Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Island, Nova Scotia - Christmas Cancels

These cancels were available in red or green. Don't know why the stamp with the green cancel was also struck through with a pen. Perhaps the postmaster thought the green ink in of the cancel wouldn't be noticed on the stamp.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Marion Dufresne TAAF covers

I sent these covers down to la Réunion to be delivered to the captain of the Marion Dufresne for delivery to the postmasters at Alfred Faure in the Crozet Islands and Martin-de-Viviès on Amsterdam Island. The were decorated nicely, front and back, and signed before being returned to me. I sent both of these on 8 September 2010 and received them today, 15 December.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

TAAF Cover - Europa

Île Europa is the largest of the îles Éparses (Scattered islands of the Indian Ocean) that are part of French Southern and Atlantic Lands (FSAT or TAAF). The island is a nature reserve and also home to a met station. It is uninhabited but routinely visited by scientists.

Monday, December 6, 2010

TAAF Stamps for 2011

Details regarding the 2011 TAAF stamp issues have been released on the TAAF website. These stamps will be available 4 Jan 2011

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Rest of the 2010 British Antarctic Stamp Issues

The Falkland Islands Philatelic Bureau has provided details regarding the 2010 British Antarctic stamp issues. All three were issued on 3 December 2010. Here are some enlarged images of the stamps.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

British Antarctic Territory 2010 Stamp Issues

The BAT stamp issue topics for 2010 are Marine Diversity (set of 4 and a souvenir sheet), the British Antarctic Expedition of 1910-1913 (two sheetlets), and Antarctic Birds.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Palmer Station, US Antarctic Program

Palmer Station is a US Antarctic research base located on Anvers Island, just north of the Antarctic Circle. It is staffed by around 40 in the summer and less than 20 during the winter and the base is normally re-supplied by the RV Laurence M. Gould.

I sent this cover to the base via Punta Areans in mid September. The LMG arrived at the base on 12 October 2010 to 'open' the base for the 2010/2011 season and the Palmer cancel on the lower left corner of this cover bares the date Oct 13 2010. So it was processed during the staff turn over. But why was the stamp on this cover cancelled in Denver? My guess is that all outgoing mail was just loaded up in a sack and brought back to the Raytheon Polar Services Company in Centennial, Colorado (just outside of Denver) where it was then added to the regular mail stream.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ross Dependency 2010

On 17 November 2010, New Zealand Post will issue a new Ross Dependency stamp issue featuring whales of the Southern Ocean. The issue will consist of five oversized (50mm x 30mm) gummed stamps which will also be issued as in a souvenir sheet. The whales featured on these stamps are Sperm, Minke, Sei, Killer and Humpback. For this release, New Zealand Post is also releasing a limited edition (and expensive) deluxe stamp pack that will consist of a booklet, signed FDC, imperf souvenir sheet, colour separations and the stamp set itself. More info can be found here

Monday, November 1, 2010

McMurdo Station, USA

Got this in the mail the other day which is odd because I don't recall sending anything down to McMurdo this year. I did send one down to the South Pole Station though. Wonder if I got the address wrong. It pretty much looks just like the letter I got from McMurdo last year. Same IPY stamp. The cancel is a bit different though. I'm certain I didn't send anything to McMurdo this year.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Carcross Yukon Maxi Card

I'm not a huge fan of maximum cards but sometimes, with the right combination of stamp, cancel and postcard, they look alright. While looking through some of the commemorative cancels available in Canada I came across one from Carcross YT for the White Pass 'Golden Spike'. The White Pass is a rail line that runs from Skagway Alaska to Whitehorse Yukon. Although Carcross lies about 2/3 of the way from Skagway, the last spike or 'Golden Spike' was driven here 29 July 1900. The cancel on this card commemorates the 100th anniversary of the event.

I found this postcard which apparently is of a locomotive traveling on the White Pass line. Finding a suitable stamp wasn't easy and it never seems to be really. I wish Canada Post would put out nice generic 'Canadiana' definitives that just have a flag or maple leaf on them. These days it's all about flowers and flags over mills and such. Anyhow, the Red Fox stamp from the recent Wildlife Photography booklet seemed to be a good choice since their range does extend that far north.

The post master in Carcross did an excellent job getting the cancel on the card for me. No smudging and well placed. I've received a few covered from Carcross and the cancels always turn out looking great.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Canadian Beneficial Insects

On October 19, Canada Post issued a new series of low value definitives to extend the existing series of low value stamps depicting beneficial insects. This time the values are 4,6,7,8 and 9 cents showing the paper wasp, assassin bug, large milkweed bug, margined leatherwing and the dogbane beetle respectively. As with the first series, these are available together on a limited run souvenir sheet (400k) and also 5000 uncut press sheets. Each uncut sheet has full panes of each value. But unlike the previous issue, these sheets are not signed or numbered.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hopen, Norway

I received this back from the the MET station on Hopen Island. Hopen is part of the Svalbard archipelago. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute has had a weather station operating on the island since 1948. The station is manned with a staff of four in six month rotations with the Coast Guard resupplying the station twice a year, usually n July and September. This cover was cancelled on September 16.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New TAAF stamp for November 2010

This TAAF stamp is being issued to coincided with the stamp show to be held at "Espace Champerret" in Paris 4 to 7 November 2010. What's interesting about this stamp is that it will be issued in perforated and self-adhesive formats. Both in sheets of 10 stamps. This will be the first self-adhesive TAAF stamp.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hay River, Northwest Territories

Hay River is a community of 3500 in the Northwest Territories on the south shore of Great Slave Lake.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Canada 2010 Blue Whale Definitive

On 4 October 2010, Canada Post will be issuing a new high value definitive stamp featuring the Blue Whale. This will be the largest stamp Canada Post has ever produced: 128 x 49mm. This high value definitive is also the highest valued stamp ever produced by Canada Post at $10. Being of such a high value it is loaded with security features. They are also making available a limited run of 1000 uncut press sheet of nine two-stamp panes, numbered and signed by the engraver Jorge Peral.

