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A new set of stamps has been released on the subject of William Hodges, the artist who accompanied Captain Cook when he was first to land on the Island in 1775.
Entitled 'William Hodges: The Art of Discovery', the set of four stamps and a First Day Cover were released on September 30th.
William Hodges was born in London. In 1772 he was appointed draughtsman on Captain James Cook's second voyage and he is best known for the paintings and sketches of the places he visited during that journey, including Antarctica and Easter Island. The apparent purpose of the second voyage was to search for evidence of a mythical, but much speculated upon, southern continent.
The Admiralty brief to Hodges was “to make drawings and paintings of such places as they may touch at worth notice, in their intended voyage” and to “give a more perfect idea thereof that can be formed from written descriptions only”. While Hodges drew coastal views for navigation purposes, his main work was to gather material for landscape paintings. During the course of their three-year journey, the crews of Cook's RESOLUTION and its sister? ship ADVENTURE, were exposed to extreme weather conditions, environments and peoples. These ranged from the icy wastes of Antarctic waters to the first Pacific landfall in the dense rain forest of New Zealand's Dusky Sound, from the complex, hierarchical cultures of the cluster of Society Islands to the most geographically remote of all Polynesian societies, Easter Island.
Cook's expedition circumnavigated the globe at very high southern latitude, and on January 17th 1773 became the first to cross the Antarctic Circle. Cook discovered the South Sandwich Islands and was first to land on South Georgia. He mapped the islands and took possession of South Georgia for Britain.
The voyage required Hodges to respond to a staggering range of subjects, from the fantastical shapes of sea-worn ice to panoramic renderings of island cliffs and shores. He was asked to produce not only studies of the landscape, but portraits and botanical drawings. The artist proved remarkably flexible. Faced with exotic and unfamiliar landscapes, he was able to modify his conventional ways of working. These paintings were some of the first landscapes to use light and shadow for dramatic purposes. Hodges' use of light as a compositional element in its own right was a marked departure from the classical landscape tradition and contemporary art critics complained that his use of light and colour contrasts gave his paintings a rough and unfinished appearance.
On his return to London, Hodges was employed to supervise the production of engravings to illustrate the official account of the voyage. He also produced a series of epic paintings to commemorate the voyage.
The sketch of Cook's ship RESOLUTION in a stream of pack-ice that features on one of the 70p stamps is owned by 'The Captain Cook Memorial Museum'. The other 70p stamp features one of Hodges' epic paintings from the voyage, 'A View of the Monuments of Easter Island'. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7408&p=11098#p11098
The 95p stamp features Hodges' portrait of Captain Cook.
The etching on the £1.15 stamp is taken from an original print entitled “Possession Bay in the Island of South Georgia. Drawn from nature by W. Hodges. Engrav'd by S. Smith”, this engraving was included in the book “A voyage towards the South Pole, and round the World”, by James Cook.

Source: South Georgia Post.
South Georgia 2010 70/1.15 sg?, scott?


The stamp of Guatemala depict the banana loading pier in Puerto Barrios, which during a hurricane now partly is demolished. On both sides of the pier is berthed a Great White Fleet ship, of which the nearest is given that she is the CHIRIQUI, the other vessel is not identified.
Built as a passenger-cargo-reefer vessel for the liner service of the United Mail SS Co. (White Great Fleet) by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry-dock Co, Newport News under yard 346.
14 November 1931 launched as the CHIRIQUI, christened by Mrs. J. Harris Robinson, she was named after the Panamanian province Chiriqui. Five sisters.
Tonnage 6,932 gross, 3,184 net, 4,425 dwt, dim. 136.17 x 18.28 x 11.59m., length bpp. 126.49m.
Powered by two General Electric steam turbines connected to electro motors, 11,000 shp, twin shafts, speed 18 knots.
Accommodation for 100 passengers.
Cargo capacity 270,000 cubic feet and could carry 50,000 stems of bananas.
18 March 1932 delivered to owners, and managed by United Fruit Company.

