Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cruising Thru Postcards # 4

I'm back again, this time with another episode of Cruising Thru Postcards. Not too long ago My Lovely Teena and I cruised from Vancouver to Alaska. As I have done after each cruise , I like to give a recap of the cruise , thru the postcards that I purchased along the way and posted back to myself.

We left Vancouver on Wednesday 12 September 2012 at 1623 hours on board the Island Princess of the Princess Cruise Line, under the command of Captain Nicolo Binetti .Sailing out of Vancouver through the Burrard Inlet and under the Lions Gate Bridge into the Strait of Georgia was quite nice and the weather was great. We arrived  at the notorious Seymour Narrows shortly after midnight.

The Island Princess is a Sun class cruise ship with 16 decks. She was built between 2001 and 2003. She sails with a crew of 900 and 1,970 passengers. The Island Princess was built to Panamax size, meaning she was built to the maximum size a cruise ship can be to sail through the Panama Canal. She is the longest ship in the Princess fleet at 965 feet in length and has a beam of 122 feet. My first postcard is of The Island Princess.

I used a couple of Forever stamps from 2012  along with the American Toleware stamp from 2007. The  Statehood stamps were issued for Louisiana
and Arizona. 

Thursday 13 September was a Sea day. We navigated through the Blackney Passage and later northward across Queen Charlotte Sound and into Hecate Strait. At 0159 on Friday 14 September the Island Princess crossed the Canada/US border and entered Alaska state waters. At 0515 we entered Tongass Narrows for our approach to Ketchikan, our first port of call. We arrived Ketchikan at 0630 . We had covered a total of 535 nautical miles from Vancouver.

Ketchikan - The Salmon Capital of the World. Located on Revillagigedo Island, 90 miles north of Prince Rupert and 235 south of Juneau, it is the 11th largest island in the United States. Around 7,000 people live in Ketchikan. The city receives over 152 inches of rain per year. Ketchikan is home to the largest collection of totem poles in the world. You can see a few of them on my postcard of Saxman Totem Park.

 Another interesting area is Creek Street- a historic boardwalk that was a Red Light District during the Gold Rush. This is where we find Dolly's House . Dolly Arthur was one of Ketchikan's most infamous characters from the 1900s. Dolly was the star of the Red light District and her house of ill repute paints a colorful picture of her saucy life. Here's a picture of Dolly's place.

On this postcard I used the same Toleware and Arizona stamps . I also used the 2 Forever stamps of the Cherry  Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.  

At 1400 we departed Ketchikan for Juneau. We sailed north west and transited Snow Passage, Summer Strait, then Decision Passage and then into Chatham Strait. We arrived Juneau at 0800 on Saturday 15 September, completing another 272 Nautical Miles. Juneau , the capital of Alaska is nestled at the base of Mt. Juneau and across the channel from Douglas Island. Pictured on my postcard are the cruise ship dock, a view of downtown and the Governor's Mansion.

 One of the highlights of Juneau was visiting the 12 mile long Mendenhall Glacier. Here's a picture of the Mendenhall Glacier to give you an idea of what it looks like.

  While we were docked in Juneau, Libby Riddles came aboard and gave a presentation about sled dogs. Libby was the first female to win the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in March of 1985. Certainly something that she can be very proud of.

The 4 stamps that I used on the Juneau postcard are a 2012 set of Innovative Choreographers. These self adhesives were issued on July 28th.

We departed Juneau at 2040 and sailed back down the Gastineau Channel. At 2148 we passed Marmion Island and then entered the Lynn Canal on our northbound passage to Skagway. We arrived Skagway at 0648 on Sunday 16 September, completing another 99 nautical miles..

Skagway, my most favourite place that we visited on the cruise. Skagway was founded in 1897 and is located in a narrow valley at the head of Taiya Inlet. It is 90 miles northwest of Juneau and has a population of around 1000. One of the highlights of Skagway is the White Pass & Yukon Railroad which travels from Skagway to the Yukon in Canada. It is a 41 mile roundtrip to the Summit of the White Pass, a 2,865 foot elevation. My Skagway postcard shows the Thunderbird Diesel of The White Pass & Yukon Railroad as it passes over the Glacier Bridge

The stamps used on this one are the same Toleware and Cherry Blossom Festival issues.

A final note from Skagway is that the White Pass & Yukon Railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, an honor shared with the Eiffel Tower, The Panama Canal and the Statue of Liberty.
interestingly, I have now seen 3 of 4 of these Landmarks. Guess I have to go to Paris soon.

We sailed out of Skagway at 2005 for Glacier Bay.  We would sail another 113 nautical Miles to Glacier Bay. On Monday morning , September 17, at 0635 we were joined by Park Rangers of Glacier Bay National Park. We then sailed to within 1 nautical mile of the Margerie Glacier, where we stayed for about an hour to give everyone an opportunity to take pictures. