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Hermes, Gypsey Schooner and Belle Poule.

HMS HERMES was a 20-gun class sixth-rate post ship built in Milford Dockyard in 1811. On 11 February 1812 Hermes captured the American brig Flora. Then on 26 April Hermes captured the American brig Tigress. Four days later, HERMES and BELLE POULE captured the American privateer schooner GIPSY (or Gipsey). She was on her way from New York City to Bordeaux with a cargo worth ₤50,000 when the British vessels captured her in the mid-Atlantic after a three-day chase. Gipsey surrendered twice to Hermes and twice got away again before Belle Poule caught her. Gipsey was of 300 tons (bm) and was armed with twelve 18-pounder carronades and an 18-pounder gun on a pivot mount.In September 1814, master Percy led her in an unsuccessful attack on Fort Bowyer. The Louisiana State Museum has a map of the battle. The attack took place on 15 September at about 4:30pm. Two of the four British vessels could not get close enough to fire. The fort was more strongly armed than expected, the British fire was ineffective, and a parallel ground attack failed. Furthermore, as she tried to withdraw, Hermes grounded under the guns of the fort. Percy evacuated her crew on boats from Sophie and then set fire to Hermes, which blew up after the fire reached her magazine at around 10pm. In all, Hermes had lost 17 killed in action, 5 mortally wounded and 19 wounded. (The medical journal of the Hermes has survived. ) She was destroyed in 1814 to prevent her falling into American hands after grounding during her unsuccessful attack on Fort Bowyer on Mobile Pointoutside Mobile, Alabama. On 18 January 1815, Percy faced a court martial on board Cydnus, off Cat Island (Mississippi). The court acquitted him of all blame, finding that the circumstances justified the attack and that all involved had behaved with great gallantry. HMS BELLE POULE was a Royal Navy fifth rate frigate, formerly Belle Poule, a Virginie-class frigate of the French Navy, which was built by the Crucy family's shipyard at Basse-Indre to a design by Jacques-Noël Sané. She was launched on 17 April 1802, and saw active service in the East, but in 1806 a British squadron under Sir John Borlase Warren captured her off La Palma in the Canary Islands. The Admiralty commissioned her into the Royal Navy as HMS Belle Poule. At the time of her capture Belle Poule was armed with forty 18-pounder guns, had a crew of 320 men, and was under the command of Captain Brouillac. Marengo and Belle Poule had lost 65 men killed and 80 wounded. The British on London and Amazon had 13 officers and men killed and 26 officers and men wounded. Belle Poule returned to Portsmouth on 17 May 1815. A week later she sailed for Cork. She was converted to a prison hulk in 1815. She was sold on 11 June 1816 for ₤2,700. The design stamp is made after painting of John Bentham Dinsdale: “Hermes, Gypsey Schooner and Belle Poule”.
Somali 2017;


The sixth issue from Maritime Malta series consists of 3 stamps featuring vessels dating back to the Order of Saint John.

For many years, warships, such as the galley, were used by the Mediterranean naval powers. In fact this type of ship served for many years as the backbone of the Navy of the Order of Saint John. The Galley was characterised by its long, slender and shallow hull. These vessels were usually painted red with a white waterline and while most vessels at the time had sails, however the primary method of propulsion was the human strength of prisoners.

The 26c stamp depicts a model of the common galley, also known as Sensile. This was armed with five bronze cannon on the bow and propelled by 26 oars on each side. Three to five people were needed for each oar and this vessel was also rigged with two lateen sails. This model is on display at the Malta Maritime Museum.

The 42c Stamp depicts a model known as the Demi Galley or the Half Galley. This was introduced in 1742 and was a smaller version of the common galley. The development of this galley came at the time when availability of prisoners as oarsmen was scarce hence the smaller number of rowers needed. This galley was equipped with one large calibre bronze cannon on the bow. This model is on display at the Malta Maritime Museum and it is considered as the only surviving Demi Galley model known.

The 1 stamp shows a model of a brigantine. This was the ceremonial barge of the Portuguese Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena and was painted green with a white waterline. It was fitted with nine oars on each side and was not designed for long voyages, with storage space kept at a minimum. It is documented that Grand Master de Vilhena travelled to Gozo in this vessel. This model underwent extensive restoration in 1964 and it is on display at the Malta Maritime Museum.

