Sunday, 10 December 2017

All at Sea

1982: New Buoyage System
The Varne catastrophe occurred in the English Channel in 1971 - it was the equivalent of a multiple pile up on the motorway.  The 6 mile long Varne sandbank in the Straits of Dover and ship navigators inability to interpret the warning buoys in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world was a deadly combination.  As a result of the disaster a new and uniform buoyage system was introduced into Northwestern Europe in 1977 and then the rest of Europe, Africa and Australia completed the switch by 1983. Sweden commemorated the occasion by issuing a booklet of stamps (the FDC has tried to keep the booklet shape as can be seen by the joined stamps).  The stamp designer was the illustrator, calligrapher and writer 'Bertil Kulien (1919-2012) painter of the Swedish and Greek archipelagos, they were engraved by Martin Mörck

Here is a "know your buoys" for all landlubbers like me. At the top - Lateral (side) marks in the narrow Albrektssunds Canal; bottom - Cardinal (quarter marks) with Viking Line's Sally approaching in the Furusunds passage
From the top down - Special mark for a race track ; Safe water mark and the ship 'Malmo' at Ven Island in Oresund; Isolated danger mark and pilot boat at the Skagsudde lighthouse.

I enjoy marine paintings and it is always interesting to see how various artists deal with the challenge of portraying sea swells
1980: Paintings from the South African National Gallery
and here is a master at work, the 17th Century Dutch artist Willem Van de Velde and his 'Marine with Shipping'.
1980s Ships Definitive
but sometimes just a few wavy lines will do very nicely.
1994: Tugboats (Designer - Sheila Nowers)
A calm day in 1935 for the tugboat TS McEwen to tow the Union-Castle Line's Winchester Castle in its iconic lavender-hulled colours. The South African Railway and Harbour Administration's tug  TS McEwan was named after a former General Manager of the Cape Railways but was sometimes called the Smoky Sue because of the amount of smoke put out by her coal boilers.
1982: Anniversary of Simonstown Naval Base
The underwater light as portrayed by AH (Barry) Barrett as South Africa's first submarine, the Maria van Riebeeck glides through the water.

Time to dock in a safe harbour
1961-1973: Definitive (Cape Town)
and take a trip
1983: Tourism Beaches (Plettenberg Bay)
to the beach, watch the ships go and feel the sand beneath your feet or if you yearn for vast expanses of sand then
1948: Definitive 'Arab Postman' (Design: Capt EA Stanton)
take a ride on one of the ships of the desert with the postman.

Sunday Stamps II prompt of the Letter S - for Ships, Singapore, South Africa, Sudan and Sweden - sail over to See It On A Postcard



Eva A. said...

This is ann excellent post, indeed!
I love the first stamps because of the design: lighthouses and beacons are my favourite themes. However, i had nerver read about that desaster...

Tha Arab postman also caught my attention, of course!

Heleen said...

All interesting stamps!

FinnBadger said...

You made me laugh with your 'know your buoys' comment :)

Great selection today.

Bob Scotney said...

I remember the Varne incident. You have given us a great introduction to bouys and it's a great idea to have included the ships of the desert.