1999-2000 ANTARCTIC NEWS


June 21st, 2000

Mid-Winter day for the Southern Hemisphere. We have aded a page for Operation Deep Freeze covers done for Mid-Winter. Click here to view this page.  We have also available a cover produced to celebrate noted Australian Antarctic Explorer, Dr Phillip Law's 88th Birthday. Dr Law was the longest serving director of the Australian Antarctic Division.  You can view this page here.

It is mid-winter of course also at the South Pole and we have received an electronic Greetings card from the over-winterers to celebrate this. You can see this card by clicking the thumbnail size illustration below

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March 28th, 2000

We have aded an article about the Millennium 2000 South Pole Ballooning Expedition by Steven Vlegels, one of the members of the Flying Circus team. This report gives a different perspective to the trials and tribulations of the Expedition. To view this report click here

March 26th, 2000

German/Italian "Novogimex" Expedition has been refused permission to work in Antarctica as no comprehensive Environmental Report had been done. Planning to work in the Ross Sea and Cook Ice shelf areas, the expedition has altered plans and instead is now working on the South Tasman Sea Ridge. Permission to work in the intended areas was with-held by the German Government Environmental Department. A report on progress of the expedition so far can be viewed here

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The New Zealand research vessel "Tangaroa" has returned to Wellington after a successful Marine-Geoscience expedition to an area between the Dibble and Ninnis Glaciers. the Expedition by a Italian party under the direction of the Italian Observatorio Geofiscio Sperimentale was carried out as an official Australian Antarctic Division Expedition as the area studied is in the AAT. Further details of the "Tangaroa" and the expedition can be found here

March 12th, 2000

We have put up a page recording all the South Pole private expeditions of the 1999-2000 season.the page has a nice selection of illustrations and photos. To see it click here

March 8th 2000

We have added a second page of photos and illustrations showing the work of the "Polar Duke" in the Antarctic during its 1999-2000 GANOVEX expedition and on its return to Lyttelton on March 5th 2000. To go to this page click here

MARCH 5TH 2000

We have added today an interesting and revealing article about the recent Russian led Millennium 2000 South Pole Expedition written for us by Ivan Trifonov, the famous Austrian Polar Balloonist who participated in the Expedition. He gives us here a real insiders perspective of the much troubled   and eventually successful expedition. To read his article click here

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The "Polar Duke" with the German/Italian GANOVEX Antarctic expedition on board arrived back at Lyttelton today after a successful 3 month expedition.  We have already updated our web page with Captain Karl Sandens 7th and final Expedition report  which can be seen here but we will in the next few days also add some photos taken during the expedition as well as some taken at Lyttelton when the "Polar Duke" returned.


FEBRUARY 29TH 2000

We have added a great page on the January 16th visit of 2 US Astronauts to the South Pole Station. We don't have anything for sale from this event but we do show some prize autographed items. Click here to go to this page.

We have also received the latest report from Karl Sanden, master of the Antarctic Expedition vessel "Polar Duke". It and previous reports can be viewed here

FEBRUARY 6TH 2000

We have added a page on the Russian Mil 2000 Expedition which can be viewed here.

JANUARY 10th, 2000

News comes today that the Russian led Millennium 2000 Antarctic Expedition has succeeded with four of their snowbugs arriving at the South Pole on the 8th January and their balloon flight  made a 30 minute flight over the South Pole on January 9th. The expedition left the same day to return to Patriot Hills.


JANUARY 8th, 2000

We have today received the third faxed report from the Antarctic GANOVEX Expedition ship "Polar Duke" sent to us by her master Karl Sanden. To read this fax and see photos of the "Polar Duke" in Lyttelton click here.


JANUARY 6th, 2000

ANTARCTIC DRILLING SETS NEW RECORD

The International drilling project at Cape Roberts, Antarctica, has set a new record for the deepest hole cored into the ice, with a drill depth of  939.4 meters said the project manager Jim Cowie. The 7 nation team exercise had gone extremely  well this year averaging 28 meters per day for a total of 33 days. "The drilling team is made up of 11 core drillers from New Zealand whose combined expertise dates from previous similar projects in the 1970's. Antarctica New Zealand in partnership with Victoria University (of Wellington) now lead the world in Antarctic core drilling knowledge" Jim Cowie said.