Taylor, British Columbia

Taylor is a small town of 1400 in British Columbia Canada located at mile 38 on the Alaska Highway

Friday, September 10, 2010

Recent 2010 TAAF Stamps

I recently acquired these but they were issued a few months ago. The "Albatrosses of Amsterdam" sheet was issued 12 June 2010 and is made up of 4 0.56€ values. And the "Pavillion Gabriel - Paris" stamp was issued 28 May 2010. It's a rather large stamps and was issued to commemorate the TAAF postal administrations participation in the 2nd stamps show to be hosted by the "Club Philatélique de l'Elysée" at the Gabriel Pavilion in Paris.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

USS Seadragon Commorative Cancel

This is a cover I received from Nome Alaska. The cancelation commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the USS Seadragon (SSN 584) becoming the third submarine to surface through the ice at the North Pole.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Base Presidente Eduardo Frei 40th Anniversary

This sheet issued by Correos Chile on 4 May 2010 commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Chilean Antarctic Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Trout Creek Montana Huckleberry Festival

I don't normally try to acquire USPS commemorative cancels but I saw a few I thought I would "try" in the last USPS bulletin. This Trout Creek MT cancel was one of them. Trout Creek is a small town of 300 in Western Montana. It's known as the Huckleberry Capital of Montana and every year they hold a Festival to commemorate that fact. This year was the 31st and was held on August 13th, as commemorated by the cancel on this envelope. I like this one because it's similar to the the circular commemorative cancels CanadaPost uses.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Longyearbyen, Norway

Longyearbyen is the administrative capital of the Svalbard archipelago. It lies about half way between the north coast of Norway and the North Pole.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hammerfest, Norway

Hammerfest is a town in Northern Norway with a population of around 10,000. It claims to be the Northernmost city in the world; a title that is disputed by Honningsvåg Norway which is further North but does not have the population required to be classified as a city. In the summer months, Hammerfest is invaded by migrating reindeer.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Delta Junction, Alaska

This city of 1000 sits at the north end of the Alaska Highway, 100 miles south of Fairbanks. This envelope was hand cancelled in Delta Junction and machine cancelled in Fairbanks.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Teslin, Yukon

Teslin is a small community in the Yukon along the Alaska Highway (historical mile 804 to be exact). The nearby Nisutlin Bay Bridge is the longest bridge on the Alaska Highway.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Barrow, Alaska

Barrow is the Northern most city in the US: over 500km North of the Arctic Circle. The 4000 people that call Barrow home have no roads connecting them with the rest of Alaska. Air transport is the main way in or out.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Squidfest is held in Holyrood Newfoundland during the last week of July. I should have sent this to the postmaster there a little later and maybe have had it cancelled while the festival was on.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Clam Festival

I enjoyed the recent Canadian Marine Life stamps so much I though I'd send some out on a few covers. This one if from Economy, Nova Scotia. Apparently they used to hold a Clam Festival there. Not sure if they do any more. Sea Otters like clams so it seemed like a good stamp to have under a Clam Festival cancel. My compliments to the postmaster there for a nicely cancelled cover.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hacked Website

I discovered that a "change" was made to a number of my websites (but not this blog) on June 6 that I have just learned about. It appears this change would have attempted to convince viewers of my sites to download a malicious pdf file but I'm really not sure what it looked like. My virus scanner caught it for me every time. I hope nobody was affected by this attack. I've removed the offending code and contacted my service provider. I'm going to have to keep a closer watch over things for a while - hate it when this stuff happens.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Centenary of Akira Kurosawa's Birth

This stamp commemorating the birth of Akira Kurosawa was issued by Monaco on 24 February 2010. I assume the issue had to do with Monaco having hosted an exhibition in May of 2010 dedicated to Kurosawa's work. Being a fan of Kurosawa and samurai movies, I had to add this stamp to my collection.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

TAAF Cover - Juan de Nova

After a couple of months, received this cover back from the island of Juan de Nova. Juan de Nova is part of the "Iles Eparses" which is administrated by TAAF. Wish I had left more room on the front for the cachet that was placed on the back but I wanted to get that particular grouping of stamps together on a cover. Made sense to get the 2010 Juan de Nova stamp on a 2010 Juan de Nova cover.

Of course, the real question is, was the cover actually cancelled on the island? The cancels are dated May 18 which was only 16 days ago. That's quick delivery from such a remote location.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Marine Life from Sweden

Here is the Swedish side of the joint Sweden-Canada issue Marine Life.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Canada / Sweden Joint Issue

Canada Post has issued a joint commemorative stamp issue with Sweden about Marine Life. The stamps were deigned by Martin Mörck and engraved by Lars Sjööblom. The two Canadian stamps feature Harbour Porpoises and Sea Otters. The Swedish issue consists of four stamps, two of which feature the same animals on the Canadian stamps. The issue consisted of a souvenir sheet and an 8 stamp booklet. The booklet is gummed which is something Canada Post has not produced since 2004. The perforations in the booklet also include elliptical perforations which is a common thing in Swedish gummed coil and booklet issues. It was nice to see Canada Post doing an engraved issue. Even better that it was a joint issue with Sweden.