Norfolk Island and Samoa issued in 1999 both a set of stamps for the 150 years Melanesian Mission, the stamps have been designed after stained glass windows, and the highest value of the set shows one of the vessels of the Melanesian Mission the SOUTHERN CROSS. At all 9 ships have carried the name SOUTHERN CROSS for the mission and 1 is still in service.

The design is not so clear but it shows us a topsail schooner, only two vessels can be the depicted vessel, the SOUTHERN CROSS IV was barquentine rigged, and did not have the rigging as given on the stained glass window, the V was a topsail schooner with a square sail on the foremast that she must be the vessel depict on the stamp. All the other ships of the mission are different.

Built as a steel hulled passenger-cargo vessel under yard no 738 by Armstrong, Withworth & Co, Low Walker on-the-Tyne for the Bishop of Melanesian, London.
11 February 1903 launched as the SOUTHERN CROSS (V). Christened by Mrs. John Selwyn, the widow of the late Bishop Selwyn.
Tonnage 683 ton, dim. 61.16 x 56.1 (bpp) x 9.1 x 3.96m.
Powered by one auxiliary triple expansion steam engine, manufactured by the North Eastern Marine Engineering Comp., Wallsend. 600 hp?, speed 11 knots.
The auxiliary engine were never used unnecessarily, or pressed more than could be avoided, because of the long distances to be covered on the work of the diocese and because of the urgent necessity of conserving the coal supply.
Accommodation for 105 persons.
There was a small chapel on board. In its original shipboard configuration, the 2.5m x 3.0m chapel opened out onto the saloon, which doubled as a congregation space during a service. Bishop Wilson described it as "the little church [which] makes this ship visibly different from all others”.
She was fitted out with two large lifeboats, two cutters and a dinghy.
Building cost £20,000. She was based at Auckland, New Zealand.

25 May 1903 sailed from the River Thames under command of Captain William Sinker, who was for a long time the captain on the ship.
Used as a mission ship in the south Pacific till she was sold for scrap.
March 1933 arrived Auckland and was broken up by Auckland Shipbreaking Co. Ltd.
The paneling of the chapel were rescued or bought by a priest, and carefully reassembled and you can now see in the St Mattheu’s in the City Church in Auckland.

Source: and various internet sites.
Norfolk Island 1999 45c/$1.20 sg?, scott?
Solomon Islands 1999 $1.00/1.50 sg?, scott?

GAL INS (Israel)

Built in 1975-’76 by Vickers, Barrow-in-Furness for the Israeli Navy.
Submarine, displacement:420 tonnes (surfaced) 600 tonnes (submerged) length:45 m. (148’) beam:4.7 m. (15’) draught:3.7 m. (12’)
Propulsion:1 shaft 2 × MTU 16V 396 SE 84 diesels:1200 hp. & AEG Generators, 1 × electric motor:1800 hp. 11 kn. surfaced, 17 kn. submerged, complement:32, max. depth:200 m.
Sensors and processing systems: radar Plessey, sonar Plessey. Armament:8 × 533mm. 21” tubes bow. Sub-Harpoon Missiles, NT 37E torpedoes, SAM launcher (removed)

The Type 540 Gal-class submarine is a slightly modified variant of the German HDW Type 206 submarine class (which includes the distinctive dome, or bulge, in the front of the boat), modified for Israeli requirements. The Gal class submarines were built to Israeli specifications at the Vickers shipyards Type 540 at Barrow in Furness in the UK rather than Germany for political reasons. "GAL" (גל - Hebrew for "wave") was the name of the son of Abraham (Ivan) Dror, 3rd commander of the squadron and head of the project.

The Gal class of submarines were the first Israeli Navy submarines built to Israeli Navy specifications. They supplant previous generations of submarines employed from 1958 by the Israeli navy which were refurbished and upgraded boats of the British S class and T class; submarines whose hull designs dated back to the decade before World War II.