Her maiden voyage was from New York on 24 March to San Francisco where she arrived on 14th April. She was then put in the Pacific coastal service from San Francisco to west coast of Central America.
1935 Put in the service from New York to the Carib and east coast of Central America.
04 June bareboat chartered by the US Government, and renamed USS TARAZED AF-13.
US Navy service
The US Navy bareboat chartered her through the Maritime Commission on 4 June 1941. Brewer's Drydock Co. of Staten Island, New York converted her for Navy use and she was commissioned on 14 June 1941, commanded by Cmdr J.M. Connally.
Neutrality period operations
TARAZED loaded supplies sailed to North Carolina to supply ships of the Neutrality Patrol. After returning to New York, she left late in August for a voyage to Iceland to resupply US and Royal Navy ships.
World War II North Atlantic operations
When the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II, TARAZED was at Halifax, Nova Scotia preparing to join another convoy to Iceland. Upon completion of the voyage she went to Baltimore, Maryland, for an extensive overhaul before making resupply runs to Newfoundland, Iceland and Bermuda.
In July 1942 TARAZED reached Boston, Massachusetts, from Nova Scotia and loaded a cargo for Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Panama. On 21 September she returned to Baltimore with a cargo of sugar. She continued supply runs from Baltimore or Norfolk, Virginia, to the Caribbean until mid-1943.
Supporting the invasion of North Africa
On 8 June 1943 TARAZED joined Task Force 65 at Norfolk — headed for North Africa — and arrived at Mers el Kebir, Algeria, on 22 June. She partially unloaded there and, on the 30th, took the rest of her cargo to Oran.
On 4 July, TARAZED left for the US in convoy GUS-9. She reached Norfolk, VA on 23 July, was replenished, and left for Bermuda. After supplying Bermuda and Cuba she returned to the US, reaching Bayonne, New Jersey, on 13 August.
Eight days later TARAZED left for North Africa, reaching Mers el Kebir on 2 September. After calling at Bizerte and Algiers, she returned to the US in convoy GUS-15 and arrived at Norfolk on 4 October. Late that month, she joined convoy UGS-22 to take materiel to Oran, Bizerte and Palermo. Then, with the exception of a voyage to the Mediterranean in April, she took provisions to the Caribbean in the first five months of 1944.
Supporting the invasion of southern France
In June, TARAZED delivered provisions to ships in the ports of Plymouth, Swansea and Portland Harbour in Britain and at Belfast in Northern Ireland. She steamed from Norfolk on 24 August and arrived at Oran on 4 September to supply ships supporting the invasion of southern France. She continued logistics runs to the Mediterranean into April 1945 and turned to supplying bases and ports in the Caribbean until 14 December 1945 when she was ordered to report to the 8th Naval District for disposal.
Military honors and awards
TARAZED received one battle star for World War II.
Post-war decommissioning
TARAZED was decommissioned on 4 January 1946, was returned to United Fruit through the War Shipping Administration at New Orleans, Louisiana, the same day and was struck from the Navy list on 21 January 1946. She was renamed again in CHIRIQUI.
Post-war service
United Fruit restored the ship's pre-war name CHIRIQUI to her.
1958 United Fruit sold her to Union-Partenreederei T/S (Scipio & Co.) of Bremen, Germany, which also acquired her United Fruit sister ship JAMAICA. Union-Partenreederei changed CHIRIQUI’s name to BLEXEN. The new owner cut her down to a freighter by Todd New Orleans Shipyard.
Used in the banana trade from Central America to Europe.
28 November 1969 sold to Kaohsiung, Taiwan for scrapping, work of scrapping commenced in 1971.

References: Wikipedia. Going Bananas by Mark H. Goldberg. Lloyds Registry. Internet.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
Guatemala 1935 3c sg299, scott?


Built at a shipyard in Wiscasset, Maine.
The Salem Gazette of 8 September 1812 has the following
To be sold at Wiscasset a vessel of about 300 tons, pierced for 18 guns exclusive of bridle and stern ports.
Built after the model of the fast sailing ship VOLANTE and by the same master-workman.
28 September she arrived at Boston and she attracted the attention of a group of Salem men interested in privateering, and soon after the brig appeared they made a thorough inspection of her, whereafter she bought the vessel and she was named GRAND TURK (III), The ship had about 30 shareholders.
Tonnage 309 ton (bm), dim. 102 x 28 x 12.4ft.
Rigged as a brig.

16 February 1813 after she was fitted out at Salem as a privateer, she set sail for her first cruise.

When the War of 1812 broke out the GRAND TURK was refitted as a privateer, carrying eighteen guns and a complement of one hundred and fifty men.
At first she had as her commander Holten J. Breed, but toward the close of the war she was commanded by Nathan Green. Her first venture was made early
in 1813, when she ran down to the coast of Brazil, cruised some time in the West Indies, and late in May put into Portland, Maine. In this time the
GRAND TURK captured three large vessels carrying heavy armaments and a schooner, all of which were ordered to France.

