SHIP STAMP SOCIETY

SHIP STAMP SOCIETY

Interested in Ships and Stamps? The Ship Stamp Society is an international society and publishes it’s journal, Log Book, six time a year.
Other benefits include the availability of a "Packet" for anyone who wants to purchase or sell ship stamps.
Full membership of £17 (UK only) includes receiving Log Book by post, but there is an online membership costing just £12pa.
Full details can be found on our web site at http://www.shipstampsociety.com where you can also join and pay your chosen subscription through Paypal or by cheque.
A free sample of Log Book is available on request.

TOTTORI EXPO 1997

For the Japan Expo Tottori in 1997 the Japanese Post issued one stamp.

The design shows us a bow of a cruise ship or ferry most probably a stylized design of a ship by the designer of the stamp. With a pear blossom on the bow and below some symbols of Tottori Prefecture.

Japan 1997 80 yen sg?, scott2314

Christianity and the Ottoman Empire

THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE was a major threat to the hegemony of Christian Europe from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. The origins of the Ottoman dynasty lie in northwestern Anatolia, though it is difficult to say why they suddenly emerged as such a powerful force. One theory proposes that it was because they were strategically well placed to attack the Christian Byzantine Empire, and therefore attracted Muslim fighters who wished to wage holy war against Christianity. They first drove the Byzantines from Anatolia – which they achieved by 1338 – and in 1354 occupied Gallipoli, their first base in Europe, and the one from which they launched their drive into southeastern Europe. The greatest shock to Christian Europe came, however, with the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 . Many Byzantine scholars fled westward, particularly to Italy, and made a substantial contribution to the Renaissance. The first notable Christian victory was a sea battle at Lepanto (the Gulf of Corinth) on 7 October 1571 . The victorious army was that of the Holy League, a coalition of the Papal States, Genoa, Venice and Spain, originally put together in 1511 by Pope Julius II . At Lepanto the Holy League forces were led by Don John of Austria. The victory, though hailed as a great triumph by the Christians (the Pope established the Feast of the Holy Rosary on 7 October to mark the event), in effect altered little. The Ottoman Turks were not forced to withdraw from any territory. Тhey continued sea battles with Christians conquering new territories. The design stamp is made after painting of Cornelis Wael: "Sea battle between Christians and Turks". Cornelis de Wael was a Flemishpainter, engraver and merchant who was known for his sea battle scenes. Scenes of battles between Christian and Ottoman forces such as the present work were particularly popular. The artist did not depict a concrete battle, but a general picture of the sea battles that occurred during the creation of the Turkish empire. Here's how the battle for the island of Djerba is described: The Duke of Medinaseli expected to see the Turks in the middle of June, but at the end of May Ottoman galleys and galliots appeared near the coast of Tunisia and began to land on the island. The Janissaries immediately rushed into the battle, attacking the Christians loaded with ships. Combat ships of the Turks not only covered the landing of the landing, but also attacked the ships of the Spaniards and Italians, who were completely unprepared for the battle. The Christian was panic-stricken, and the mountains of valuable goods that were bought in the last month only aggravated the situation. None of the soldiers wanted to fight. While some tried at any cost to climb on some ship with their cargo, others resolutely stopped the maneuvers of traders and let their goods go overboard. In the sea, bales of wool, bales of leather, jugs of oil, even horses and camels were dropped. Clashes began between soldiers, on the one hand, and cargo owners, captains and crews of vessels, on the other.In this situation, the order of the Duke of Medinaseli about the loading of soldiers was not thought of anyway, especially since there was no evacuation plan. The first inhospitable Djerbu began to leave wage ships, whose owners were most interested in saving their capitals. Without entering into battle with the Turks, they tried to break free into the sea, and many of them succeeded. Much worse was the case with the ships of the regular fleet of the Holy Roman Empire, who could not evade the battle and fell under the powerful blow of the Ottoman fleet. 24 May 1560 ended the battle near the island of Djerba between the Ottoman fleet and the squadrons of Spain, Venice, Genoa, the Papal States, Savoy and Malta. The Turkish armada under the command of Piale Pasha scored a brilliant naval victory over the combined forces of the Christian fleet. As a result, the European powers lost more than half of their ships and at least 9,000 people. The Turkish flotilla lost only a few galliots and about a thousand soldiers. The victory at Djerba strengthened the sea dominance of the Ottomans in the Mediterranean and marked the power of the Ottoman Empire.
Rwanda 2017;650f;SG?
Source:www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t253/e2, e-minbar.com/facts/967-1560-srazhenie-u-ostrova-dzherba, еn.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornelis_de_Wael

LA GRANDIÉRE L 9034 (Fr.)