Since entering service in the late 1970s, these small but agile and sophisticated submarines were continuously upgraded with newer systems to maintain their technological edge. They were somewhat unusual in that all boats of the class were at one point equipped with six-tube retractable Blowpipe surface-to-air missile launchers controlled from inside the boat, though these were later removed. The Israeli newspaper Maariv reports that Gal-class submarines were active in the 1982 Lebanon War. During 1983 torpedo tube launched Sub-Harpoon anti-ship missiles and associated fire control systems were added to all boats of the Gal class. NT 37E torpedoes were acquired to replace the older Mk 37 models in 1987–88. All extensively overhauled in 1994–95, including improved sensors and fire control system. In the late 1990s, the Gal submarines were replaced with the new, much larger Dolphin-class submarines. The Gal boats were decommissioned in the early 2000s. One was scrapped and two were sent to HDW in Germany in hopes of finding a foreign buyer. When none was found, in October 2007 Gal was shipped back to Haifa, Israel and is now on display in the Israeli Naval Museum. Some changes were made in the submarine to make it accessible to visitors, such as an entrance cut into her side.

Sisterships: INS TANIN, launched 25 October 1976, decommissioned 2002.
INS RAHAV, launched 8 May 1977, decommissioned 1997.

(Israel 2017, 2.50 sh, StG.?)


The Faroe Islands issued in 1991 a set of stamps to honour the Faroese painter Samal Joenson-Mikines ... en-Mikines

Most of his works are sombre, expressing his fixation with death a suffering after a series of personal tragedies. One of this set of stamps has a maritime theme, the painting “The Farewell” which shows us the mailboat leaving the quay with in the foreground wife’s of the men leaving. The painting was made in 1955 and is now in the Faroe Island Art Museum, Torshavn.

Source: Internet.
Faroe Island 1991 370 ore sg?. scott 229


For the 150th Anniversary of the Budapest Ketten (Chain) Bridge

Hungary issued a miniature sheet in 1999, which shows the bridge and passing under the bridge a paddle steamer.
The MS has near the paddle steamer the inscription OROSZ but a paddlesteamer under that name I could not find, most probably the stamp designer name. The stylistic paddle steamer represent a design of an early paddle steamer used on the Danube River.

Hungary 1999 150 Fl, sgMS?, scott?


The Nordic countries issued stamps with the theme sailing in 1998, in which Iceland issued two stamps with stylistic sailing vessels which looks fishing vessels under sail.

Co-operation amongst the Nordic countries in postal maters occurs through the offices of the Nordic Post Association which was established in 1946. Members of this association are, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. The concept of joint stamps issue grew from this cooperation, with the first stamps being released in 1956. The subject then was five swans flying in formation – a traditional symbol of Nordic cooperation. The Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Åland Islands began participation in joint stamp issues in 1993 and in 1995 the theme was “Travel in the Nordic Countries”.

Source: Watercraft Philately 1998 page 14. Islandic Post Bulletin No 1/98
Island 1998 35.00/45.00 Kr. Sg 895/896, scott ?

Tristan da Cunha.The first landing.

Though far west of the Cape of Good Hope, the islands were on the preferred route from Europe to the Indian Ocean in the 17th century; ships first crossed the Atlantic to Brazil on the Northeasterly Trades, followed the Brazil Current south to pass the Doldrums, and then picked up the Westerlies to cross the Atlantic again, where they could encounter Tristan da Cunha. The Dutch East India Company required their ships to follow this route, and on 17 February 1643 the crew of the Heemstede, captained by Claes Gerritszoon Bierenbroodspot, made the first confirmed landing. The Heemstede replenished their supplies with fresh water, fish, seals and penguins and left a wooden tablet with the inscription "Today, 17 February 1643, from the Dutch fluyt Heemstede, Claes Gerritsz Bierenbroodspot from Hoorn and Jan Coertsen van den Broec landed here".(See the stamp). There after, the Dutch East India Company returned to the area four more times to explore whether the islands could function as a supply base for their ships. The first stop was in 5 September 1646 on a voyage to Batavia, Dutch East Indies, and the second was an expedition by the galliot Nachtglas (Nightglass), which left from Cape Town on 22 November 1655. The crew of the Nachtglas noticed the tablet left by the Heemstede on 10 January 1656 near a watering place. They left a wooden tablet themselves as well, like they also did on Nachtglas Eijland (now Inaccessible Island). The Nachtglas, commanded by Jan Jacobszoon van Amsterdam, examined Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island and made rough charts for the Dutch East India Company. Dutch sailors also stayed on the island for four weeks in 1658, and made their last stop in April 1669, when their idea of utilizing the islands as a supply base was abandoned, probably due to the absence of a safe harbour.
In the 17th century ships were also sent from Saint Helena by the English East India Company to Tristan to report on a proposed settlement there, but that project also came to nothing.
Tristan da Cunha 1983;4p;SG351.

