SWEDISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION 2002

In January, 2002 the Swedish post office issued a booklet containing stamps of two different designs celebrating the centennial of the 1902 Swedish Nordenskjold Antarctic Expedition.

In association with this stamp issue a re-enactment expedition set off in 2002 on board the "Polar Star" under the leadership of Dr Fred Goldberg to revisit the sites of the 1902 expedition. We reprint here the text of an email received from Dr Goldberg explaining how the re-enactment went.

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Dr Fred Goldberg

"Our expedition went very well. We were very lucky with both weather and ice conditions. We had a very well attended press conference at the Swedish embassy in Buenos Aires on the 22nd of January which gave a lot of press and TV coverage concerning the Nordenskj÷ld anniversary. Then we had a big dinner at the Maritime Museum in Ushuaia with representatives from the Tierra del Fuego Government and the Admiral of the Navy. There were 120 Swedish participants of which 20 were grand- and greatgrandchildren to Otto Nordenskj÷ld.

This evening was also the issuing date of the Swedish Nordenskj÷ld stamps. The participants were able to buy the new stamps and were informed about the big surprise, namely that the Swedish Post will open a post office at Snow Hill on the 29th of Jan during the celebration there. I was before leaving Stockholm appointed postmaster at a special ceremony arranged to present to the new Nordenskj÷ld stamps at the National Maritime Museum where there is a special Nordenskj÷ld exhibition.

On the 28th of January we were able to land at Paulet Island and a joint Argentine-Swedish research team started to investigate and document the stone hut remains from Captain Larsen in 1903. In the afternoon we arrived at Hope Bay were we also measured the hut and documented it photographically. Here we also had a special ceremony together with the base personnel celebrating the Nordenskj÷ld centenary. During the night we sailed South and we were very lucky to find very little pack ice. We zigzagged between huge icebergs through the Weddell Sea and when we came close to the hut on Snow Hill Island we saw a majestic emperor pengvin standing in front of the house. It all seemed very magic and as if Otto himself were standing waiting for us. During our stay here the post office opened outside the hut using the original table and all passenger  and collectors mail was handled. All passengers had a chance to take a brief  look inside the hut before it was time to continue."

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SWEDEN 1   2002 (Jan 29th) Signed envelope from Snow Hill.     Price US$10

Note: The above cover has been signed by Dr Fred Goldberg who acted as Postmaster for the one day Swedish Post Office on Snow Hill Island near Paulet Island at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

A view of Paulet Island is shown below.

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The view above shows the remains of the stone hut on Paulet Island where Captain C.A. Larsen stayed after his vessel "Antarctic" sank in 1903.

The 2002 expedition vessel "Polar Star" can be seen in the background.

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SWEDEN 2   2002 (Jan 29th) Signed envelope from Snow Hill.     Price US$10

Note: This cover differs from the previous one by having the other Swedish stamp affixed.


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