The project included scientists and other support people from Australia, the UK, the USA, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.

This season's work completed the $9 million (NZ) three year project at Cape Roberts which had been extremely successful, reaching the new record depth which dates from 24 to 350 million years back into the past. "We used a specially designed drilling rig, which weighs 50 tonnes and was sited on 2.1 meter thick seasonal sea ice, 11.5 km from the shore and above 300 meters of ocean" Mr Cowie said.   The camp was sited on sea ice to reduce environmental impacts on the nearby ice-free land area, which is 125 km north of Scott Base and was built inside refrigerated shipping containers.  A total of  5147 kg of core was recovered from the drill rig this season.

"Once the core sample is recovered from the hole, the cylinder of rock and sediment is sliced in half. one half is archived in a climate controlled room at Florida State University. the other half is kept at the Alfred-Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany where it will be disseminated to scientists around the world for experimentation". The clean up process would begin next year when the 500 tonnes of equipment would be taken back to Scott Base and McMurdo Base to be stored for future use.


JANUARY 4th, 2000

Added today is a page dealing with the "Kapitan Khlebnikov" and its current Millennium 2000 Expedition.

Click here to go to this page


JANUARY 3RD, 2000

Today we have added several pages of new shipping covers including mail from the following Antarctic vessels which can be seen by clicking on their names.

"Almirante Oscar Viel"   Chilean Antarctic Supply vessel

"Lautaro" Chilean Antarctic Patrol vessel

"Uruguay" Argentine historic Antarctic memorial vessel


JANUARY 2ND, 2000

We have today added several items to our Falkland Island page including some nice Air Drop covers from the Falklands to South Georgia and also postcards from two Antarctic Exploration vessels, the "Bremen"and the "Caledonian Star". To view these click here


December 31st, 1999

The Italian Antarctic Expedition Vessel "Italica" arrived in Lyttelton yesterday to prepare for her 2000 Expedition to Antarctica and the Ross Sea. To see photos and read the story of this visit and the plans for the expedition click here


December 16th, 1999

News from "Polar Duke" GANOVEX Antarctic expedition.

We have today received an interesting and informative fax from the skipper of the "Polar Duke", Captain Karl Sanden who kindly brings us up to date on what the expedition has been doing since it left Lyttelton in November.

To read this fax and see photos of the "Polar Duke" in Lyttelton click here.

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"KAPITAN KHLEBNIKOV" departs Lyttelton today for Antarctic Millennium Cruise.

I have in the last 4 days visited the "Kapitan Khlebnikov" at Lyttelton and have taken a lot of nice photos and interviewed the Expedition leaders about their special Millennium Cruise that the Russian Icebreaker is embarking on. The highlight of the trip will be spending New Year's eve at the Balleny Islands which is the first  land to see the sunrise on Ist of January 2000. These uninhabited islands are just north of the Antarctic circle in Northern Victoria Land. The "Khlebnikov" is the only vessel which will see in the sunrise at this prime location. In actual fact they will be a few miles North East of the Islands depending on air temperature which in these southern latitudes can affect by refraction the actual time and place of sunrise!

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BALLOON FLIGHT AT/TO SOUTH POLE.

For January 1st there are plans for a special balloon flight at the South Pole. The Russian Balloon pilot who has an extensive ballooning history including flying to the North Pole, will arrive at Punta Arenas on 22nd December and leave via Adventure Network aircraft to the Chilean Eduardo Frei Base about December 24th (depending on weather) and then via Patriot Hills. There is also a group of skydivers planning a jump over the south pole on January 1st, again being brought in via Patriot Hills by Adventure network aircraft.

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NEWS MEDIA FILMING AT SOUTH POLE.

It appears that both American Television channel WGBH-TV and a German tv crew will be filming life at the South Pole around new year's time.

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HISTORIC RELICS DISCOVERED IN CAPE EVANS HUT.

The Christchurch based Antarctic Heritage trust announced the find of a previously hidden wallet in Captain Scott's 1911 Hutt at Cape Evans.