Source: Joseph Abela (Heritage Malta) ... sues%2fphi
Malta 2018 0.26/1.00 Euro sg?, scott? (The 1.00 Euro has the year 2019 printed on it)


Antigua & Barbuda issued in 1988 a set of stamps and a miniature sheet for the “Sailing week yacht regatta 1988”. All stamps and sheet shows sailing yachts of which I have not any information. Of the regatta Wikipedia has the following:

Antigua and Barbuda Sailing Week is a yacht regatta held at Nelson's Dockyard, St. Johns, Antigua. It is one of Antigua's most notable events. Founded in 1967, it is cited as one of the top regattas in the world and attracts an average 150-200 yachts, 1500 participants and 5000 spectators on average annually. In 2012 the regatta was held between 29 April and 4 May. In 2005, 24 countries were represented at the regatta. There are five main races held, including the English Harbour race, and at the end of the week the event finishes with the Lord Nelson's Ball.
Antigua & Barbuda 1988 30c/$5 sg 1190/93 and sgMS 1194, Scott 1112/16


Norfolk Island has not a deep water harbour, ships are required to anchor about a kilometre or so off shore. The cargo is then transferred from the hold of the ship to lighters. The 30 feet lighters, which are a local adaption of wooden whaling boats, are then towed by launch to the jetty.
Of the whalers used on Norfolk Island after which the lighters were built see: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13176&p=14506&hilit=blessing+of+the+whalers#p14506

Loading jetties are located at Kingston and Cascade, but ships cannot get close to either of them. When a supply ship arrives, it is emptied by whaleboats towed by launches, five tonnes at a time. Which jetty is used depends on the prevailing weather on the day. The jetty on the leeward side of the island is often used. If the wind changes significantly during unloading/loading, the ship will move around to the other side. Visitors often gather to watch the activity when a supply ship arrives.

Much more is given on the following URL: ... nic-fleet/ ... olk_Island
Norfolk Island 1988 39 and 55c sg452/53, scott?. 1990 5c and10c sg483/84, scott?. 1993 45c sg 541, scott? 1996 $3.70 sg627, scott?, and 45c sg 629, scott? 2000 sgMS 731, scott? 2001 45c/$1.50 sg?, scott?


The Isle of Man issued two stamps in 1974 for the 1000th centenary of King Magnus Haraldson.

Under which name he was known has in the years many times spelled differently in the documents, but most probably it was King Magnus Haraldson, when born is also not known.
He was King of the Isle of Man and on the 8p stamp his fleet is seen. Twice in the year he sailed with this fleet of between 3600-4800 sails around the British Islands as admiral of the fleet to clear the waters around the islands from pirates especially the Danes and Normans. Also his coat of arms is depict on the stamp. Why are she rowing she are under sail, and why carry the shields outboard, so far I know the shields were only used during battle in this way, and clearly not a battle took place on this stamp.
The 4p stamp shows Magnus Haraldson in a stately barge with King Edgar of England on the River Dee in Wales. The skyline of the town in the background is of the town of Chester, a mistake has been made. The skyline of the town is from a drawing of the 14th century. Of the barge I have not any info, looks she is rowed by kings, all wearing a crown, King Edgar standing in the stern.
King Magnus Haraldson died in 977, but also other years have been given.

Source: Various internet sites.
Isle of Man 1974 4½p and 8p sg51/52, scott?


Felucca served as a cargo carrier, passenger vessel, man-of-war, corsair, and guardian of ports. Terra has been applied to a number of differ¬ent types of vessels during a long history that ended in the 19th century. Small types generally both rowed and sailed; large vessels only sailed, stepping 1-3 masts. Generally set lateen sails, although a sprit rig was common on some small open feluccas in the 17th century. Some As many as 20 banks of oars used and, on older types, outboard gangways supported standing rowers. Sharp ends, flat floors, shallow keel, flared sides. Most had a low beak. The later Spanish craft had a very tall stem extension. Most had an overhang¬ing poop deck, some had a cabin aft, and larger vessels were fully decked. On some, the helm could be placed at either end as needed. The corsair carried ca. 20 men. Reported lengths 9-19m, widths 1.8-3.7m, depths 0.7-1.12m.
Feluccas are the traditional sailboats of Egypts Nile . Egyptians and foreigners alike enjoy a relaxing felucca ride, as they are perfect for catching the breeze on a hot summer night, The felucca has remained, over the centuries, the primary transportation of the Nile . Its ancient form still graces the river as it has been done since the time of the Pharaohs. The felucca relies entirely on the breeze which builds during the day, and the Nile River's current. Egypt is blessed with a predominant southerly wind that pushes sailboats upriver, while allowing them to return on its current downstream.
Egipt 2014;le4. Dominica 1998; 90c; SG2459. Monaco 1979;1f50; SG1396. Uganda 1998;3000s;SG Ms1973b. (In margin of sheet).
Source: A Dictionary of the world’s Watercraft from Aak to Zumbra. ... rev=search


The full index of our ship stamp archive


Postby shipstamps » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:13 pm

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Abu Abdallah Ibn Battuta was a Berber, born in the city of Tangier, Morocco, on 25 February 1304. he was born into a family of Muslim legal scholars. A very devout Muslim himself, he left his birthplace at the age of 22 soon after finishing his studies. On 14 June 1325 he set out to make the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina that is required of Muslims who can afford it.
“I set out alone with neither companion to delight in nor caravan to accompany, my sole inspiration coming from an uncontrollable impulse and a desire long-cherished in my bosom to visit the holy places,” he wrote in his memoirs.

