Sunday, 4 September 2011

Tropical Waters

 "This cover was taken on 'Eye of the Wind' from Jakarta to Cocos (Keeling) Islands for franking. It continued on the ship to Kenya for backstamping in Nairobi. It returned on a VC10 direct flight to Royal Air Force Brize Norton on 22nd October 1980"
I think the Cocos (Keeling) Islands is just the sort of place one thinks of when the word  tropical island is mentioned. Their tourist website calls it "Australia's last unspoilt paradise in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean".  When HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin on board  sailed here in 1836 his mind was on scientific exploration,  and resulted in his  paper on the geology of these types of islands called the "Theory of subsidence of atolls and coral reefs"

The large sailing ship on the cover is the 'Eye of the Wind', the smaller boats typical fishing boats used by the islanders. This group of 27 small coral islands in two separate atolls was one of the calling places of Operation Drake's round the world expedition; a youth project which included scientific exploration and land based community service. Over 2 years the 'Eye of the Wind' travelled 37,000 miles and 414 young people from 28 countries sailed the oceans .   The marine biologist Dr Trish Holdway whose signature is on the cover signed up for a few months and ending up spending much longer with the boat and directing research.  Maybe she saw some of the fish featured on the stamps

The 20c stamp is Amphiprion clarkii or Clark's Anemone-fish, the two 1c Forcipiger flavissimus, the Yellow Longnose Butterfly fish.  Fascinating fish so here is another
butterfly fish, featuring on one of the island of Mauritius's definitive stamps issued in 2000, the Pavillon (Forcipiger wheeleri). They live on reefs and corals using their long jaws for probing in reefs and nipping off tube-worm tentacles as well as catching small crustaceans.  And lastly
the Freckled Rock Cod (Cephalopholis Coatesi) part of the 1976 Tropical Fish issue of Papua New Guinea. This fish is another one fond tropical reefs but is also found on sub-tropical waters along the coast. It has rows of teeth so don't get too close.

An entry to Sunday Stamps whose theme this week is the Oceans


Anglers Rest said...

What a lovely post; I especially like the cover from Cocos Island. I have to confess I have never heard of it and am just about to Google!

Postcardy said...

Those are beautiful fish. The way they are pictured actually gives them a personality too.

Bob Scotney said...

The cover from the Cocos Islands is tremendous; the fish from Mauritius and Papua are very colourful and remind me of how little we know about life in the oceans of the world.

Ana said...

hmm, so many nice fish stamps today...even though they are not my topic, i certainly enjoy seeing them today...and these ones coming from such special countries are really amazing to have! And the cover is certainly fantastic!!!

lostforwords101 said...

Really colorful fishes. Thanks for sharing them.

I also shared colorful marine animals in my page. I hope you can drop by because I would really like to share those stamps with you, too. :)

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

I'm always amazed at how colourful fish can be. There's more to life than cod!

viridian said...

I was lost without electricity andinternet for 36 hours - a big thunderstorm!
Love the cover at the top. I too am off to google cocos islands. Thanks for participating.