Although the owner of the green leather wallet is not yet known, it is thought to belong to one of Sir Ernest Shackleton's men, marooned on Ross Island in 1915. The Wallet was found wedged in a small gap between two bunks. It contains five photographs, four tram tickets, and a workman's ferry pass to naval dockyards in Sydney, dated November 21, 1914. This discovery after many years of carefull conservation of the hut and its contents is very surprising but the wallet was hidden beneath a diagonal brace and very difficult to see. There are several clues to the owner of the wallet including the photos which point to the two likeliest owners being either A. Spencer-Smith who died from scurvy on the return journey from laying depots for Shackletons trans-Antarctic expedition or Mr V.Hayward who survived the survey, but disappeared with a colleague attempting to cross 21km of sea ice from Hut Point to join the rest of the party at Cape Evans.

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STRONG WINDS AROUND ANTARCTIC PENINSULA DELAY EXPEDITIONS.

Strong winds around the Antaerctic peninsula are proving a frustration for many expeditions reliant on aircraft flights from Punta Arenas.

The German Expedition (Ant XV11) flying two sky equipped Twin Otter aircraft (Named "Polar 2" and "Polar 4") have been grounded at Punta Arenas in Southern Chile for 14 days waiting for winds in the Antarctic to drop enough to make flights possible.

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SPANISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION 1999-2000.

The Spanish Antarctic Vessel "Hesperides" called into Ushuaia, Southern Argentina two weeks ago to collect science parties and supplies from the Spanish Antarctic Expedition and also the three member Bulgarian Antarctic Expedition.  We understand the vessel will make several trips between Ushuaia and the Spanish Base "Juan Carlos 1" on King George Island not far from several other countries bases.

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NEW  ANTARCTIC BOOK LAUNCH.

11th December 1999 saw the launch in Christchurch of a book dealing with the history of the New Zealand Antarctic Base "VANDA STATION". Written by Christchurch based Antarctic historian, David Harrowfield, the book covers the entire history of the station from its founding in the Wright Dry Valleys in Northern Victoria Land alongside Lake Vanda until its recent closing and complete removal.  We don't know the retail price but if anyone is interested it can easily be found so email us for details.

R.N.Z.A.F. HELICOPTER BEING REPLACED

The RNZAF Iroquois which was stranded in the Antarctic is to be returned to Christchurch on the first available flight. After being sledged back to Scott Base it was decided that full repairs back in New Zealand were needed.

Because of a current committment of the RNZAF aircraft to peace keeping in East Timor it was decided to replace the aircraft with a civilian helicopter and accordingly a Helicopters (NZ) Ltd helicopter ZK-HNO was transported to Scott base from Christchurch inside a Hercules aircraft last week.


December 1st, 1999

R.N.Z.A.F. IROQUOIS STRANDED IN ANTARCTICA

A Royal New Zealand Air force Iroquois Helicopter is stranded on ice about 15km from Scott Base, in the Ross Dependency.   The Iroquois was grounded after its transmission over-torqued in poor weather conditions yesterday. there were no injuries.    Squadron leader Ric Cullinane said that the RNZAF was investigating the accident.

Options for repair, recovery or replacement of the helicopter, currently being used to support the New Zealand Antarctic Research Programme, were currently being considered he added. The best method may be to put the helicopter on a sledge and have it towed accross the ice to Scott Base for repair. It is possible that spare parts may have to be flown in from New Zealand although the RNZAF does keep a range of supplies on site.

WEB PAGE ADDED FOR GERMAN ANTARCTIC GEODETIC EARTH STATION

We have today added a page of information and a nice selection of philatelic covers sent from the German Satellite Geodetic earth station at the Chilean "Bernardo O'Higgins" Base on the Antarctic Peninsula. To visit the page click here.

WEB PAGE ADDED FOR "POLAR DUKE' COVERS

We have today added a page in our shipping covers list for covers from the recent visit to Lyttelton of the "Polar Duke" on its way to the Antarctic. To visit the page click here

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November 28th, 1999.

