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Ra II (Thor Heyerdahl’s Reed Boat) 1970

Heyerdahl (1914 – 2002) was a Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer with a background in zoology, botany, and geography. Thor Heyerdahl has long been interested in the history of early seafaring and has advocated that the oceans, far from being obstacles, could and can be safely crossed on relatively simple watercraft by following the natural conveyances of the winds and currents.

See Topic: “Thor Heyerdahl”

He became notable for his balsa raft (Kon-Tiki) expedition in 1947, in which he sailed 8,000 km (5,000 mi) across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built balsa raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands. The expedition was designed to demonstrate that ancient people could have made long sea voyages, creating contacts between separate cultures. This was linked to a diffusionist model of cultural development. Heyerdahl subsequently made other voyages designed to demonstrate the possibility of contact between widely separated ancient people.

See Topic: “Kon Tiki”

In 1969 and 1970, Heyerdahl built two boats from papyrus and attempted to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Morocco in Africa. Based on drawings and models from ancient Egypt, the first boat, named Ra (after the Egyptian Sun god), was constructed by boat builders from Lake Chad using papyrus reed obtained from Lake Tana in Ethiopia and launched into the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Morocco. The Ra crew included Thor Heyerdahl (Norway), Norman Baker (USA), Carlo Mauri (Italy), Yuri Senkevich (USSR), Santiago Genoves (Mexico), Georges Sourial (Egypt) and Abdullah Djibrine (Chad). Only Heyerdahl and Baker had sailing and navigation experiences. After a number of weeks, Ra took on water after its crew made modifications to the vessel that caused it to sag and break apart after sailing more than 6440 km (4000 miles). The crew was forced to abandon Ra some hundred miles before Caribbean islands and was saved by a yacht.

See Topic: “Reed Boat”

The following year, 1970, another similar vessel, Ra II (depicted on the stamps), was built of papyrus by Demetrio, Juan and Jose Limachi from Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and likewise set sail across the Atlantic from Morocco, this time with great success. The crew was mostly the same; only Djibrine had been replaced by Kei Ohara from Japan and Madani Ait Ouhanni from Morocco. The boat reached Barbados, thus demonstrating that mariners could have dealt with trans-Atlantic voyages by sailing with the Canary Current. Also in terms of survivability, the reed boat is equal, if not better, to most any boat used by Europeans during the early centuries of exploration. The Ra II is now in the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, Norway.

The book The Ra Expeditions and the film documentary Ra (1972) were made about the voyages. Apart from the primary aspects of the expedition, Heyerdahl deliberately selected a crew representing a great diversity in race, nationality, religion and political viewpoint in order to demonstrate that at least on their own little floating island, people could cooperate and live peacefully. Additionally, the expedition took samples of marine pollution and presented their report to the United Nations.

Barbados 1979, S.G.?, Scott: 489.

Norway 2004, Inland Mail.

Source: Wikipedia


This stamp issued of L25 by the Vatican in 1972, shows us a Venetian merchant ship from around 800 in which the body of the apostle St Mark is transported from Alexandria to Venice. Have not any info on the depicted vessel but below is given the voyage from Alexandria to Venice what I did find on the internet. The stamp is designed after a mosaic in the basilica of San Marco in Venice.
The two L1.50 stamps shows us an early map of Venice, with some ships types of that time frame, while the L180 stamp depict the Basilica of San Marco in Venice.
The Myth of St. Mark
The myth that is frequently referenced to in the decoration of the Basilica of San Marco is the finding of St. Mark’s body and the continued reaffirmation of his relationship to Venice. The relics of St. Mark are documented as arriving in Venice in 828. The narrative of the myth is told in the Translatio, a document that has an unclear development but dates to 1050 and introduced the story of how St. Mark came to Venice. The Translatio also proclaimed the divine right of Venetians to hold Mark’s relics. The myth begins with two Venetian merchants, Tribunus and Rusticus, who removed the body of St. Mark from the saints tomb in Alexandria.
Two Alexandrian monks Stauracius and Theodorus were acting as custodians to the relic. The story continues, in a manner to justify the commercial connection between Venetian Christians and Muslims in Alexandria, that the ship of Tribunus and Rusticus had been blown off their original course causing them to land in Alexandria. This is incongruous to the Venetian mentality of the 11th century that did not seem to mind who they traded with as long as the Venetian state benefitted in the end. The merchants discovered that the Khalif of Alexandria was planning on destroying the relics and the church the relics were housed in. Tribunus and Rusticus then persuaded the monks to allow them to take the relics thereby saving them. The monks and the merchants swapped Mark’s body with that of St. Claudia.
Then they hid St. Mark’s body in a container on board their ship and placed pork on top of the container to stop Muslim Guards from finding the stolen relic. During the journey back to Venice the merchants experienced miracles. These miracles took the form of a quick return home, the saving of a sceptic in the city of Umago in Istria from a demon and St. Mark saving the merchant’s ship from wrecking during a storm. Another alleged miracle occurred when St. Mark’s body was received in Venice. While the body of the saint was being brought to the palace of the Doge, Justinian Partecipacius, the relic became to heavy for the clergy members to carry whereupon the Doge promised to build a church for them, which would eventually become San Marco.

