Ahead of the launch next year of one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world – the RRS SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH– the British Antarctic Territory brings to you a stamp set looking back at past and present ships.

Ice-strengthened ships manned by experienced personnel have been a cornerstone of the UK’s Antarctic operations since 1943. Initially, the role of the ships was to establish bases and provide annual relief with staff, supplies and mail, but they also opened up otherwise inaccessible locations to scientific field parties. Ships officers have always carried out a variety of hydrographic survey and sea ice observation work to help with the demanding and at times dangerous task of navigating in icy and poorly charted waters.
During Operation Tabarin (1943-1945), ship support was provided by the Admiralty. Then, in 1947, the newly formed Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (FIDS) purchased its first vessel. New polar vessels have been named either after previous polar ships or individuals associated with polar exploration. The first ship (the MV PRETEXT) was renamed the MV JOHN BISCOE after the English 19th-century sea captain, John Biscoe (1794-1843). viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9100&p=9241#p9241

The FIDS scientific work was recognised in 1953 by the granting of Royal Research Ship (RRS) status to FIDS (later British Antarctic Survey (BAS)), vessels. In 1955 a second ship was bought, the RRS SHACKLETON.
The RRS SHACKLETON was in service with FIDS/BAS from 1955/56 until 1968/69. Her role was primarily that of a survey and science vessel, supporting marine geophysics programmes. On 29 Nov 1957, having completed the relief of Base H, Signy Island, the vessel was north of Coronation Island, South Orkney Islands, when she collided with heavy pack ice and was holed in two places below the waterline. Number 2 hold filled with water but using the ship’s pumps and temporary repairs she was stabilised and, escorted by the whaling ship SOUTHERN VENTURER and HMS PROTECTOR, put into Stromness Bay, South Georgia, for repair.
From 1969, the SHACKLETON was operated by BAS’s parent body, NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) as an oceanographic research vessel carrying out geophysical and marine geology cruises in Antarctic waters until being withdrawn from service in May 1983 and sold. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8089d

In 1956 the first purpose-built support vessel, RRS JOHN BISCOE (2), replaced her ageing namesake. Her maiden voyage included HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, visiting some of the FIDS research stations during the 1956/57 season.
Initially the RRS JOHN BISCOE (2) operated as a cargo vessel to resupply FIDS (later BAS) research stations. Increasingly she supported hydrographic and marine biology surveys, and geological landings. Following a major refit in 1979, her role became that of a platform for marine science, particularly the Offshore Biology Programme. Modifications included replacement of the main engines, new laboratories, winches for sampling down to 3,000 metres, a gantry for trawling and bow thruster to enable the ship to maintain station in strong winds and currents. New instrumentation included a satellite navigation system, echo-sounder and echo-integrator and salinity-temperature-depth profiler. Her final voyage with BAS took place during the 1990/91 season. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8091
The JOHN BISCOE’s motor launch, sometimes referred to as the ‘Biscoe Kid’, was transferred to the RRS JAMES CLARK ROSS and continued to be used until around 2002. She later took part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant on 3 Jun 2012.
Charter vessels continued to be used as required until 1970, when the newly built RRS BRANSFIELD replaced the RRS SHACKLETON. The RRS BRANSFIELD was an ice-strengthened cargo vessel, purpose-built for operation by BAS. The BRANSFIELD was BAS’s main supply vessel from 1970/71-1998/99, and also had limited facilities for on-board research. She represented NERC in the Review of the Fleet at Spithead in 1977, held to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee.
She was named after Edward Bransfield, Royal Navy (1785-1852), a British Explorer who made significant discoveries around the Antarctic Peninsula. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10222

In 1991 the RRS JAMES CLARK ROSS (JCR) became the first BAS vessel to be purpose-built as a science platform. Launched by HM the Queen in 1990, she is primarily a marine research vessel for biological, oceanographic and geophysical cruises. She is equipped with a suite of laboratories and winch systems that allows scientific equipment to be deployed astern or amidships. The ship has an extremely low noise signature, allowing the deployment of sensitive acoustic equipment. A swath bathymetry system was fitted in 2000. The JCR also carries out some cargo and logistical work. During the northern summer the JCR supports NERC research, largely in the Arctic.
The RRS James Clark Ross was named after Admiral Sir James Clark Ross, R.N. The vessel can steam at a steady two knots through level sea ice one metre thick. To assist passage through heavy pack ice a compressed air system rolls the ship from side to side freeing the passage. posting.php?mode=edit&f=2&p=13118

When RRS BRANSFIELD was sold in 1999, logistical support was taken up by RRS ERNEST SHACKLETON, operated by BAS on a long-term charter. Launched in 1995 the vessel is ice strengthened and capable of a wide range of logistic tasks as well as having a scientific capability. During the northern summer she is commercially chartered and usually works in the North Sea. As was her predecessor, the RRS ERNEST SHACKLETON was named after the famed polar explorer.

In the future the functions of both current BAS ships (RRS JAMES CLARK ROSS and the RRS ERNEST SHACKLETON) will be combined in the new NERC polar research vessel, the RRS SIR DAVID ATTEBOROUGH, due for launch in late 2018.
Artworks based on photographs from the British Antarctic Survey Archives Service.