The Antarctic exploration vessel "Polar Duke" departed Lyttelton last night for 4 months charter work in the Ross Dependency carrying a German EGR scientific expedition. The story of its Lyttelton Port call along with some nice photos can be seen here

November 27th, 1999.

We have posted here an update on the 1999-2000 season activities of the Italian Antarctic Expedition. this includes some nice photos of Dome-C camp on the remote Antarctic Plateau. Click here to read this update

November 20th 1999.

We have today added a lot of new Antarctic covers to our listings especailly those from Chilean Antarctic Bases. To see these new cover listings click here.   They also include a new American Field camp called "Copacabana" on King George Island. This is only a temporary camp and may in future be one of the toughest field camps to find mail from.


November 16th 1999.

MOUNT EREBUS TRAGEDY TO BE REMEMBERED

Close relatives of those who died in the 1979 Mt Erebus air disaster are being invited to send a message to the Base to mark the 20th Anniversary of the tragedy. In 1979 a Air New Zealand DC-10 tourist flight crashed into Mount Erebus and all 257 people on board died. The cause of the accident was put down to faulty figures entered into the original flight co-ordinates along with a pilot error caused by an optical illusion resulting in a white out or loss of horizon definition. This air crash remains the worst single loss of life in Antarctica. Antarctica NZ chief executive Gillian Wratt said that there would be a simple ceremony at Scott Base on November 28th. Messages could be sent by phone on +64 3 3580200, emailed on infoantarcticanz.govt.nz, or faxed on +64 3 3580211.

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R.N.Z.A.F. HERCULES   start "Ice Cube" flights to the Antarctic.

Yesterday (15th November) a New Zealand Royal Air Force Hercules 130 Aircraft of Number 40 Squadron made the first of a scheduled 15 return flights for New Zealand aircraft between Christchurch and McMurdo Station in the Antarctic. It carried 48 scientists and support staff on the 7 hour flight. Over this season about 400 New Zealanders will travel to Antarctica to take part in various projects. This year, as with last season, the main project is the multi-national deep drilling at Cape Roberts where scientists have been learning a lot about the history of the continent


November 13th 1999.

British Antarctic explorer dies

It was announced from London that British Antarctic Explorer and administrator, Sir Vivian Fuchs, who led the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent has died aged 91 at his home in Cambridge. His son Peter said that his father had suffered from a long illness.

Sir Vivian, known as "Bunny" to his friends, started polar research in Greenland as a student . After the Second World War he led the Falkland Island Dependency Service, which had been set up to stop the Germans establishing radar bases in the South Atlantic and Antarctic, and transformed it into a research and exploration body which was to become the British Antarctic Survey.  He was knighted in 1958 after leading the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, which also included New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary, after the expedition made the first surface crossing of the continent by covering 3473 kilometres in 99 days during the 1957-58 Austral summer.

Sir Vivian continued his Antarctic involvement as Director of the British Antarctic Survey from 1958 to 1973.


October 29th 1999.

Main USA Antarctic Science Contract Awarded to RAYTHEON

This Lexington, Mass.  based company was today awarded the National Science Foundation U.S. Antarctic Science Support Contract valued at US$1.12 Billion.  It will replace the previous main contractor Antarctic Suppoort Associates of Denver, Colorado. Under this 10 year contract which includes one 5-year extension option, Raytheon Systems Company will provide everything needed to sustain year-round research programs at the three Antarctic research stations (McMurdo, South Pole and Palmer) and on two research vessels (Nathaniel B Palmer and Laurence M Gould). They will also perform staging operations in Christchurch, Punta Arenas (Chile) and Port Hueneme (California) as well as operating a program office in Denver Colorado.


October 24th 1999.

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New Zealand Post has released the designs for this years Ross Dependency stamp issue.

Release date  17 November 1999.

6  values showing Night skies over Ross Island.

For large size images of each stamp   see our Ross Dependency stamp issue page by clicking here.


October 20th 1999.

We have today received some covers from the Brazilian Antarctic Base "Comandante Ferrez". They have been carried to and from the base which is situated in the South Shetland Islands by the Brazil Antarctic expedition ship "Ary Rongel".