In her second cruise, which was begun in July, 1813, the GRAND TURK made directly for European waters. On her voyage across the Atlantic she cap-
tured the schooner REBECCA,from Halifax bound for Bermuda, laden with live stock and provisions, which was sent into Portsmouth. Reaching the other side of the ocean, the GRAND TURK cruised for twenty days in the chops of the English Channel without meeting a British war craft of any descrip- tion. She came across many of their merchantmen, however, and took, in rapid succession, the schooner AGNES, laden with fish, which was sent into a French port; the ship WILLIAM, of ten guns, having a valuable cargo of drygoods, crates, wine, etc., from Cork for Buenos Ayres, which was sent into Salem; the brig INDIAN LASS,from Liverpool for St. Michael, with drygoods, which also was sent into Salem with thirty prisoners; the brig CATHARINE, from Lisbon for London; and the schooner BRITANNIA, for the West
Indies, which was sent into Portland. The CATHARINE shortly afterward was recaptured by the English brig of war BACCHUS, but before the prize could
gain port the GRAND TURK again loomed up on her horizon and seized her for the second time. To make sure that she would not again fall into the hands
of the enemy, the Americans, after taking out the most valuable portion of the cargo, burned her.
Continuing her cruise in English waters, the GRAND TURK added to her list of valuable prizes the sloop CAROLINE,from London for St. Michael, laden
with drygoods. The cargo was transferred to the privateer, but the sloop being of little value, and the prisoners in the privateer becoming so numerous as to be dangerous, the CAROLINE was released and ordered to the nearest port with the prisoners. Soon afterward the privateer captured the merchantman COSSACK, laden with wine. This vessel was recaptured by the 74-gun ship of the line BULWARK, but, like the CATHARINE, was again captured by the Americans; this time by the privateer SURPRISE, of Baltimore, and was sent into Salem. After burning or sinking the schooner PINK; the brig BROTHERS, from St. John's for Liverpool, with lumber aboard; the brig ROBERT STEWART, also with lumber; the schooner COMMERCE, laden with fish; and releasing the brig BELGRADE, from Malta for Falmouth after taking
some guns out of her the GRAND TURK returned to Salem in November, 1813, having made a cruise of one hundred and three days, and with only forty-
four men of her original complement of one hundred and fifty left. One of her prizes had a cargo invoiced at thirty thousand pounds sterling.

On her third cruise which started on 17 February 1814 she sighted 01 May 1814 the British mail-packet HINCHINBROOKE see: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13246#!lightbox[gallery]/3/

This privateer made one more short run to sea with fairly good success, but it was on her last cruise, when under the command of Captain Nathan Green, that she made her greatest reputation.

Half an hour after noon on Sunday, January 1, 1815, Captain Green stowed his anchors away and cleared his deck preparatory for sailing from Salem,
and at 2 p. M. he passed Baker's Island. Nothing more than an occasional glimpse of a British frigate or a ship of the line, to which the GRAND TURK
promptly showed a clean pair of heels, served to break the monotony of the cruise until 3.30 P. M., February 17th, when the privateer was in the vicinity of Pernambuco. At that time a small sail was sighted, which proved to be a catamaran, and for the purpose of gaining information as to the proposed movements of British merchant ships Captain Green boarded her. It happened that the craft had just left the port, and her master informed the
Americans that there were eight English vessels in the harbor, some of them ready to sail. This was the news Captain Green had been longing for, and he determined to hover off the port until some of the ships sailed. At six o'clock that evening he had approached sufficiently near Pernambuco to distinguish the shipping. Two days later, or at 5.30 P. M., Sunday, February 19th, his patience was rewarded by a sail appearing to the north.
Gradually drawing up on her during the night, he,at nine o'clock on the following morning, boarded the brig JOVEN FRANCISCO,sailing under Spanish colors from Pernambuco to London, but laden with a cargo of tea, coffee, sugar, and cinnamon consigned to British merchants. From her invoices and some letters found aboard, Captain Green was satisfied that the Spanish flag had been used merely as a cover, and that the craft and her cargo were in truth English property. Accordingly he seized her as a prize and placed Nathaniel Archer and some of his men aboard, with orders to make for the United States.