Technical details:
Artist Andrew Robinson
Printer:Cartor Security Printing
Process: Lithography
Perforation: 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms
Stamp size: 42 x 28mm
Sheet Layout: 10
Release date: 25 November 2017
Production Co-ordination: Creative Direction (Worldwide)

Source: Ltdhttp://www.pobjoystamps.com/contents ... Ships.html
British Antarctic Territory 2017 76p sg?, scott?


For Zeemanswelvaren (Seamen welfare Society) the Netherland Antilles issued in 1952 five stamps with surcharge, with maritime themes under which four shows ships.

1½c + 1c shows a steamship which is not identified.
6c + 4c shows a sailor of the Dutch navy.
12½ + 7c the bow of a sailing ship which is not identified.
15c + 10 c a sailing ship with in the background a tanker, both are not identified.
25c + 15c a compass rose and anchor with a not identified passenger ship in the background

Netherland Antilles 1952 1½/25c sg 336/340. Scott?.

Sousa, Pero Lopes de (1530-1532)(Brazil,Argentina)

Second son of Lopo de Sousa and D. Brites de Albuquerque, Pêro Lopes was born one or two years after his older brother, Martim Afonso de Sousa (n.1500. He died in the early 1540s, crossing the Indian Ocean, on the voyage of the Indian Career. He was the first donated captain of Itamaracá, Santo Amaro and Santa Ana; commanded several armed forces of coast guard of the kingdom and the navy of the race of India of 1539. The earliest known news about him is the famous expedition to Brazil, of which he was sota-captain, who left Lisbon on December 3, 1530 under the command of his brother Martim Afonso. It is true that Pêro Lopes of the founding expedition of 1530 was an experienced sailor who did not seem to ignore maneuvering or piloting, as evidenced by the reading of his Navigation - the main document on the voyage. Unusual knowledge for a ship captain of the time, and more so for a great gentleman. There is no doubt that Pêro Lopes became a ship well before 1530, although we can not register his learning path."Pêro Lopes de Sousa, to whom all the Portuguese must confess their advantage and give obedience to the duty and office of the sea," wrote to the king, in 1539, D. João de Castro, of a captain who unusually ran a "career" in the armadas from the Atlantic, far from the Armada of India. In fact, few captains could boast of a service sheet as replete with bonanza and victory as that of Pêro Lopes, who, in addition to his marine qualities, had particular military skills, as can be seen from the five captured French ships in Brazil, for his participation in the expedition of Tunes (1535), commanding one of the round caravels, and the intense activity against the corso developed on the Portuguese coast and the Azores between 1536 and 1538. In 1539, he was entrusted with the command of the Armada da Carreira, which, without contrast, arrived in Goa in September of the same year. He was ruthless in the preparation of the ships for the voyage, as was required (and seldom fulfilled) to all the captains of the Carreira, even sending a border of fact, merchandise and even some slaves, an attitude that deserved the hatred of Portuguese from India. Gaspar Correia called him a tyrant and went so far as to say that his death by shipwreck, despite so much zeal, had been punishment of God, even admitting the price of the life of his companions. Pêro Lopes de Sousa sailed from India in the beginning of 1540 but did not make it to Mozambique. Like so many other ships, its Esperanza Galician ship was swallowed by the sea in the Indian Ocean, and the place or date of the disaster could not be specified.
Portugal 1994;3,0;SG?

Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo 1542

Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo was an ambitious, at times ruthless Portuguese soldier who served the Spanish Empire. He participated in the conquest of Cuba in the early 1500s and later battled the Aztecs in Mexico. Cabrillo eventually made his fortune in Guatemala, mining gold and trading goods while participating in the slave trade. In hopes of more riches, he set out to explore the California coast, mapping landmarks and identifying Native villages. He died on January 3, 1543, of infection from a wound suffered after an attack on his expedition by Tongva tribesmen.
For more details about the trip see: SAN SALVADOR 1542; viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15808.
Portugal 1984;45,0;SG? USA 1992 29c sg2751, scott2704.
Source: http://www.biography.com/people/juan-ro ... llo-090115

William de Conqueror death

Jersey issued six stamps in 1987 commemorating William de Conqueror’s death.
The 15p value depicts the year 1030, when Duke Robert I (the Devil) of Normandy, father of William the Conqueror, prepared an expedition aimed at driving King Canute out of England and placing Edward the Confessor, his kinsman, on the throne. The invasion fleet was driven down the English Channel by a storm, Robert and Edward’s ship ending up in Jersey where the weather being apparently even worse, they spent some time before returning to mainland Normandy. The illegitimate William succeeded his father Robert as Duke of Normandy on the latter’s death in 1035, while in 1042, on the death of Canute’s son, Edward the Confessor was crowned King of England.

The ship depict is a Norman or Viking type vessel of around 1030.

Source: Watercraft Philately 1988 page 26. Australian Stamp Monthly, August 1987.
Jersey 1987 15p sg 432, scott?.


This stamp is by Navicula and Watercraft Philately given that a Japanese junk is depict, by searching on the net I found that this is wrong, the stamp shows a Portuguese vessel (most probably a galleon) arriving in Japan. The stamp is designed after a painting on a Japanese nanban byobu screen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanban_art and are shown in Japanese museums.

I found on the net a detail of this painting, only the rigging is partly shown, but after this painting the stamp is designed.

Source: many internet sites.
Panama 1968 3c sg ?, scott 485B


This stamp is designed after a print made in 1776 of the port of Rouen, France. It shows a sailing vessel of that time.

Panama 1968 4c sg?, scott 485c.

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