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Brazil.  cover from "Comandante Ferrez" Base postmarked 20 august 1999.    News item 12   US$5


October 19th 1999.

Covers from German vessel "Polarstern" arrive.

After a lengthly delay of several months we have finally received covers from the German Ice breaker "Polarstern". This impressive vessel has its own Official post office on board. Our covers were delayed when the vessel had to return to the Filchner Ice Shelf station when one of the German  Base workers died. You can see these covers and some nice pictures of the "Polarstern" by clicking here


October 17th 1999.

Medivac from South Pole.

The USAF  LC-130 Hercules "City of Christchurch" returned to Christchurch in the early hours of the morning carrying Dr Jerri Nielsen at the end of a successful mercey flight to the South Pole. The pilot concerned, Major George McAllister rated the flight as certainly the most dangerous he had done as a pilot.

"The anxiety was high because this was a special mission at the limits of the operational ability of the aircraft.  The aircraft is not supposed to operate in temperatures lower than minus 50 deg. It was minus 53deg and about 20 miles per hour crosswind with the windchill probably bringing the temperature to minus 80 or 90deg." 

"Blowing snow obscured the runway to a depth of about 1.7m and the draft of the Hercules made visibility even worse." "There was a lot of snow damming and it took a lot of power to keep the aircraft moving. At times we'd loose the visibility of the skiway flags and then we'd have to bring it to a near stop to let the wind blow the snow out of the way and resume taxi-ing" 16 hours after leaving McMurdo station for the South Pole, the plane arrived back in Christchurch.

N.B. We hope to be able to offer customers covers carried on board this flight as soon as they arrive back in Christchurch following postmarking in McMurdo.


October 15th 1999.

USAF "C-17 GLOBEMASTER 111" First flight to Antarctic.

On the 15th October 1999 the first flight to the Antarctic by a C-17 Globemaster 111 was made. This new USAF cargo aircraft is intended to be the replacement for the aging C-141 Starlifter aircraft which have for many years provided the main supply capacity for the Christchurch to McMurdo Base core supply route.

Some great Photos of the Globemaster can be seen by clicking here. This includes images of the aircraft at McMurdo Base on its inaugural flight.

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To see a large version of the image at left click on the image.

 

We have covers flown on the return flight from McMurdo to Christchurch.  News item 11  Price US$5


New Zealand research ship "Tangaroa" to make Antarctic Expedition.The New Zealand oceanographic research ship "Tangaroa" (Name means "God of the Oceans" in Maori) will spend a month in Antarctic waters early next year, following an agreement signed recently in Hobart, involving New Zealand, Australian and Italian research organisations departing Wellington on the 11th February 2000 and returning to Wellington on the 20th March 2000.

The purpose of the voyage is to conduct a range of geoscientific research programs with scientists from the Italian Observatorio Geofisico Sperimentale, using the New Zealand vessel "Tangaroa" operated by the NIWA VESSEL MANAGEMENT COMPANY LIMITED a subsidiary company of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF WATER AND ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH LIMITED. Programs include multichannel seismic survey, sediment core collection, studies into the depositional history on the continental slope and rise, and the collection of data to obtain a regional paleogeographic and paleoenvironmental view. The studies are to be undertaken off the Antarctic coast between the Dibble and Ninnis Glaciers, subject to ice conditions. Italian participants in the voyage are to transfer to the MV Polar Duke before the Tangaroa returns to New Zealand.

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Covers from Chinese Antarctic base "The Great Wall Station" available.

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Chinare XV cover from "Great Wall Station" posted via Eduardo Frei Chile Base.    News item 10   US$5

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Previous Chile Antarctic First day Cover now available.

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Chile 1984 Antarctic Territory FDC postmarked Santiago pictorial postmark. News item 9.    US$4   


September 25th 1999.

We have available now some nice covers carried on the first Hägglund ride at the Christchurch International Antarctic Centre including some autographed by the Hägglund driver. To take a look at these and other recent covers click here.

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A non-denominational church service will be held in the Christchurch Anglican Cathedral at 10am this Sunday 25th September 1999 to bless and wish well all those serving in the Antarctic this season. This continues a long standing tradition of many decades and is open to all persons.