Vatican 1972 L25 sg ?, scott?


Built in 1797 at Toulon Naval Dockyard for the French Navy as SPARTI.
Ship of the Line, 'Téméraire' class, Displacement:1869 tons, L.battery deck:57m. B:14,71m. D:6,65m. Armament:74 guns of different caliber, complement:700
in 1798 she participated in the battle of the Nile, where she was one of the 9 ships were hijacked by the British, 02-08-1798 renamed HMS SPARTIATE.
In 1805 she took part in the battle of Trafalgar, along with HMS MINOTAUR they overpowered the Spanish NEPTUNO (80 guns) 3 dead and 20 wounded.
She returned to Plymouth for Repair to 02-1806 and was then added to the Channel Fleet and took part in the blockade of Rochefort, in 1808 in the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1842 converted into a hulk, 1857 demolished.
(B.I.O.T. 2005, 2x £1,10, StG.?)2nd ship of the right.

Spirit of Australia (World’s Fastest Powerboat) 1974

Spirit of Australia is a wooden speedboat built in a Sydney backyard, by Ken Warby, that broke and set the world water speed record on 8 October 1978.

Ken Warby designed, built and drove Spirit of Australia to a phenomenal 511 km/h in the 1970s...and his world record stil stands today. Built in a Sydney backyard in the 1970s the world's fastest boat Spirit of Australia is now a permanent feature at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

On 8 October 1978, Ken Warby drove the Spirit of Australia on the Tumut River near the Blowering Dam in Australia to a speed of 317.596 mph (511.11 km/h). She was powered by a Westinghouse J34 jet engine. The engine was developed by the Westinghouse Electric Company in the late 1940s and was used for jet fighters and other aircraft. The Spirit of Australia is displayed permanently at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour, Sydney, New South Wales.

Starting in the early 1990s, Ken Warby built a second jet boat Aussie Spirit powered with a fresh Westinghouse J34, but he never made a record attempt with it. As of 2013 Ken and his son Dave are working on a new boat Spirit of Australia II with plans for an attempt at the water speed record. This time they acquired two Rolls-Royce Orpheus 803 jet engines which are both lighter and more powerful.

By 1974 Spirit of Australia was launched and he was ready to start his first trials. Warby climbed into the cockpit and proved he had a great success - setting an Australian record of 267km/h, but a long way short of the 458.98 km/h world record.

Warby continued to trial his boat, gradually increasing his Australian record. On 20 November 1977 he first succeeded in breaking the world record, with a speed of 464.44 km/h, but shy of breaking the 500 km/h barrier he was ultimately seeking.

It wasn't until a year later, on 8 October 1978, that Ken smashed his own world record with an amazing time of 511.11 km/h on Blowering Dam near Tumut, NSW - setting a new world waterspeed record which has never been beaten.

Since 1978 there have been a number of attempts at breaking Warby's world waterspeed record. None has succeeded, some have been fatal.

Antigua 1987, S.G.?, Scott: 1025.

Source: Wikipedia.


SJÆGT: A wooden small fishing boat that worked with hand seines and traps in the Limfjorden, area of northern Jutland. Clinker-planked; double ended; strongly curved and raked stem and sternpost; long straight keel; considerable rise to the floors; strong sheer. Open later decked at ends and along the sides. Most had a live well. Outboard rudder, wide blade below the waterline; long tiller on some. Sailed to and from fishing grounds, setting a tanned spritsail, yard topsail and jib. Mainsail sheeted to a deck horse. A large type set a loose-footed gaff sail and 2 headsails. Also rowed employing single or double tholepins. Crew of 2-5.
Reported lengths 4-6.7; e.g., length 6.4m, beam 2m, depth 0.7m, draft 0.55m.

Denmark 1996 3k75 sg1075, scott?
Source: Aak to Zumbra a dictionary of the World’s Watercraft.