Built in 1985-'87 at Chantiers de Grand Quevilly (Rouen) for the French Navy, launched on 11-12-1985, commissioned 20-01-1987.
Landing ship, type 'Batral', displacement:770/1385 tons, Loa:80m. B:13m. Draft:2.38m. 2 SACM Wärtsilä UD 33 V12 M4 diesels:3600 hp. (2650 kW.) 2 shafts, 13 kn. max.16 kn. complement:52, armament: 2-81 mm. mortars, 2-20 mm. F2 mortars, 2-12.7 mm. machine guns, landingplatform for light helicopters, can transport 138 troops and 12 vehicles and beach them through a fore ramp.
Stationed in Reunion, 2016 decommissioned in Brest.

(TAAF 2017, €1.70, StG.?)
Internet.

HOBIE CAT 16 catamaran yacht

The United Arabic Emirates issued in 1996 two stamps for the Hobie Cat 16 World’s Championship in Dubai in February 1996.
More as 300 yachts took part in this race.
Of the Hobie Cat 16 Wikipedia gives:
The catamaran yacht is designed by Hobie Alter and Phil Edwards in 1970.
Weight of hull 145 kg. Dim. 5.05 x 2.41m.
Total sail area 20m³
Crew 2.

The ISAF International Class Hobie 16 (H16) is a popular catamaran manufactured by the Hobie Cat Company for racing and day sailing. The craft was the driving force behind the popularization of beachcats and was recently inducted into the Sailing Hall Of Fame.
Introduced in 1972, the Hobie 16 is the second largest boat fleet in existence with over 135,000 boats built to date.
The boat is distinctly recognized for its asymmetric "banana" shaped hulls, designed to work without the need for daggerboards so the catamaran could be run up the beach without worry. The rudders kick up automatically by lifting up on the tiller crossbar.
The Hobie 16 is manufactured in France by the Hobie Cat company, and by the Hobie Cat of America company in the United States. Historically the French boats are preferred as they are perceived to be built to tighter tolerances.
The Hobie 16 normally carries two sails, the mainsail and the jib. There is a kit to allow an H16 to fly a spinnaker but this is only class legal for youth racing.
Each hull has two pylons (the forward ones are vented to allow the pressure inside the hull to equalise) and the frame fits onto these pylons. The frame consists of four aluminium alloy beams which slot into four aluminium alloy corner castings and are secured with rivets. The trampoline slots along the inside of the beams and is tensioned by rope or shock cord. Racers commonly epoxy the beams into the castings to boost rigidity because the flexing of the boat as it rides over waves saps power. Equally, the joints may be packed with aluminium sheet cut from drink cans; this method facilitates disassembly.
Earlier masts were one piece, of aluminium alloy, but were changed to two pieces with a non-conductive composite fiberglass tip (known as "comptip"), after a few people in the United States of America were electrocuted trying to raise masts under power lines and their families sued Hobie Cat. The mast foot casting forms a ball which steps into a cup-shaped shoe riveted onto the forward crossmember and there is a Teflon disk separating the two. The downward compressive force from the mast is partially carried by the crossmember and partially by a stainless steel compression post and tensioned tie rod assembly called a "dolphin striker".
The Hobie 16 is noted for its particularly robust construction. While this is of great benefit when launching and recovering in waves, and in close quarters racing where contact is not uncommon, the Hobie 16 does weigh more than some other boats of similar type, notably the Dart 18.
The H16 may be equipped with two trapeze wires either side to allow both the helm and crew to trapeze. "Cat seats" can be fitted to allow disabled sailors to sail the H16 without too much penalty.
The rudder assembly consists of a rudder on each hull fitted to a Hobie-patented automatically releasing stock comprising a casting, a cam, and a spring-loaded plunger. This allows the rudders to spring up when they hit ground, to avoid damage. The system can be troublesome until the correct tension is set on the spring. The rudders are connected to two short tillers which are in turn attached via a ball and socket joint to a connecting rod called the tiller bar. The tiller attaches to the centre of the tiller bar and is typically extendable for operation while trapezing.
The mainsheet has a maximum of a 6:1 purchase and has a traveller that allows movement over the entire aft crossmember of the frame. The jib sheets are of a 2:1 purchase and attach on the front beams with their own two travellers.
The boat has a 3:1 purchase downhaul (upgradable to 6:1) to tension the mainsail and an outhaul (standard 1:1, upgradable to 2:1) to flatten the mainsail along the boom. Both the mainsail and jib are fully battened.
Tuning
In most situations, the H16 mast is raked back as far as possible. You are limited by the distance between the boom and the rear crossmember and the distance between the clew of the jib and the jibsheet blocks. The cut of the jib was changed to allow further rake and low profile jib and mainsheet blocks are essential.
For maximum speed, the windward hull should be flying and skipping along the surface of the water. H16s do not beat particularly well, nor do they sail directly downwind particularly well. They are, however, proficient at reaching, so if in doubt, sailors are encouraged to sail at more reaching angles.
H16s at speed in choppy waters are prone to "pitch-pole". This is where the leeward bow digs into the back of a wave and if the main is not de-powered immediately and the crew's weight isn't back far enough, the boat is liable to trip head over heels. The pitch-poling tendency of the Hobie 16 results from a number of design factors; the relatively large sail area to hull length ratio and the flat top of the hulls are particular contributors. Crews are advised to keep their body weight as far back as possible in strong winds when sailing at angles between a broad reach and true reach; to this end it is advisable for the heavier crew member to act as helm. When beating, pitch-poles are less common and weight can be brought forward to aid angle of point.
Righting
Turtling can be prevented. The mast is supposed to be sealed, so it floats. However, Hobies have been at the forefront of the use of a streamlined blimp-like float that attaches to the top of the mast.[A]
When an H16 capsizes, it will normally lie on its side as the mast is sealed and positively buoyant. It is imperative that at least one of the crew immediately get onto the righting line to prevent the boat turtling as it is more difficult to recover from that position. With all sheets released, the crew stand on the lower hull. The bows of the boat should be pointing into the wind and the crew can facilitate this by shifting their weight forward along the hull which will allow the wind to push on the trampoline and 'windvane' the boat head to wind. The crew then lean back on the righting line ready to grab the bottom of the boat as it comes up to prevent it from capsizing to the other side.
It is far more difficult for one person to right an H16 without using additional equipment such as a righting bag or some device to slacken the shrouds.
In practice it is not always possible to align the capsized boat with bows pointing into wind, particularly in the presence of waves. If the boat is righted from a position where the mast is to some degree upwind of the hull, the boat’s inertia, coupled with the wind pressure, can cause it to immediately capsize in the opposite direction. The crew can mitigate this tendency by grabbing hold of the dolphin striker on the windward side of the boat as it passes through the horizontal position. In the interests of safety the crew must be prepared to release the dolphin striker and allow the boat to capsize for a second time if it appears that they are in danger of being lifted clear of the water.
A Hobie 16 can be brought onto its side from a fully inverted or ‘turtled’ position by a single crew member with relative ease. The technique involves one crew member climbing aboard one of the upturned hulls and sitting or standing as close to the rear as possible. Thanks to low buoyancy towards the rear of the boat, this should cause the hull to sink; the diagonally opposite front corner will rise clear of the water and the boat will come up onto its side. The conventional capsize recovery...

PEARL DIVING in BAHRAIN

Bahrain issued in 1996 four stamps for the pearl diving which took place in the waters off Bahrain, three stamps shows a dhow of a very recent type and mostly the diving is done now by recreational diving.

Pearl diving in Bahrain was first mentioned in Assyrian texts dating to 2000 BC, referring to "fish eyes" from Dilmun (the ancient name of Bahrain). Bahrain (as Tylos, Bahrain's Greek name) was mentioned by Pliny to have been, "famous for the vast number of its pearls".The golden age of pearling is stated to have been between the 1850s to 1930, when pearls were more precious than diamonds and had attracted jewelers like Jacques Cartier to the country. There were around 30,000 pearl divers by the end of 1930, as pearling was the principal industry in Bahrain prior to the discovery of oil in 1932. After the collapse of the pearling industry, most divers switched to the newly founded oil sector.
Until the pearl diving industry dried up, workers dived without any specialized diving gear. Clutching a weighted rope, they were lowered into the water and held their breath as they collecting promising-looking oysters on the shallows of the sea floor. In the early 1900s, around 30,000 divers braved this work
Currently, the trading of cultured pearls in Bahrain is prohibited. Few pearl divers remain today.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahrain_Pearling_Trail Internet.
Bahrain 1996 80/250f sg 571/74 scott 468/471

Battle of Medway 1667

Raid on the Medway, (12–14 June 1667). The Dutch raid on the dockyards in the Medway in 1667 was one of the deepest humiliations ever visited upon England and the Royal Navy. Although the material losses inflicted were grave, even more painful was the public proof that the English were powerless to defend their own coastline.
Since the Second Anglo-Dutch War began in 1665, England had suffered a string of misfortunes, including the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London. King Charles II was broke and had no money to pay sailors or dockworkers. England was seeking peace desperately, but the Dutch government leader, Johann de Witt, wanted a crushing victory so he could impose punitive terms. His brother, Cornelis de Witt, was given command of a fleet that first sailed to the mouth of the Thames and then shifted southward, taking Sheerness on the Medway and sailing inland toward the dockyard at Chatham.
The English blocked the navigable channel with a chain stretched from shore to shore, but Dutch engineers made short work of this obstacle. Beyond the chain, English ships with skeleton crews lay defenseless. Three "great ships"—the largest naval vessels—were scuttled hastily; a fourth, Royal Charles, was seized by the Dutch. The only resistance came from shore batteries. Nonetheless, De Witt and his captains were nervous, hardly believing the ease of their success, and on 14 June they withdrew, taking Royal Charles with them as a trophy. The other ships they had captured were burned.
The shock of the action was great. Diarist Samuel Pepys, then secretary to the admiralty, thought the monarchy would fall. In fact, peace was made with limited advantage to the Dutch. England’s desire for revenge helped motivate another Anglo-Dutch War the following decade. Losses: English, 13 ships; Dutch, no ships. For more details about battle of Medway see: Wikipedia.
The design stamp is made after painting of Cevin Clarkson.
Rwanda 2017;400f;SG? Source:www.britannica.com/event/Raid-on-the-Medway
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Pandora HMS

The full index of our ship stamp archive

Pandora HMS

Postby shipstamps » Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:08 pm

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On August 8th 1966, Fiji issued three stamps commemorating the 175th anniversary of the discovery of Rotuma by Capt. Edward Edwards, R.N., in H.M.S. Pandora. In August 1790, the Pandora was commissioned by the Admiralty to search for mutineers from the Bounty. His orders were: "You are to keep the mutineers as closely confined as may preclude all possibility of their escaping, having however proper regard to the preservation of their lives, that they may be brought home to undergo the punishment due to their demerits".
After visiting Tahiti and neighbouring Pacific islands, Capt. Edwards had rounded up 14 of the Bounty crew on Tahiti. The voyage was continued westward and after passing Wallis Island he saw, on August 8, 1791, a fertile island which he named Grenville's Island, but which the local inhabitants called Rotuma. It was a long, narrow island, some eight miles in length and an average two miles in width, the most isolated island in the northern part of the Fiji group.
Three weeks later the Pandora ran aground of the north coast of Queensland while trying to negotiate the Endeavour Straits in the Great Barrier Reef on August 28, 1791, with the loss of 39 lives, including four prisoners.
The Pandora of 1779 was the first naval ship of the name, but in 1960 a yachtsman found in shallow water off the North Queensland coast, the wreckage of a wooden ship which was presumed to be H.M.S. Pandora, because of the ship's bell with this name, the size of the hulk and the approximate position of the wreck. A curious fact however was the inscription on the bell of this hulk: "Gift of Lady Herbert, daughter of Sir John Knatchbull, of Mearchim Hatch in Kent in the Kingdom of England, November 30, 1711".
The Dictionary of Natural Biography mentions a Sir John Knatchbull (1636-1696) but gives no details of his children. His uncle, Sir Norton Knatchbull, lived at Mersham Hatch. Other ships named Pandora were wrecked in the North Sea (1797) and Kattegatt (1811).
The 3d. stamp depicts the Pandora entering Split Island, Rotuma—the island is cleanly split in two, hence its name. On the Is. 6d. stamp Rotumans are shown signalling to a passing ship as they did in the old days and, indeed, still do, such is the infrequency of ships calling at Rotuma even now.
Sea Breezes 11/66

Fiji SG351,353,827,829.
Norfolk Is DG516/17.
Pitcairn Is SG316
Tokelau SG23
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Re: Pandora HMS

Postby john sefton » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:17 am

H.M.S. Pandora; built at Deptford, 1779, by Adams and Barnard. Sixth Rate of 24 guns; 520 tons; length 114'/2 ft., beam 32 ft. in 1791, she was commissioned by Capt. Edwards, R.N., to search for the Bounty mutineers, picking up 14 at Tahiti. After calling at Rotuma Island on August 8, 1791, she ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef with the loss of 39, including four prisoners.
SG23 Sea Breezes 1/71
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Re: Pandora HMS

Postby Anatol » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:19 pm

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Pandora HMS
Tokelau1999;3d;SG? Niuafo’ou1994;80s;SG210. Niuafo’ou1991;57s;SG154.
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Re: Pandora HMS

Postby aukepalmhof » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:22 pm

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Built as a sixth rate by Adams & Barnard, Grove Street shipyard in Deptford for the Royal Navy.
11 February 1778 ordered.
02 March 1778 keel laid down.
17 May 1779 launched as the HMS PANDORA.
Tonnage 524 tons burthen, dim, 34.39 x 9.83 x 3.12m, draught 3.4m, length of keel 28.89m.
Armament: Upper deck 22 – 9 pdrs., quarterdeck 2 – 6 pdrs., in 1815 altered to 14 – 9 pdrs, 8 x 18 pdrs carronades, quarterdeck 2 – 6 pdrs.
Crew 160 when built, in 1815 140.
May 1779 commissioned.
03 July 1779 completed at Deptford Dockyard.