T-class INS DAKAR (77)

Built by H.M. Dockyard Devonport as HMS TOTEM (P 352) for the Royal Navy, laid down:22 October 1942, launched:28 September 1943.
Displacement:1,290 tons surfaced, 1,560 tons submerged, length:276’ 6” (84.28 m.) beam:25’ 6” (7.77 m.) draught: 12’ 9” (3.89 m.) forward, 14’ 7” (4.45 m.) aft.
Twin diesel engines:2,500 hp. (1.86 MW) each, Twin electric motors:1,450 hp. (1.08 MW) each, 2 shafts, 15.5 kn. surfaced, 9 kn. submerged, range:4,500 nm. at 11 kn. surfaced
Test depth:300’ (91 m.) max. Complement:61.
Armament:6 internal forward-facing torpedo tubes, 2 external forward-facing torpedo tubes, 2 external amidships rear-facing torpedo tubes, 1 external rear-facing torpedo tubes
6 reload torpedoes, 1-QF 4” (100 mm.) deck gun, 3 anti-aircraft machine guns.

HMS TOTEM was built to the group 3 variant of the T class design at HM Dockyard Devonport and launched on 28 September 1943. The submarine was completed and commissioned in early 1945. After the end of World War II, TOTEM and the other surviving group 3 boats were equipped with submarine snorkels to allow longer periods of operation underwater. Between 1951 and 1953, TOTEM was one of eight boats converted to the "Super T" design, which allowed the vessel higher speed and quieter underwater operation.

In 1965, TOTEM was purchased by Israel, along with two of her T-class sister boats, TRUNCHEON and TURPIN. The former TOTEM was commissioned into the Israeli Navy on 10 November 1967 as INS DAKAR (דקר), (English: Swordfish), under the command of Major Ya'acov Ra'anan.

DAKAR left the shipyard for Scotland to conduct her sea and dive trials. Late in 1967, after two successful months of trials, DAKAR returned to Portsmouth, England and left for Israel on 9 January 1968.

After leaving England, DAKAR put into Gibraltar on the morning of 15 January, departing at midnight and proceeded across the Mediterranean Sea on snorkel. She reported her position by radio to submarine headquarters in Haifa and was expected to enter her home base on Friday, 2 February, but as she was making excellent time, averaging over eight knots, Ra'anan requested permission to enter port earlier. He was ordered to enter on 29 January. Later, Ra'anan requested to enter a day earlier, on 28 January. This request was denied, the scheduled welcoming ceremony could not be moved.

At 06:10 on 24 January DAKAR transmitted her position, 34.16°N 26.26°E, just east of Crete. Over the next 18 hours she sent three control transmissions, which did not include her position, the last at 00:02 25 January 1968. No further transmissions were received.

On 26 January the British Admiralty reported the submarine was missing and gave the last known position as 100 miles (160 km) west of Cyprus. An international search and rescue operation began, including units from Israel, the United States, Greece, Turkey, Britain and Lebanon. Although Haifa Navy radio began broadcasting calls to commercial vessels to be on the look out for the DAKAR, Israeli officials would not admit the submarine was missing. On 27 January, a radio station in Nicosia, Cyprus, received a distress call on the frequency of DAKAR's emergency buoy, apparently from south-east of Cyprus, but no further traces of the submarine were found. On 31 January, all non-Israeli forces abandoned their search at sunset. Israeli forces continued the search for another four days, giving up at sundown on 4 February 1968.