BAFFIN bulk carrier

As given by Watercraft Philately January/February 2015 the vessel depict on this stamp is the BAFFIN when she was moored alongside the Nalunaq gold mine. The photo’s where made in the summer of 2006 after which the stamp is designed and were taken by Steve Jarvis.

She was built as a bulk carrier under yard No 1081 by Daewon Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Geoje, South Korea for Federal Arctic Liberia Ltd. (Anglo-Eastern Ship Management), Monrovia.
29 November 1994 keel laid down.
09 January 1995 launched as the FEDERAL BAFFIN.
Tonnage 27,078 grt, 13,844 net, 43,706 dwt., dim. 190 x 30.5 x 16.6m., draught 11.52m, length bpp. 183.4m.
Powered by one 6-cyl B&W 2SA oil engine manufactured by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., 15,600 bhp, one shaft, speed 15.5 knots.
Fuel capacity 1,898 m³.
Cargo capacity 52,347 bale, 54,666 grain.
Ice strengthened. 5 holds.
15 March 1995 completed.
1996 Transferred to Barbados flag with homeport Bridgetown.
2005 Sold to Arlemia Shipping Co. Ltd. (Marlow Navigation Co. Ltd., managers), Limassol, Cyprus and renamed in BAFFIN.
As so she is depicted on the stamp when loading 41,463 tons of gold ore. The ore was bound for a smelter in Spain.
Nalunaq gold miner used a smaller vessel later to ship out the ore, and they grew smaller as time went by. In the end they were about 10,000 tons (i.e. from February 2007 to March 2009, when Crew Gold closed the mine). From 2004 to end 2006 the ore was shipped to Spain, and to Newfoundland from 2007 to 2009 where Crew Gold had bought the Nugget Pond facility. ... 4060,d.dGY
Early 2008 she was sold to Power Bulk Shipping Inc., Panama and renamed ICE POWER II.
End of 2008 renamed by the company in IZARA PRINCESS.
Early 2009 sold to Cedar 4 Shipping Inc., Panama and renamed CEDAR 4.
End of 2009 sold to Danskib 80 (Nordic Bulk Carriers, Hellerup, Denmark), Hong Kong and renamed NORDIC BARENTS. Managed by Wallem Shipmanagement.
07 March 2014 sold or transferred to Nordic Bulk Barents Ltd. Hellerup, Denmark, under Panama flag and registry, managed by Nordic Bulk Carriers A/S. Not renamed.
2015 Same name and owners, IMO No 9079169.

Greenland 2015 3.00 kr. Sg?, scott?
Sources: Lloyd’s 2001-02; 2006-07; various Marine News; Volker Nitsch- mann, Telepost Greenland Post; Símun D. Olsen, Geologist; https:// 15_engelsk.pdf. ClassNK Register of Ships. Watercraft Philately Jan/Feb 2015 page 59.


The full index of our ship stamp archive


Postby shipstamps » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:47 pm

Click image to view full size
Built under yard No 28 as a steel hullede cargo vesselby the yard of C. Mitchell & Co., Newcastle for William Cory and John Nixon, Cardiff.
23 May 1957 launched under the name WILLIAM CORY.
Tonnage 1.578 grt.1.238 net, dim. 244.5 x 35.2 x 17.8ft.
Powered by 2 steam engines 180hp.
Three masts, schooner rigged.
Her registered owner was H.Taylor.

She was built for the purpose of developing the South Wales trade, in which Wm Cory Jr. had taken an interest with John Nixon.
Carried two thin funnels abreast, right aft, the stamp shows one funnel, a design fault on the stamp.
She was chartered by Glass Elliot & Company for cable work, later by the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company.

1858 Laid Cable between Suffolk and the Netherlands, and from Cromer to Helgoland, Germany.
1861 From Algiers to Toulon, and from Otranto to Corfu in the Mediterranean.
1866 Landed the eastern end of the new Atlantic cable at Valentia, Ireland, and the Lowestoft to Norderney section from the Indo-European cable.
1869 The French Atlantic cable from St Pierre et Miquelon to Duxbury, Mass. USA.
1870 Carried part of the red Sea cable for the Indo-European cable.
Marseille to Bona together with CS SCANDERIA.
1870 Laid the cable between Penang and Singapore.

1882 Her registered owner is given as J.Fenwick & Son, London.
1888 Her registered owner is given as R. Jobson and Co., West Hartlepool.
1896 Transferred to Wm. Cory and Son Ltd.
May 1900 Sold to Dutch shipbreakers and broken up in Dordrecht, Netherland.

Ireland 1979 13p sg 457, scott 464

Source: ... ndexbc.htm World Ships publication: One Hundred Years Cory Fleet.
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