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