Israel denied that the DAKAR sank as the result of hostile action and stated that the DAKAR was involved in crash diving exercises on its return voyage and was lost, probably as a result of a mechanical failure. On 25 April 1968, Vice Admiral Abraham Botzer, commander of the Israeli Navy, stated that the DAKAR sank on 24 January 1968, two days before being reported missing, due to "technical or human malfunctioning" ruled out "foul play".

On 9 February 1969, over a year after DAKAR went missing, a fisherman found her stern emergency buoy marker washed up on the coast of Khan Yunis, a town southwest of Gaza. British T-class submarines had two such buoy markers, bow and stern, secured behind wooden doors in cages under the deck and attached to the submarine with metal cables 200 meters (650 ft) long. Experts examining the 65 cm (two feet) of cable still attached to the buoy determined that the buoy had remained attached to the submarine for most of the preceding year until the cable broke completely, that DAKAR rested in depth between 150 and 326 meters, and that she was 50–70 nmi (93–130 km) off her planned route. All of these determinations were wrong, and misled searchers for decades. It was not until April 1999 and some 25 failed expeditions later that a search effort was concentrated along the path of the original route.

On 1 January 1970, the Egyptian newspaper Al Akhbar reported that the DAKAR had been sunk by an Egyptian warship with depth charges. The Egyptian story was told in a 2 July 2005 interview by Asharq Al-Awsat with General Mohamed Azab (major at that time):
On 23 January 1968, the Egyptian frigate, ASSYOUT, left Alexandria base in a training mission for the naval academy. After completing the training assignment and during the return journey to the base; students noticed the periscope of an alien submarine roaming in Egyptian waters, about two miles (3 km) off Alexandria. The Egyptian commander was informed and the decision was taken to attack the unknown submarine. However, the submarine made a very quick and hasty dive and the Egyptian ship lost its trace. General Azab reported the story to his commanders and mentioned that there is a probability that the submarine had crashed into the seabed. However, the story was not believed by the higher Egyptian commanders and there was no sufficient evidence to start a search process. General Azab mentioned that the submarine may have crashed into the seabed due to the shallow depth of water in that region, about 36 meters, while it needed at least 40 meters to dive, however, it appears that the submarine commander decided to take the risk.
The Israeli government stated there was no evidence to substantiate the Egyptian unofficial charges.

During the 1980's the Israelis, using a salvage vessel with Egyptian liaison officers, conducted three searches to look for the DAKAR in waters north of Sinai and another search off the Greek island of Rhodes. In August 1986, the U.S. Navy committed a P-3 Orion marine reconnaissance and a S-3 anti-submarine warfare aircraft for a search of Egyptian waters near al-Arish. In October 1998, Israel began running advertisements in newspapers in Turkey, Egypt, France, Greece and Russia offering rewards of up to $300,000 for any information on the fate of the DAKAR.

On 24 May 1999 a joint U.S.–Israeli search team using information received from U.S. intelligence sources and led by subcontractor Thomas Kent Dettweiler of the American Nauticos Corporation, detected a large body on the seabed between Crete and Cyprus, at a depth of some 3,000 meters (9,800 ft). On 28 May the first video pictures were taken by the remote operated vehicle REMORA II, making it clear that DAKAR had been found. She rests on her keel, bow to the northwest. Her conning tower was snapped off and fallen over the side. The stern of the submarine, with the propellers and dive planes, broke off aft of the engine room and rests beside the main hull.

During October 2000 a survey of the DAKAR wreckage and the wreckage site was undertaken by Nauticos corporation and the Israeli navy; some artifacts were recovered, including the submarine's bridge, the boat's gyrocompass and many small items.

The exact cause of the loss is unknown, but it appears that no emergency measures had been taken before DAKAR dove rapidly through her maximum...

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