Scarcely had the last speck of the JOVEN FRANCISCO faded from the horizon when the people in the privateer were cheered by the sight of another sail, this one to the south, standing northward. Observing that she was coming directly upon the privateer, Captain Green allowed her to approach, and at 6.30 p. M., February 21st, he boarded her. She was found to be the British ship ACTIVE JANE, of Liverpool, from Rio Janeiro bound for Maranham. She had on board seven bags of specie, containing fourteen thousand milled rees, which were valued at about seventeen thousand five hundred dollars. A prize crew was placed aboard, with orders to keep near the GRAND TURK during the night. At daylight on the following morning Captain Green made a more thorough search of his prize, but finding nothing else of much value, he transferred the specie to his vessel and scuttled the merchantman.

From this time until March 10th the GRAND TURK cruised in this vicinity, occasioning much damage to the enemy's commerce. She stayed so long, how-
ever, that the English had time to collect several war ships, which were promptly sent out to capture the bold privateersman. Captain Green was fully alive to the growing danger of his position, and when at daylight, Friday, March 10th, the man at the masthead reported a sail in the eastern quarter, he promptly called all hands and sent them to quarters. Thinking that the stranger might be a merchantman, Captain Green cautiously ran down to her, but soon afterward he discovered another sail, this one being on the weather bow. This did not deter the GRAND TURK from continuing her approach to the first stranger, and she was fast drawing near to her,
when, at 6.30 A. M., she passed very...

LADY BE yacht

The LADY BE a Beneteau First 456 type sailing yacht was built by the Beneteau yard in French for a French racing team. The yacht was designed by German Frers.
Displacement 12.0 ton. Dim. 13.87 x 4.29 x 2.44m. (draught), length on waterline 11.99m.
1983 Delivered as the LADY BE.

The French team was not ready for racing and she was chartered by a New Zealand racing team.
Took part in the Admiral’s Cup 1983 under skipper of the late Sir Peter Blake in which she ended as 4th, and second in the Inshore Race.
SORC race 1984 in which she in class C ended as 4th.
She was sold to Russell Hoyt in Newport, R.I. and renamed in DESTINATION. Hoyt took with the yacht part in almost every important east coast yacht race.
Hoyt named all his yachts DESTINATION and what happened with the yacht is obscure the internet sites mix this yachts up or it is not clear which yacht they are talking about.
But in 2009 she took part in ARC 2009 under the name LADY BE and was owned by Jurgen Dobbelaer and the yacht sailed under Belgium flag.
11 May 2009 when she took part in this sailing race she got a leak by the rudder post when underway from Charleston to Bermuda, she returned to Charleston for repairs and abandoned the ARC 2009.
December 2009 bought in Charleston by Sailing Tours Naarden, Netherlands, not renamed.
March 2010 transported to the Netherlands and in 2010 in service as a charter yacht for day trips on the IJsselmeer in the Netherlands. Her homeport is Muiden.
Can take 12 guests.
2016 In service same name and owners.

Grenada 1992 $2 sg2440, scott2134.
Source: Internet.


The yacht MIDNIGHT SUN was designed by Doug Peterson and built by Baltic Yachts Oy Ab Ltd., Jakobstad, Finland for Jan Pehrsson, Sweden.
November 1981 work on the yacht commenced and she was delivered in 1982 as the MIDNIGHT SUN.
Dim. 24.72 x 5.7 x 3.85m. (draught), length on waterline 5.75m.
Weight of yacht 75,000 lb, the lightest maxi yacht in the world at that time.
She was made of foam sandwich layup using aircraft grade balsa, which provided greater flexibility in weight distribution. The deck was built over S-glass fibre beams.

Took first part in the Runt Gotland Race then in the Maxi Cup in Sardinia and the Mediterranean Sea Race in 1982. And in the 1983 SORC race in which she lost her rig and was withdrawn.
She returned to the UK and took part in the Fastnet Race and Maxi World Championships in which she was doing well.
Then she disappeared from the International racing scene.
I found her back as a charter yacht under the name MIDNIGHT SUN OF LONDON based in the Mediterranean.
Refitted in 1992 and an upgrade in 2004/05 of 1.5 million Euro. Has accommodation for 6 guests and 4 crew.
Fitted out with 1 Perkins Sabre diesel engine of 185 bhp. Speed 9 knots.
2016 It looks that she still sails as a charter sailing yacht?