September 23rd 1999.

The Austral summer season in the Ross Dependency is due to commence on September 29th with this seasons first flight from Christchurch to McMurdo Antartica. There are several major projects scheduled this year including  rebuilding of Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station for which much equipment and stock was flown south last season, the 3rd year of Drilling on the Ross ice Shelf in the Cape Roberts project and the French/Italian work at Dome C to improve the joint station on the Ice Cap proper.


September 15th 1999.

Bill Clinton today visited Operation Deep Freeze and the Christchurch International Antarctic Centre and then gave an address to a crowd of 5,000 people about US responses to Environmental problems such as global warming, the Ozone hole over the Antarctic, the release of previously restricted NASA satellite photos of Dry areas in the Antarctic and talked about the US-NZ co-operation in Antarctic research.  Another noted speaker was Sir Edmund Hillary who Clinton refered to as one of his "boyhood heroes". President Clinton also took time to speak via satellite to US Antarctic Personel at McMurdo Antarctic Base and expressed his wish to sometime visit the Antarctic Continent. Public tickets for the event were very popular with many people missing out.

We have produced some covers and cards to celebrate the visit and while stocks last offer last them as follows;

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1999 (September 15th) Postcard for visit  to International Antarctic Centre.  news item 8.   US$5

Note. this card bears a Ross Dependency stamp postmarked at the Ross Post Agency in Christchurch.

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1999 (September 15th) Envelope for visit to International Antarctic Centre.  News item 7.   US$6

Note: This is an official envelope of the Antarctic Centre with a special visit cachet overprinted at left. We expect to  have available in a few days time some similar items which have been postmarked at the Operation Deepfreeze Post Office but these will take a day or two to come to hand.


September 10th 1999.

US Icebreaker/Research ship "Nathaniel B. Palmer"  at Lyttelton for "Hull Testing".

The "Nathaniel B. Palmer" arrived in Lyttelton Harbour on Thursday 9th September from overhall in the Dry Dock in Talcahuano, Chile several weeks ahead of her previously advertised schedule. She is to undergo hull testing while in Lyttelton prior to her next schedule trip to the Antarctic in December. It is not known if this hull testing involves time in the Lyttelton Dry dock.


AUGUST 31st 1999.

We received today some air letters from the Russian "Bellinghausen" Base complete with the Russian penguin Base cachet and the dated cancellation of Bellinghausen at lower left of 15th August 1999. Mail from this base is normally sent out via the nearby Chilean Eduardo Frei Base on Chilean Hercules aircraft and so needs Chilean stamps for on-forwarding. The Chilean stamps are postmarked 15th August and backstamped at Christchurch on 30th August 1999.

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1999 Airletter from Russian "Bellinghausen" Base via Eduardo Frei Base.  News item 6.  US$5 each


AUGUST 28th 1999.

Today we received back our covers from this years "Winfly" flights to McMurdo.  We have used for the first time a new Air polarogramme which shows a view of a USAF C-5 "Galaxy" landing on the Pegasus Sea Ice Runway at McMurdo Sound. There is a nice view on the back of a C-5 being unloaded on the ice. This years' 4 flights commenced on the 20th August and were flown by a C-141 Starlifter. The polarogrammes have been postmarked at the Christchurch Deep Freeze Base Post Office on the 19th August prior to the flight early the following morning.

They bear two McMurdo cachets on the back as well as being backstamped at Christchurch on return on the 26th August.

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Front view

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Reverse side.

"Winfly 99"  Polarogramme.         News item 5.         US$8 each


AUGUST 23RD 1999.

New Zealand announced that this years Ross Dependency stamps will be issued 17 November 1999 and will feature "Night Skies". Six stamps of 40c (Sea Smoke, McMurdo Sound), 80c (Alpenglow, Mt Erebus), $1.10 (Sunset over Black Island), $1.20 (Pressure Ridges, Scott Base), $1.50 (Mother of Pearl Clouds, Ross Island), $1.80 Evening light, Ross Island). Designs are based on photos taken by Gregory Millen of Scotland.


