The "Southern Champion" is a modern 2,203 ton fishing vessel owned by Austral Fisheries Pty. Ltd of Fremantle. She commenced fishing in the Southern Ocean around Heard Island late in 2000 using the West Australian Port of Albany as her base.
Because of delays to the Australian Antarctic division chartered vessel "Polar Bird" which had been trapped in Antarctic pack ice it was decided instead to use the "Southern Champion" to transport back AAT scientific personnel from Heard Island.
The vessel arrived at Heard Island on the 11th February and promptly uploaded a limited number of AAT personnel and transported them to Albany arriving in the early hours of the 20th of February, 2001.
CHAMPION1 2001 (February 20th) Heard Island Expedition cover posted at Albany. Price US$8
Note: The above cover has a Heard Island datestaamp of 6th February at top left applied in blue plus a Heard Island cachet at bottom left. The 2000-2001 Expedition cachet as shown at right has also been applied to the reverse of the envelope.
CHAMPION2 2001 (February 20th) "Southern Champion" cover posted at Albany. Price US$5
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