It took Ibn Battuata ten months to cross North Africa, passing through what are now Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, before arriving in Alexandria, the main port of Egypt. There he saw the Pharos at Alexandria, a giant lighthouse in the harbor that was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. He traveled to the nearby retreat of a famous mystic where he had a dream that he was on the wing of a giant bird that took him to Mecca and then flew him onto the east to a “dark and greenish” country.

From Cairo, Ibn Battuta traveled up the Nile River to Aswan and then overland to the port of Aidhab on the Red Sea. From there, he had planned to take a ship across the Red Sea to the Arabian port of Jeddah. However, he arrived at a time when a local rebellion in progress, and none of the ships were leaving the harbor. He was forced to return to Cairo and from there set out across the Sinai Peninsula to Jerusalem.

At the time of Ibn Battuta’s visit, Jerusalem was a small city of 10.000 people that subsisted by catering to pilgrims of the three great monotheistic religions-Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
After seeing the main sights of the Holy Land, Ibn Battuta went to Damascus, where he arrived on 09 August 1326. He studied with some of the famous Islamic scholars in the ancient city and married, apparently for the second time. In the course of his travels he married several times, but his wives drop out of the narrative almost as quickly as they enter it.

Ibn Battuta joined the main pilgrim caravan in September 1326. They journeyed south through Arabia by the Derb-el-Haj, the pilgrim road to Medina and Mecca, on a trip that took 55 days. Ibn Battuata devotes only a short section in his narrative to the performance of the traditional rites in these two cities because they were well known to his Muslim audience. He left Medina in Mid-November. Rather than returning home, he headed off to Iraq with a group of pilgrims who were returning to Baghdad.

Ibn Battuta left the caravan and stopped in Najaf in southern Iraq, a holy city for the Shi’ite sect of the Islam. From there, he went south to the port of Basra, which had once been a center of Islamic learning but had sadly declined. He made a side trip to Persia, visiting the cities of Shiraz and Isfahan. Back in Iraq he went on to Baghdad, which had long been the center of the Islamic world but was then still in ruins after having been sacked by the Mongols in 1258. While waiting for the next hajj caravan he went to Mosul on the Tigris and to the walled city of Diyarbakir in what is now southeastern Turkey. He then returned to Baghdad and joined a caravan headed south for Mecca.

Ibn Battuta stayed in Mecca from September 1327 to the fall of 1330, studying Islamic law. He used this knowledge to finance his future travels, he became an itinerant qadi, or Muslim legal scholar. Leaving Mecca, he went to Jeddah where he took a ship sailing down the Red Sea to Yemen and traveled in the interior of that country to Ta’iz and the capital Sana’a. From the port city of Aden he sailed as a trader across the Gulf of Aden to Zeila in Somalia, which he said was “the dirtiest, most disagreeable, and most stinking town in the world.” He sailed down the east coast of Africa to Mombassa and as far south as Kilwa, 600 miles south of the equator in what is now Tanzania.

From east Africa, Ibn Battuta sailed to Oman in Arabia and then went back to Mecca for a third pilgrimage in 1332. From there he wanted to go to India, but went about it from the “back door.” He took a ship from Jeddah to Egypt and then traveled up the eastern coast of the Mediterranean to Anatolia (Turkey). He traveled across the Anatolian plateau by an unknown route that included a stay in the trading city of Konya. From Sinope on the Black Sea, he sailed to the Genoese port of Kaffa in the Crimean Peninsula, one of his rare sojourns among Christians.

From the Crimea, Ibn Battuta headed inland through the steppes of what are now southern Russia, entering the domains of the Mongol Özbeg Khan (whose name was later taken by the people of Uzbekistan). At the request of one of the Khan’s wives he accompanied her back to her native city of Constantinople where he met the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus III.
Ibn Battuta stayed in that great city for five weeks and then returned to the Kahn’s capital at New Sarai on the Volga River. (Today, New Sarai is an archeological site not far from the Russian city of Volgagrad, formerly Stalingrad.)