HMS PANDORA was a 24-gun Porcupine-class sixth-rate post ship of the Royal Navy launched in May 1779. She is best known as the ship sent in 1790 to search for the BOUNTY and the mutineers who had taken her. She was wrecked on the return voyage in 1791.
Early service
Her first service was in the Channel during the 1779 threatened invasion by the combined fleets of France and Spain. She was deployed in North American waters during the American Revolutionary War and saw service as a convoy escort between England and Quebec. On 18 July 1780, while under the command of Captain Anthony Parry, she and DANAE captured the American privateer JACK. Then on 2 September, the two British vessels captured the American privateer TERRIBLE. On 14 January PANDORA captured the brig JANIE. Then on 11 March she captured the ship MERCURY. Two days later PANDORA and HMS BELISARIUS were off the Capes of Virginia when they captured the sloop LOUS, which had been sailing to Virginia with a cargo of cider and onions.[ Under Captain John Inglis PANDORA captured more merchant vessels. The first was the brig LIVELY on 24 May 1782. More followed: the ship MERCURY and the sloops PORT ROYAL and SUPERB. 22 November 1782), brig NESTOR (3 February 1783), and the ship FINANCIER (29 March). At the end of the American war the Admiralty placed PANDORA in ordinary (mothballed) in 1783 at Chatham for seven years.
Voyage in search of the BOUNTY
PANDORA was finally ordered to be brought back into service on 30 June 1790 when war between England and Spain seemed likely due to the Nootka Crisis. However, in early August 1790, 5 months after learning of the mutiny on HMS BOUNTY, the First Lord of the Admiralty, John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham, decided to despatch her to recover the BOUNTY, capture the mutineers, and return them to England for trial. She was refitted, and her 6-pounder guns were reduced to 20, though she gained four 18-pounder carronades.
PANDORA sailed from Portsmouth on 7 November 1790, commanded by Captain Edward Edwards and manned by a crew of 134 men. With his crew were Thomas Hayward, who had been on the BOUNTY at the time of the mutiny, and left with Bligh in the open boat. At Tahiti they were also assisted by John Brown, who had been left on the island by an English merchant ship, THE MERCURY.
Unknown to Edwards, twelve of the mutineers, along with four sailors who had stayed loyal to Bligh, had by then already elected to return to Tahiti, after a failed attempt to establish a colony (Fort St George) under Fletcher Christian's leadership on Tubuai, one of the Austral Islands. They were living in Tahiti as 'beachcombers', many of them having fathered children with local women. Fletcher Christian's group of mutineers and their Polynesian followers had sailed off and eventually established their settlement on then uncharted Pitcairn Island. By the time of PANDORA's arrival, fourteen of the former BOUNTY men remained on Tahiti, Charles Churchill having been murdered in a quarrel with Matthew Thompson, who was in turn killed by Polynesians who considered Churchill their king.
The PANDORA reached Tahiti on 23 March 1791 via Cape Horn. Three men came out and surrendered to Edwards shortly after PANDORA's arrival. These were Joseph Coleman, the BOUNTY's armourer, and Peter Heywood and George Stewart, midshipmen. Edwards then dispatched search parties to round up the remainder. Able Seaman Richard Skinner was apprehended the day after PANDORA's arrival. By now alerted to Edwards' presence, the other BOUNTY men fled to the mountains while James Morrison, Charles Norman and Thomas Ellison, tried to reach the PANDORA to surrender in the escape boat they had built. All were eventually captured, and brought back to PANDORA on 29 March. An eighth man, the half blind Michael Byrne, who had been fiddler aboard BOUNTY, had also come aboard by this time. It was not recorded whether he had been captured or had handed himself in. Edwards conducted further searches over the next week and a half, and on Saturday two more men were brought aboard PANDORA, Henry Hilbrant and Thomas McIntosh. The remaining four men, Thomas Burkett, John Millward, John Sumner and William Muspratt, were brought in the following day. These fourteen men were locked up in a makeshift prison cell, measuring eleven-by-eighteen feet, on the PANDORA's quarter-deck, which they called "PANDORA's Box".
On 8 May 1791 the PANDORA left Tahiti and subsequently spent three months visiting islands in the South-West Pacific in search of the BOUNTY and the remaining mutineers, without finding any traces of the pirated vessel. During this part of the voyage fourteen crew went missing in two of the ship's boats. In the meantime the PANDORA visited Tokelau, Samoa, Tonga and Rotumah. They also passed Vanikoro Island, which Edwards named Pitt's Island; but they did not stop to explore the island and investigate obvious signs of habitation. If they had done so, they would very probably have discovered early evidence of the fate of the French Pacific explorer La Perouse's expedition which had disappeared in 1788. From later accounts about their fate it is evident that a substantial number of crew survived the cyclone that wrecked their ships ASTROLABE and BOUSSOLE on Vanikoro's fringing reef.
Wrecked
Heading west, making for the Torres Strait, the frigate ran aground on 29 August 1791 on the outer Great Barrier Reef. She sank the next morning, claiming the lives of 31 of her crew and four of the prisoners. The remainder of the ship's company (89 men) and ten prisoners – seven of them released from their cell as the ship was actually sinking – assembled on a small sand cay and after two nights on the island they sailed for Timor in four open boats, arriving in Kupang on 16 September 1791 after an arduous voyage across the Arafura Sea. Sixteen more died after surviving the wreck, many having fallen ill during their sojourn in Batavia (Jakarta). Eventually only 78 of the 134 men who had been on board upon departure returned home.
Captain Edwards and his officers were exonerated for the loss of the PANDORA after a court martial. No attempt was made by the colonial authorities in New South Wales to salvage material from the wreck. The ten surviving prisoners were also tried; the various courts martial held found four of them innocent of mutiny and, although the other six were found guilty, only three (Millward, Burkitt and Ellison) were executed. Peter Heywood and James Morrison received a Royal pardon, while William Muspratt was acquitted on a legal technicality.


