Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Island, Nova Scotia 2011

The Christmas Island post office in Cape Breton Nova Scotia cancels Christmas mail with these Christmas cancels in red and green every year. They've been doing this for the past 16 years and receive requests from people all over the world asking that their mail be cancelled with this postmark. They process up to 2000 requests a day during the holiday season. 

Christmas Island is a small rural community: a few homes and businesses spread out along a highway. It's not an actual island although it is on Cape Breton island.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New TAAF Stamps 2011 and 2012

Lots of information about new TAAF issues at

Adelie Penguins
This stamp was available for sale during MonacoPhil, 2-4 December in Monaco and everywhere else on 7 December. It is available in a gummed TAAF issue and is a slightly redesigned France issue that was part of the recent self-adhesive "Overseas" booklet

Crozet Base Anniversary
A pair of stamps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first research station on Crozet Island, on sale 15 December 2011. I like how they show the place being overrun by penguins.

TAAF and Mayotte Joint Issue
This stamp shows the Marion-Dufresne at Mayotte and is scheduled for 30 December 2011. The TAAF issue is a little taller but the Mayotte stamp is a little wider due to the different number of stamps each issuing body includes on a full sheet. What is strange about this stamp is that only two days after it is issued, Mayotte will cease to issue its own stamps. So the question is, will it be valid for postage in Mayotte after 1 Jan 2012? Lots more about this issue at here.

TAAF 2012
Also, details regarding the upcoming 2012 issues have been release which includes the following stamps:

  • Mineral stamp: Diopside
  • Vessel: Marius Moutet 
  • René-Émile BOSSIERE (1.45)
  • Roald AMUNDSEN (1.00)
  • Polar region air transport (sheetlet)
  • Weddell seal
  • Port Jeanne d’Arc (sheetlet)
  • Lepidonotothen Larseni Fish (2.40)
  • Notodiscus Hookeri Snail (0.60)
  • Molloy Base (Kerguelen - 2 stamps, 0.60 each)
  • Foreign Legion and Marine Corp of the Scattered Islands (2 stamps and label)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

Prudhoe Bay (70°19N 148°42W) is a community on the Alaskan North Slope at the end of the Dalton Highway. If you've ever seen the television series "Ice Road Truckers", you've likely seen or at least heard of Prudhoe Bay. Most of the population works at the nearby oil field and only a few people actually live there permanently. A number of businesses that support the oil field, including the General Store that houses the Post Office, are clustered near the airport in what used to be known as the town of Deadhorse. Despite the name, I somehow doubt there have ever been horses in Deadhorse, dead or alive. There is a good article about the name Deadhorse here. Even though the area was renamed to Prudhoe Bay in the 80's, the name Deadhorse persists today.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

No Cape Denison cover this season

Australia Post introduced a new postmark for Cape Denison that was put into use last year. Every summer the temporary post office at Cape Denison is open for tourists visiting the Mawson Huts and Cape Denison. It was unfortunate that I missed out on this as it was an opportunity to get the new Cape Denison postmark in its first year of use. So early last month I stuck some AAT stamps on an envelope and sent it down to Rob Easther in Hobart with the hope that it would get to Cape Denison for the upcoming season. But there is too much ice in Commonwealth Bay this season meaning L'Astrolabe will be unable to get the expedition to Cape Denison. So no Cape Denison cover for me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Polarstern ANT-XXVIII/1 cover

Posted back to me from AWI's research vessel Polarstern during ANT-XXSVIII/1 : the first part of its 2011/12 Antarctic cruise season. OCEANET is a project to measure "aerosol concentration, solar radiation as well as other meteorological and oceanographic parameters", operated by the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (IFT) and the Leibniz Institute for Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR) from the University of Leipzig.

AAT Macquarie Island 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Isle of Man - Europa, SEPAC and Christmas 2011

Not only is this set the 2011 Christmas issue for the Isle of Man but it also includes their forest themed Europa issue (68p) and their scenery themed SEPAC contribution (58p). Painted by local artist Jeremy Paul, the birds featured on the stamps from least to greatest denomination are a Robin, Redwing, Goldfinch, Siskin, Waxwing and the Long-tailed Tit.