2004-06 Antarctic Circumnavigation

The "Apostol Andrey" is a Russian oceanic yacht launched in 1996. She has a steel hull, is 16.2 metres long and 25 tons. She is Bermuda Ketch rigged and normally carries a crew of 6.

She has since launching become famous for several global circumnavigations including one done entirely in the Arctic Ocean.

On the 14th September 2004 she again set out from Kronshtadt in Russia, this time to circumnavigate Antarctica. The voyage was timed to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the circumnavigation of the world by the two Russian vessels "Neva" and "Nadeshda" in 1805.  These vessels had also set out from Kronshtadt.

The "Apostol Andrey" is shown at right at the King Edward Point wharf in South Georgia.

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After successfully travelling around most of the East Antarctic Continent the yacht called into Dumond D'Urville French Antarctic Base.

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APOSTOL 1    2005 (February 20th) QSL Card from Yacht to Dumond D'Urville Base.    Price US$8

Note: The picture at right shows the picture side or reverse of the above QSL card as offered above.

The card has been filled in by hand by the yacht's skipper Nikolay Litau who is also the radio operator on board the vessel.

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After Dumont D'Urville the yacht headed east until being badly damaged by loosing her rudder. A temporary rudder was made from a door and this enabled the yacht to sail to Wellington in New Zwealand where it was slipped for repairs. the views below show the skipper of the yacht arriving in Wellington at left and at right the vessel lifted ashore showing her temporary door rudder at right.

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APOSTOL 2    2005 (April 6th) Special Expedition postcard signed.  Price US$8

Note: The postcard above has at top left the special "Dumont D'Urville" cachet of the yacht.

  It has also been personally autographed by skipper Nikolay Litau who is shown in the picture at right

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APOSTOL 3    2005 (April 11th) Special Expedition postcard.   Price US$5

Note: The above postcard postmarked a few days later is not signed. It has a different ships cachet applied in blue as well as the Dumont D'Urville cachet as before.

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APOSTOL 4    2005 (April 11th) Special Expedition postcard with Russian postmark.   Price US$5

Note: One very interesting aspect of this expedition is that the yacht carries an official Russian postmark for itself. This postmark depicts the yacht and is used to postmark expedition mail franked with current Russian postage stamps as in the case with the above postcard. The above postcard also carries a cachet of the Russia Adventure Club to which the yacht belongs.

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APOSTOL 5    2005 (April 11th) Special Expedition postal envelope.   Price US$5

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Note: The above envelope is an official Russian postal stationery item and features the "Apostol Andrey" in the design at left along with the planned expedition route.

It has been postmarked with the official Russian expedition postmark dated while the vessel was in Wellington. Nikoloy Litau is shown in the main cabin of the yacht at left applying a cachet to one of the above postal stationery items.

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APOSTOL 6    2005 (April 11th) Special Expedition postcard with Russian postmark.   Price US$5

Note: this postcard has the basic 2 yacht cachets plus the official postmark.

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APOSTOL 7    2005 (April 11th) Special Expedition postcard with Russian postmark.   Price US$8

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Note: Similar to the previous postcard but this one has been signed by the skipper Nikolay Litau who is shown at left signing one of the postcards on board the yacht.

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APOSTOL 8    2005 (April 11th) Special Expedition postcard with Russian postmark.   Price US$8

Note: Similar to the previous postcard and also signed but with a different cachet at top center.

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APOSTOL 9    2005 (April 11th) Special Expedition postcard postmarked Wellington.   Price US$5

Posted with a New Zealand stamp and with 2 different expedition cachets.

2006 Re-Commencement of Voyage.

After spending some time in Wellington for repairs and because of the lateness of the season, the decision was made for the "Apostol Andrey" to return to Russia and then come back to New Zealand at the end of the year to complete the circumnavigation. The yacht sailed to Vladivostok and then returned to New Zealand arriving at Lyttelton on the 12th of January, 2006.

The "Apostol Andrey" is shown at right sailing within Lyttelton Harbour.

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APOSTOL 10    2006 (January 12th) Envelope posted on board during Lyttelton visit.   Price US$5

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APOSTOL 11    2006 (January 12th) Envelope posted on board during Lyttelton visit.   Price US$5

Note: The above cover differs from the previous item as it has a different selection of cachets.

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APOSTOL 12    2006 (January 12th) Signed envelope posted on board at Lyttelton.  Price US$8

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The piture at left shows skipper Nikolay Litau signing envelopes during the vessels Lyttelton port call.

Only a small number of envelopes were signed.

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APOSTOL 13    2006 (January 16th) Envelope posted through Lyttelton Post Centre.  Price US$5

Note; This envelope posted just before the yacht departed Lyttelton bears two more cachets.

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APOSTOL 14    2006 (January 16th) Envelope posted through Lyttelton Post Centre.  Price US$5

The "Apostol Andrey" is shown at right at her Magazine Bay Marina berth in Lyttelton Harbour.

She has been dressed with a set of national flags.

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APOSTOL 15    2006 (January 16th) Envelope posted through Lyttelton Post Centre.  Price US$5

Before the " Apostol Andrey" left Lyttelton the chance was taken to go on board the American Antarctic supply vessel "American Tern" to discuss the upcoming voyages of both vessels to similar Antarctic areas over the next few weeks. Exchanges of radio frequencies and weather information sources were arranged. Shown from left to right in the day room of the "American Tern" are Captain Tim Adams of "American Tern", Steven McLachlan (webmaster of this site) and Captain Nikolay Litau of "Apostol Andrey".

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APOSTOL 16    2006 (February 25th) Signed envelope posted Bellinghausen Russian Base  Price US$10

Note: the above envelope was carried from Lyttelton on board the yacht and posted at the Russian Antarctic Base Bellinghausen which is situated on King George Island. From there it has been carried out via the nearby Chilean Eduardo Frei Base (see that it has also been postmarked there on March 2nd 2006. it would then have been carried to Punta Arenas in Southern Chile and from there to New Zealand where it has been backstamped at Christchurch 24 March, 2006.

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APOSTOL 17    2006 (March 30th) Envelope posted at Waterfront Post Office, Capetown.  Price US$10

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Note: the above envelope is a specially printed envelope from the Ukraine Antarctic Base "Akademik Vernadsky" which celebrates the 10th anniversary of the base being Ukrainian.

The envelope was collected from Vernadsky Base by the "Apostol Andrey" and carried back to Capetown where it was posted on arrival with South African stamps. The envelope bears the postmark of "Apostol Andrey" on its back as shown at left.

Only 10 of these envelopes were carried by the yacht so this is a rare mail carriage.

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APOSTOL 18    2006 (March 29th) Envelope posted at Waterfront Post Office, Capetown.  Price US$5

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The "Apostol Andrey" is shown at left berthed in Capetown after completing her circumnavigation of Antarctica.

On the dock are from left Mark Boekstein (Capetown Antarctic Philatelist) and Klaus Arne Pedersen (Antarctic Philatelist from New Zealand) and Captain Nikolay Litau, skipper of the "Apostol Andrey ".

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APOSTOL 19    2006 (March 29th) Signed envelope posted Waterfront Post Office, Capetown.  Price US$8

The envelope above has the ships own postmark at bottom right dated 29th March 2006 on its back along with the receiving datestamp of Christchurch dated 7th April, 2006.

Both items listed as Apostol 187 and Apostol 19 have this same backstamping.

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