Shipwrecks: Capturing our maritime past - Part 2
The Shipwrecks stamp issue, which will be released on 29 August 2017, presents three historically and archaeologically significant shipwrecks. The stamps feature paintings by maritime artists of each wreck event, together with a recovered relic, to show the context of each voyage.
In our first instalment of this three-part article series, we spoke to artist Adriaan de Jong about the meticulous process involved in researching and painting the ZUYTDORP shipwreck. In this article, we move from a Dutch VOC trade ship to a Royal Navy ship sent to hunt down some famous insurgents.
HMS PANDORA
HMS PANDORA sank on 29 August 1791, on the outer Great Barrier Reef, while returning home from its mission to locate the mutinous BOUNTY crew in the Pacific Ocean. In total, 35 lives were lost during the wrecking including four of the captured BOUNTY mutineers.
While 14 of the 25 BOUNTY mutineers were captured upon PANDORA’s arrival in Tahiti, Fletcher Christian, fearing reprisal from the powerful Royal Navy, had fled Tahiti in BOUNTY with a small band of his supporters – destination unknown. The captured mutineers were shackled in leg irons within a wooden cell, 3.5 metres by 5.5 metres, located on the quarterdeck of PANDORA. The prisoners dubbed this “PANDORA’s Box”. With the prisoners secure, HMS PANDORA searched the Tokelau Islands, Tongan Islands and Fiji for five months, but still could not locate Fletcher Christian and his men. It was then that Captain Edwards decided to head for home.
The wreck of PANDORA and its artefacts are looked after by the Cultures and Histories Program at the Queensland Museum Network. Dr Madeline Fowler is the Senior Curator Maritime Archaeology, and her role is to care for the objects to national standards, increase access to the objects and undertake new research on the collection. Alison Mann is the Assistant Collections Manager and is also based at the Museum of Tropical Queensland.
Both Alison and Madeline find the PANDORA a fascinating and intriguing story.
“I feel it’s the intertwined stories,” says Alison. “The First Fleet depart England in May 1787, six months later BOUNTY sets sail. One month after that we have European settlement in Australia, while BOUNTY is still sailing around the world following orders from the Admiralty. Fourteenth months after the British colonise Australia there is the mutiny on board BOUNTY and then, after many more months the Admiralty send PANDORA out into a largely uncharted Pacific to hunt down the mutineers … this story is just short of four years in the making!” notes Alison.
For Madeline, the PANDORA story starts when the wreck was discovered in 1977 and the subsequent nine seasons of excavation in the 1980s and 1990s.
“The archaeological methods used to record the site differ in some ways to how the site would be documented if it were discovered today. It is interesting to understand how the management of underwater cultural heritage changes over time,” says Madeline.
The museum holds thousands of artefacts from PANDORA, including the pistol featured on the stamps and some incredible carved wooden clubs from Polynesia, which the crew would have collected while searching for the mutineers.
I have held that pistol, the one on the stamp, in my hand. It is a tangible connection to this story. All Royal vessels had an armoury, had the weapons to deal with whatever threat came their way. This pistol would have been prepared and ready to fire as PANDORA discovered some of the mutineers in the islands of the Pacific. The sailor who held the weapon would have had the orders to shoot if necessary … and our carved wooden clubs from Polynesia? We have the ship’s log of where and when the islands were visited by PANDORA. We can date and locate the clubs to island groups. We see the artistry of the work by the carvers. We can do research today and see how the styles, icons and designs may have changed over 200 years. But also by where the clubs were located in the wreck (in the Officer’s Store, and we know this through the use of archaeological techniques). We believe the clubs were collected by one or more of the officers with the long term view of profiting from the unique circumstances that found them on a voyage in the vast Pacific Ocean. In the late 1700s, museums back in Britain and Europe would pay good money for these ‘artificial curiosities’ (today, we would call them souvenirs). The PANDORA clubs are similar to other significant international collections of Polynesian objects collected during the late 1700s,” says Alison.

“While these artefacts [the pistol and wooden clubs] are significant, they should be interpreted as part of the entire assemblage,” says Madeline. “The pistol is on object within a collection of weapons and accessories that include ordnance, small fire arms, shot for guns and small arms, kegs, gunner’s equipment and bladed weapons. While the war clubs are one example of Polynesian material culture that also includes adze blades, shell blades, poi pounders, lures, hooks, octopus lures, and the modified coconut husks and shell fragments that comprise the Tahitian mourning dress,” adds Madeline.
“Our collection is special because of its diversity and intactness … PANDORA wasn’t smashed against a rocky coastline and broken into thousands of pieces. The ship ran onto a reef and had a large hole ripped out of the side. One of the pumps on board whose job it was to pump water out of the hold in a situation like this broke down, the ship took on too much water. There was time to get the long boats off the vessel and get the crew and some prisoners on board. Hence the low loss of life. Then the tide lifted the stricken vessel off the reef but it didn’t get far – it sank in 30 metres of water. Gently, over the next 200 years it was covered in sand. It was this process, this action that gives us the collection we have today,” adds Alison.
To learn more about the HMS PANDORA, visit Queensland Museum’s website. To learn more about the entire shipwrecks collection, read Madeline Fowler’s blog article.
In our third and final article, we look at the wrecking of the luxury paddle steamer CLONMEL on only her second voyage.

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