Source: Internet
Grenada 1992 $4 sg2441, scott2135. ( On the photo she is the yacht with sail no 10000)

MATADOR (2) yacht

The yacht depict on this stamp is the maxi sailing yacht MATADOR (2) which was built by Eric Goetz Customs built yachts in Bristol, R.I. for William (Bill) Koch of Palm Springs, USA.
1990 Delivered as the MATADOR.
Length 25.91m.
She won the 1990 and 1991 World Maxi Championship.
Koch sold the MATADOR to Australia around 1993 to Anton Starling who renamed the yacht in FUDGE.
1998 Took part in the Sydney to Hobart race.
2016 She is still given in Australian ship registry under that name and owned by Starling.
The internet gives that she was refitted in a charter cruise yacht and sails now with paying guests around the Whitsunday Islands, Australia under the name MATADOR.

The web-site of the company gives the following information:
MATADOR is 85ft in length and is the largest IOR Maxi ever built. MATADOR was designed, developed and constructed at a cost of over US$20 million in 1991. The yacht is constructed from carbon fibre, titanium and aluminium. MATADOR competed in 52 races, 8 regattas and 2 maxi world champions and was undefeated!
Carrying up to 33 passengers this truly awesome sailing machine departs for a 2-day/2-night adventure every Thursday and Sunday. Combining the sheer size and power with the thrill of speed, MATADOR will take you on an adventure of a lifetime through the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.
MATADOR has been refitted since its racing days to accommodate guests in a comfortable open plan environment. There are several bathrooms and showers onboard, and there are double beds and single bunks. The four crewmembers will take care of all the meals, freshly preparing them onboard. Vegetarians can be catered for.
Snorkeling equipment, bath towels and bed linen is provided on board. MATADOR will often rendezvous with a dive boat, offering its guests a scuba experience, whether they are certified or introductory.
All meals, accommodation, bath towels and bed linen and snorkeling equipment are included in the cost.
Accommodation for 25 guests and 4 crew. ... atador.php

Grenada 1992 15c sg2435, scott2129
Source: Internet


The full index of our ship stamp archive


Postby shipstamps » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:59 pm

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Built as a wooden hulled seal catcher by the yard of Erik Linstøls Båtbyggeri at Risor, Norway for Andr. Ingebrigtsen, Høvik near Oslo.
Launched under the name FOCA I (fishery No. K-13-K)
Tonnage 204 ton gross, 126 net, dim. 111.4 x 24.9 x 14ft. (draught)
Powered by 2-cyl. steam engines of 17nhp.

March 1921 sold to Sir Ernest Shackleton after he made a short visit to Norway, she was renamed QUEST.
Shackleton would use the vessel for his expedition to the Antarctic, but she was not so suitable for the voyage, small and straight stemmed, with an awkward square rig on her mainmast. He engines were too weak, and her boilers found at sea cracked. In all ports of call she needed repairs.
17 September 1921 she sailed from the St Katharine’s Dock in London under command of Capt. Worsley.
The QUEST made calls at Lisbon, Madeira, Cape Verde and Rio de Janeiro, at Rio de Janeiro Shackleton did have a heart attack, but when the ships doctor Macklin want to make an examination, he refused, but the doctor could see that he had a heart problem.
After sailing from Rio de Janeiro bound for South Georgia, Shackleton mentally changed he seemed unnaturally listless, always the leader and full of ideas, now he had not any plans and it seemed that he had turned to the past.
04 January 1922 she arrived off South Georgia and anchored off the whaling station of Grytviken.
Early in the morning of 5 January Dr. Macklin was called to Shackleton bunk and he found him with an other heart attack, not much he could do and a few minutes later Shackleton died.

(On this expedition Shackleton was appointed an Agent of the Post Master General for this expedition, and provided with one hundred pounds worth of British postage stamps, a circular date stamp and a trio of rectangular hand-stamps of a size to fit over a pair of stamps, for three of the countries they were expected to visit; namely Tristan da Cunha, Cough Island and Enderby Land.) as given in Log Book 1983 Vol 13 page 311.

After Shackleton death, his body was send back to England for burial, but when his wife Emily got the message of his death, she decided that her husband should be buried on South Georgia.
After arrival of Shackleton’s body at Montevideo, it was send back to South Georgia. And there his body was laid to rest on 05 March 1922 in the Norwegian cemetery.

After Shackleton died, the QUEST carried on, under Wild’s command, but he was not a leader and without Shackleton he was lost, he started drinking heavily; he had never done before on sea.
Before the QUEST sailed home in June, Wild took her to Elephant Island.
16 September 1922 she arrived in Portsmouth.

