Friday, January 27, 2012

TAAF Covers: Kerguelen, Crozet and St. Paul & Amsterdam

Kerguelen, Crozet and St. Paul & Amsterdam. I sent all three of these at the same time but separately on 15 November 2011. They were all postmarked a few days apart. And they all showed up in my mailbox on the same day: today.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Robert F Scott - Kiel Postmark

I received this today from Germany with a "Robert F Scott" commemorative postmark on it. Thank you very much Bhavin (and Martin). On January 17, 1912, Scott had a "horrible day" when he reached the South Pole to discover that Amundsen had gotten there first.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Diomede, Alaska

Diomede is a small village with a population of 135 on the island of Little Diomede in the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia. In fact, Little Diomede is only a couple of kilometers from Big Diomede which is the Eastern most point of Russia. From Diomede, when the weather is right, you can quite literally see Russia to the West. And in the winter when the strait freezes between the two islands you can walk from the United States to Russia. The International Date Line is less than a kilometer west of Diomede so a walk across the ice to Big Diomede would mean travelling back in time by a day.

It's hard to comprehend the remoteness of this place and yet it is part of the United States. Obviously there are no roads and or airport here. Most people come and go by helicopter. In the winter, an airstrip is ploughed on the ice for small planes to land which means mail delivery in the Winter is more regular than in the Summer. Diomede receives mail about once a week.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Terra Nova and the Christchurch Philatelic Society

This miniature sheet with a pair of Ross Dependency stamps over an image of the Terra Nova in Lytteloton Harbour was issued for the Christchurch Philatelic Society on 14 January 2012. The stamps are a pair from the 2011 Ross Dependency issue that feature Robert F Scott and his expedition to the South Pole.

I received this from New Zealand Post today and the envelope looks like it was dropped in a puddle and kick around. Fortunately New Zealand Post seals their stamps in plastic envelopes, otherwise they would have been ruined.

Friday, January 20, 2012


It's not always about the polar regions... I received this letter from Algeria the other day. One of the stamps is a mineral stamp which is interesting to me because I collect stamps with minerals on them. This particular stamp is from 1983 and shows a desert rose - a crystal formation of barite and gypsum.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Iceberg Card from Casey Station AAT

Got this card back from Casey Station today. I'm not crazy about the card and I question whether or not the penguins were really in the photo or added later but at the time it was all I could find. I did like the AAT Icebergs stamp set though, especially the self adhesives. I couldn't have asked for a better postmark application.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Brazil's Ferraz Station

Received this today, sent in September of 2011. Not a bad turn around time. Only took two months to get down there and a month and a half to get back through the holiday mail.

Comandante Ferraz is a Brazilian research base on King George Island. It's a year round base that has been in use since 1984 and is maintained by the Brazilian Navy. The cachet at the top in the middle has "Grupo Base" on it (Base Group) which is the Navy team who operate the base. The cachet at the bottom in the middle is the logo for PROANTAR: Programa Antártico . The acronym CIRM stands for "Comissão Interministerial para os Recursos do Mar" or commision for sea resources.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Oslo, 14 Dec 2011

This postmark was available from Norway's Posten on 14 December 2011 to commemorate "100 years since the conquest of the South Pole". Posten's special postmarks are usually announced on their website a month  before being made available.