AUGUST 21st 1999.

The British Antarctic Survey have announced the replacement of their Royal research ship "Bransfield".

This veteran built in 1971 will be de-commissioned during September in her home port of Grimsby.             Meanwhile the survey will have already taken delivery of  its replacement in the Norwegian owned "Polar Queen".   The vessel will be bareboat-chartered from its owners Reiber Shipping and will be renamed "Ernest Shackleton". The "Ernest Shackleton" will be responsible for base re-supply and research work alongside the other BAS vessel "James Clark Ross"


AUGUST 21st 1999.

US 1999 "Winfly" flights begin.

The 1999 "Winfly" (Winter fly In) season began yesterday 20th August) when the first of 4 scheduled C141 Starlifter aircraft flights left Christchurch bound for the Pegasus Ice runway in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. The next flight is due on 22nd August depending on weather conditions. The "Winfly" flights bring the first mail, fresh food and other supplies since the last flights of last season 6 months ago.

AAT Cape Denison Project postphoned for a season.

A Australian Antarctic team was scheduled to be taken there this Austral sumer on the French vessel "l'Astrolabe". However logistical problems associated with the requirements of the vessel to undertake other tasks meant the team was given the choice of a single day at Cape Denison to undertake their task or to delay the task until next summer. Obviously one day would not be of much use in a hut restoration project and so the decision was made to postphone for a year according to the project leader Rob Easther.


AUGUST 7TH 1999.

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Received today covers from the US Icebreaker "Laurence M. Gould" which had arrived at Punta Arenas, Southern Chile on the 30th July, after a supply visit to Palmer Station in the Antarctic. Click here to view what we have on offer.


AUGUST 4TH 1999.

We have received a few covers today from the Korean Antarctic Base on the Antarctic Peninsula. This season is their 12th program and the covers have two nice cachets plus a pictorial Korean Antarctic Base postmark of 8th May 1999. The cover also has a Chilean antarctic stamp postmarked at the Chilean Eduardo Frei Base as the Korean mail is posted out through the Chilean Mail system. Backstamped Christchurch 3 Aug 1999.

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We can offer these covers while stocks last.         News item 4.         US$8 each


JULY 16TH 1999.

The American Icebreaker "Nathaniel D. Palmer" arrived in Punta Arenas from Palmer Station on Anwers Island. We have a number of postal items from the "Palmer" including some with nice Punta Arenas Paquebot markings and an interesting Chilean machine label. We have added these items to our page of covers and items from the "Nathaniel D. Palmer" which you can see by clicking here


JULY 15TH 1999.

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We have received some covers with a nice Chile SCAR Penguin stamp and cacheted  BIOMAS programme and postmarked Punta Arenas Maritime postmark as shown above.                News item 3.     price US$3


JULY 11TH 1999.

The US Air Force this day successfully airdropped medical equipment and other supplies to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station during the Austral winter. The supplies in 6 crates were parachuted into total darkness over the South Pole from a USAF C-141 Starlifter assisted by a USAF KC-10 Extender air tanker bringing urgent medical supplies to a patient at the South Pole Station with suspected Breast cancer. The airdrop included mail for base personnel who otherwise will not receive any mail from the last flights in March until the first flight for the new season scheduled for Late October.  We arranged a very limited quantity of postcards to be included in this parachute drop and collectors interested in obtaining one should email us at steve@philatelic.org.nz   Items from the mail drop will not be available until early November.

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At left is the design for the cachet used on the Emergency Air drop postcards.


JUNE 21ST 1999 - (MID-WINTER DAY)

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Mid-winter day in The Southern Hemisphere was recognised by operation Deep Freeze with a big party at the Antarctic Centre held in a huge marquee tent erected between the buildings. We had some postcards postmarked on this date and discovered to our surprise that two new datestamps were is use. these are shown above and are offered as a pair of postcards.                                                   News item 2.  Price US$5


JUNE 15TH 1999.

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First Day Cover Of ANTARTICA CHILENA featuring $360 Weddell seals stamp and pictorial Penguin postmark of Santiago.                                                                        News item 1.     Price US$2


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