1923 Sold to to W.G Oliffe, Cowes.
March 1924 sold to Schjelderups Sælfangstrederi A/S ( Capt. Thomas Schjelderup), Skånland Bø (fishery No N-94-BN). In use as a seal catcher in the Arctic, and probably as fishing vessel in between catching seasons.

1929 Took part in the search for Amundsen and Major Gilbaud who disappeared in a hydroplane in the Arctic, while searching for General Nobile and the aircrew of the airship ITALIA.
1930/31 Deployed by H.G. Watkins in the British Air Route Expedition, the QUEST surveyed some coastal waters of Greenland
1935 Chosen to transport the Anglo-Danish expedition of Lawrence Wager and Augustine Courtauld, to Greenland, a summer expedition based at Kangerlussuag, Greenland. The QUEST returned from Kangerlussuaq on 29 August 1935, she left 7 expedition members behind who were to continue work.

1936/37 Count Gaston Micard chartered the QUEST, under command of Capt. Ludolf Schelderup, for an expedition to East Greenland; the expedition overwintered at the mouth of Loch Fyne (74N).
During the overwintering the crew of the QUEST caught 162 fox.
End July 1937 the QUEST returned to Europe making calls at Scoresbysund and Ammassalik.

January 1939 sold to Skips-A/S Quest (Ivar Austad, Tromsø) (fishery No T-24-T.
A 4-cyl 2tv Wichmann diesel engine was installed, 350 bhp.
Still used as a seal catcher, and probably in regular fishing in between seasons.

When war broke out in Norway in April 1940 she was catching seals near New Foundland, and she came under Notraship control.
Upon hearing of the German invasion in Norway she proceeded to St John’s.
November 1940 hired by the Royal Navy, as a minesweeper in the West Indies/Caribbean.
July 1941 handed back to Notraship.

March 1942 she was scheduled for convoy SC 76 from Halifax, but she did not sail.
April 1942 requisitioned by Den Konglige Norske Marine (Royal Norwegian Navy). Intended for use in Operation “Fritham 2” at Spitsbergen, Svalbard in May that year, but this was cancelled.
Then she shows up in convoy SC 83 which sails from Halifax in May 1942.

September 1942 returned to Nortraship.
21 June 1943 hired by the Royal Navy as water carrier, till 1945.

10 October 1945 laid up.
19 July 1946 returned to owner.

05 May 1962 while catching seal off the north coast of Labrador, she sprang a leak and sank due to ice.
The crew was rescued by the Norwegian seal catchers NORVARG, POLARFART, POLARSIRKEL and KVITFJELL.

Ascension 1972 4 and 4½p sg 160/1, scott 161/2
South Georgia 1972 20p sg 35, scott 34
Tristan da Cunha 1971 1½p sg 149, scott 153.

Source: Mostly copied from Shackleton by Roland Huntford. Ships of the Royal Navy Vol. II by Colledge. Log Book. Some other web-sites.
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Postby hindle » Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:49 pm

The Quest was suffering from a bent and misaligned propshaft, which caused a lot of engine problems, hence the many stops en route.

When Shackleton died, Len Hussey injected ether into his heart in a vain attempt to revive him.

Richard A. Hindle.


