteenth century. Twice widowed, twice imprisoned, fighting her enemies both Irish and English for her rights, condemned for piracy, and finally pardoned in London by Queen Elizabeth herself, her fame was celebrated in verse and song and in James Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake.” She is often seen as a poetic symbol for Ireland.
Tonnage 2,625 grt, 787 nrt, dim. 79.69 x 16.10 x 6.75m.
Powered by 5 MAN & B&W diesel engines each 700 kW, two Schottel rudder propellers, speed 13 knots.
One 1,100 kW bowthruster.
Fitted out with a towing winch, bollard pull 40 ton.
Helicopter pad located forward, can operate helicopter only during daylight.
Accommodation for 16 crew and 10 others.
After launching towed to the Damen Shipyard in Gorinchem, Netherlands for fitting out under yard no 1940.
31 January 2000 delivered to owners. Homeport Dublin. IMO No 9192947.

After delivery used around the coast of Ireland. Is also available for charter work.

2016 In service.

Ireland 2016 0.72 Euro sg?, scott?
Source: various internet sites.


The tug depict on the FDC and a tap is the ISSYK KUL which is not more in service on Lake Issyk Kul but as seen on the photo laid up.
She is one of the type OTA-900 of the 758B project of which many have been built in the Soviet Union.
She was built by Verkhnekamsky Shipbuilding at Perm, for the Issyk-Kul’skoe shipping company at Kyrgyzstan. She was fitted out at the Przheval’skaja shipyard at Karakol, Kyrgyzstan.
The details of the class are:
Displacement 334 ton light ship, 400 ton loaded, dim. 40.6 x 8.6 x 3.2m., draught maximum 2.06m.
Powered by two 6NVD48U diesel each 294 kW. Speed 19.5 km/h.
Accommodation for 9 crew.
When completed I could not find.

After completing used at Lake Issyk Kul.
2015 When the photo was taken in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan she was laid up there.
Source Mr. Gennadiy Sitnikov and internet.
Kyrgyzstan 2016 on tap and on FDG.


In 1925 a shipyard with a slipway was constructed in Djergalchak on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kul and in 1926 the first ship was launched the PROGRESS OF KYRGYZSTAN. The Master shipbuilder was Korostelev.
She was built of Tien-Shan spruce (picea schrenkiana) and completed in 1927.
Passenger-cargo vessel of 250 tons.
Passenger accommodation, forty passengers in first and second class.
Powered by a Balinder type engine of 110 hp. which did run on compressed air carried on board in special containers. The engine was built by the Izhora plant in Kolpino near Leningrad (now St Petersburg) and was transported to the lake with great difficulties.

She transported on Lake Issyk Kul local produce and passengers. By good weather she could make the voyage from Rybachy to Przhevalsk (now Karakol) in 12-13 hours.
Her fate is not known by me.

2016 Kyrgyzstan 2016 50 Som sg?, scott? (The stamp shows her that smoke is coming from her funnel but a compressed air engine did not have boilers I believe?)
Source: Mr Gennadiy Sitnikov and internet.

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