Monday, March 22, 2010

AAT Mawson Station Cover 2010

Here's a nice cover I received back from Mawson Station today. You can clearly see the wind turbines they use to produce 70% of their power in the image on the cover cachet.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

AAT Davis Station Cover 2010

I sent this cover to the Davis Station in the Australian Antarctic Territory sometime in November 2009 and got it back earlier this week. Haven't been able to figure out what the building is featured on the cancel. Davis is the busiest of the AAT stations with a summer staff of around 70 and 20 in the winter.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Some 2010 TAAF Stamps

These are a few of my favorite TAAF stamps from this year:

Île Juan de Nova is part of the Îles Éparses (scattered islands) and is located in the Mozambique channel between the African continent and Madagascar. It is a small uninhabited island of 5.5 x 1.5 kms. The Patureau House is one of the few structure that remain on the island from a time when it was habited and is built on a stone foundation carved from coral and surrounded by fruit trees.

CRAC-ICE stands for Collaborative Research into Antarctic Calving and Iceberg Evolution. And that pretty much sums it up. It was a program initiated during the IPY and is now monitoring the drift and decay of icebergs in the Southern Ocean. The device shown on the stamp is a GPS beacon used for monitoring the movement of the ice sheet.

Île Amsterdam is a tiny island in the Indian Ocean that is part of TAAF. The only settlement on the island is Martin-de-Viviès - a research base that accommodates a staff between 20 and 40 depending on the time of year. Fur and Elephant seals use the island for breeding.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Whitehorse 2010 Winter Games Cancel

I know, I know… the winter games were held in Vancouver and Whistler. So why does Whitehorse have an Olympic cancel? Canada Post went all out with Olympic spirit and created cancels for 30 cites in BC and 2 in the Yukon that had any connection what so ever with the games. I wanted a cancel form Whitehorse and had an Olympic Gold domestic rate stamp available which I thought was a good match. So onto an envelope and into the mail it went.

The postmaster up there did an excellent job of canceling my cover and even sent it back under cover and included a Yukon Gold post card, cancelled with the same Olympic cancel. I was very pleased.

Early in the year I had plans to collect a whole stack of covers with the Olympic cancels on them: one with a matching cancel for pretty much every 2010 Winter Games related stamp Canada Post had issued. But I didn’t get around to it – wasn’t really that interested in them I guess. But I’m happy with this one from Whitehorse.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Davo Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers Album

I was browsing the “posti” website (Finland’s Postal Services company) a couple of weeks ago and noticed they had the Davo “Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers” album for 20 Euro in their online shop. Usually when I come across this it is more like 80 Euro (95 Euro on Davo’s website). So I dropped it in my basket and hit checkout. It was over the minimum amount for free shipping and all I paid extra was a 1 Euro handling fee. I decided to check the price again a few days later and discovered it was back up to 86 Euro. I was having doubts I would actually receive what I had ordered.

The other day I got my package in the mail and there it was. For the price I figured this might have been an album without stamps but I was wrong. It was complete. So for 20 Euro I got an album that retailed for over 80 euro and contains roughly 40 euros worth of stamps. Quite a deal.

I would never have paid full price for this album. There were 25 postal administrations represented in the album with a single, single-sided page for each and their contribution to the stamp series mounted on that page. The mounting was very well done. The album also included 9 double sided pages with information about the polar regions. With end pages, in total there were 36 pages in the album. As for the binder itself, it was not as heavy as I had imagined and I couldn't figure out why it had to be as thick as it was considering how few pages there were in it.

Having all that extra room in the album isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. There were several stamp issues from that series not included in the the album so if I can get my hands on some decent blank pages and some stamp mounts I’ll add extra pages and include the rest of the issues which I already have.

I also acquired a copy of the 2007 International Polar Year folder produced by Greenland Post recently. It contains the IPY stamp sheets issued in 2007 from eight countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and the US. This folder was very well done and although it too was perhaps a bit pricey for what it is (again, I got mine at a considerably reduced price), I think it was overall a better package than the Davo PPRG album… for the price.

Monday, March 15, 2010

International Year of Biodiversity

You may have noticed a few countries issuing stamps recognizing this as the “International Year of Biodiversity”. Learn more about this global initiative here

Switzerland 2010 International Year of Biodiversity

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thule Air Base Cover

The Thule Air Base is the northernmost US Air Force base, located on the North West shore of Greenland, 1118 km north of the arctic circle. The base was built in secrecy during the early 1950’s and still serves as a military base, home to the 821st Air Base Group. Two Inuit villages, Pitfuffik and Dundas, were displaced by the Air Base and relocated to a new village site 130km away.

Thule APO Cover

Faroe Islands Butterflies 2010