Postby aukepalmhof » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:38 pm

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Shackleton-Rowett Expedition (1921-22) was the last to be led by Sir Ernest Shackleton. It was sponsored by Mr. John Quiller Rowett and ultimately was led by Captain [Commander] Frank Wild. The three were photographed in 1921 looking out from the bridge of the QUEST when they paid a visit to Southampton to supervise the fitting out of the ship prior to the expedition. The 45p stamps are based on this photograph in an unusual Triptych format.
The expedition proposed an ambitious two year programme of Antarctic exploration but before any work had begun Shackleton tragically died aboard ship on 5th January. The QUEST had only just arrived at South Georgia and on 4th January anchored off Grytviken, where Shackleton went ashore to visit the old whaling establishment once again. Returning to QUEST he retired to his cabin to write what was to be the final entry in his diary. “It is a strange and curious place” he wrote. “A wonderful evening. In the darkening twilight I saw a lone star hover: gem like above the bay”.
The expedition had numerous objectives including a circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent and the mapping of 2,000 miles of uncharted coastline, a search for wrongly charted sub-Antarctic islands and investigations into the possible mineral resources in these lands and an ambitious scientific research programme. It was unrealistic for so few men to achieve all of these objectives within two years. There was no single main goal other than perhaps Shackleton’s wish to return south once more.
Shackleton himself referred to the expedition as pioneering. There was an aircraft (that ultimately was not used) and all manner of new gadgets including a heated crow’s nest and overalls for the lookouts, a wireless set, an odograph that could trace and chart the ship’s route automatically, a deep-sea sounding machine and a great deal of photographic equipment.
Such gadgets were made possible by the sponsorship of the businessman John Quiller Rowett. Having made a fortune in the spirits industry Rowett had a desire to do more than simply make money. Following the First World War he was a notable contributor to several charitable causes. He was also a school-friend of Shackleton’s at Dulwich College and he undertook to cover the entire costs of the expedition. According to Wild, without Rowett’s generosity the expedition would have been impossible: “His generous attitude is the more remarkable in that he knew there was no prospect of financial return, and what he did was in the interest of scientific research and from friendship with Shackleton.” His only recognition was the attachment of his name to the title of the expedition. Sadly in 1924, aged 50, Rowett took his own life believing his business fortunes to be in decline.
After the death of Shackleton, Frank Wild took over as expedition leader and chose to proceed in accordance with Shackleton’s plans. The QUEST, shown on the 50p stamps leaving London, at Ascension and in Ice, was the smallest ship to ever attempt to penetrate the Antarctic ice and despite several attempts the most southerly latitude attained was 69°17′s. The ship returned to South Georgia at the onset of winter. QUEST remained in South Georgia for a month, during which time Shackleton’s old comrades erected a memorial cairn to their former leader, on a headland overlooking the entrance to Grytviken harbour.
QUEST finally sailed for South Africa on 8th May where the crew enjoyed the hospitality of the Prime Minister, Jan Smuts, and many local organizations. They also met Rowett’s agent with a message that they should return to England rather than continuing for a second year. Their final visits were to St Helena, Ascension Island and St Vincent.
In the end the expedition achieved little of real significance. The lack of a clearly defined objective combined with the failure to call at Cape Town on the way south to collect important equipment (including parts for the aeroplane) added to the serious blow of Shackleton’s death, which ultimately overshadowed the expedition’s achievements.
The expedition has been referred to as the final expedition of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration. Those that followed were of a different nature and belonged to the mechanical age.
Ascension Island 2012 45p/50p sg?, scott?

£1.50p – Dr Alexander Macklin and “Quest
Alexander Macklin was born in India in 1889, the son of a Doctor and he was of course to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Soon after qualifying he applied to join Shackleton’s Imperial Transantarctic Expedition and was accepted as one of two doctors. As well as his surgeon’s duties he was put in charge of the ship’s dogs and was also assigned a team of sledge dogs to drive.
The skills of the two surgeons were put to the test with a range of ailments including Gangrene, Heart Problems and at least one Nervous Breakdown as well as the more mundane problems that would affect all of those living in difficult circumstances in freezing weather on Elephant Island for so long.
On return to England, Macklin joined the army as an officer in the Medical Corps serving in France and Russia during the First World War. He won the Military Cross (M.C.) for bravery in tending the wounded under fire and later joined Shackleton in Russia in the fight against the Bolsheviks.
Shackleton invited Macklin to join him again for the Quest expedition in 1922 as the ship’s surgeon together with a number of fellow crewmen from the earlier expedition. On Shackleton’s death at South Georgia, it fell to Macklin to prepare the body for transport to South America and then for burial on South Georgia.
Although some members of the crew left the Quest following the death of Shackleton, the bulk of the crew took the vessel back to the UK and on the morning of 19th May 1922, the Quest was spotted off the coast of Tristan da Cunha.
Many of the crew visited Edinburgh of the Seven Seas and Dr Macklin stayed in the cottage of Bob Glass although he was later to record that he had a problem with a “small army of marauders” which kept him awake. Macklin, who was in charge of stores arranged to leave a large amount of stores behind prior to the departure of the Quest six days later.
In 1926 Macklin established a medical practice in Dundee, Scotland where he would work for the next 21 years. During World War II, he served in the Medical Corps in East Africa as a Lieutenant Colonel and died on 21 March1967.
Tristan da Cunha 2014 £1.50 sg?, scott?
Source: Tristan da Cunha post web-site
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