By this time, Ibn Battuta had become a wealthy man. Everywhere he went he was welcomed by the princely courts and given presents, including, in many cases slaves and concubines. He and the entourage he had accumulated along the way traveled across the steppes to Khwarizam south of the Aral Sea. From there they went by camel to Bukhara and Samarkand and stayed with the Khan of Chagatay, another of the Mongol rulers of central Asia. Leaving Samarkand, he and his party went south across the Amu Darya River to Meshed in Persia and then into Afghanistan. They passed through the Hindu Kush Mountains, Ibn Battuta being the first to record their name. He reached the Indus River in September 1335.

Visiting Multan in present Pakistan, Ibn Battuta sent word ahead to the court of the great Mughal Emperor in Delhi of his impending arrival. The Emperor Muhammad Tughluq, was noted for his capriciousness, and Ibn Battuta wrote that “there was no day that the gate of the palace failed to witness alike the elevation of some subject to affluence and the torture and murder of some living soul.” The Emperor was however, also a patron of scholars and Islamic learning, and Ibn Battuta remained at his court for seven years in the capacity of judge and was paid a large salary. Spending lavishly, he fell into depth and was rescued by the Emperor. But he fell out of favor with Tughluq when he visited a local mystic who had offended the Emperor.

Ibn Battuta was put under house arrest for five months and was then called to the Emperor’s court- where he was named the head of a mission to travel to the court of the last Mongol ruler of China with 15 returning Chinese emissaries. Unfortunately, the junk carrying the envoys and gifts was wrecked by a violent storm at Calicut, on the south coast of India. Ibn Battuta was left destitute, having lost a child in the disaster. Afraid of returning to Tughluq, he sailed for the Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean, 400 miles southwest of Sri Lanka, where he was befriended by Queen Khadija. He was given an official post and married and divorced six times in the eight months that he stayed there. He became involved in local politics, however, and was forced to leave in August 1344 for Sri Lanka.

In Sri Lanka Ibn Battuta visited Adam’s Peak a mountain with a large imprint on its summit that Muslim legends says is the footprint of Adam, the first man, as he took his first step on Earth after being cast out of heaven. Traveling up the coast of India, Ibn Battuta’s ship was attacked by pirates, and he was once again left destitute. He eventually made it to Bengal and then sailed on board a Chinese junk to Sumatra, he was well received by the Muslim ruler of Samudra on the northeast coast of Sumatra, who gave him a junk and supplies to travel on to China. He left Sumatra in April 1346 and went to Zaiton or Quanzhou, on the Fyjian coast of China, and from there to Sin-Kalan, the Arabic name for Canton.

Ibn Battuta was impressed by Chinese civilization but deplored its “paganism.” His itinerary in China is not clear, but he left Canton in the fall of 1346 and returned to the West by way of Sumatra, India, Arabia, Persia and Damascus, where he saw the results of the great epidemic know as the Black Death. He made another pilgrimage to Mecca in November 1348 and then went back to Egypt. He took a boat along the North African coast and reached Fez in Morocco on 08 November 1349. he returned to his hometown of Tangier, where he learned that his mother had died a few months previously. He was 45 years old and had been away for 24 years.

Soon after his return, Ibn Battuta went to the northern city of Ceuta (now part of Spain) and then joined a military expedition that was being sent to defend the Muslim fortress of Gibraltar from a Christian army. Following the successful defense, he traveled in Southern Spain, which was still a Muslim kingdom, and visited the cities of Malaga and Granada.

In 1852 Ibn Battuta set out with a camel caravan that was headed southwards, through the Atlas Mountains across the Sahara desert. It took them 25 days to reach the salt mines of Terhazza, in what is now Mali. From there, he visited the trading center of Timbuktu and left one of the earliest written records of its growth, about 100 years before it reached the peak of its prosperity. On his return, Ibn Battuta went eastward into what is now Niger and then returned north to the Al-Haggar Mountains of southern Algeria.
He arrived back in Fez in January 1354. It is estimated that in the course of his lifetime he had traveled at least 75.000 miles, not counting detours.

On Ibn Battuta’s return to Morocco, the Sultan provided him with a secretary to help him write down and edit the narrative of his travels. This took about two years, and the Rihla, or travel book was ready in December 1355. In it he proclaimed that off all the lands that he had seen, his native Morocco was superior to all others. Ibn Battuta spent the rest of his life as a judge somewhere in the region of Fez. He died in 1369 at the age of 64.

Morocco 2004 6.50Dr sg?, scott?

Copied from: Explorers and Discoverers of the World, edited by Daniel B. Baker.
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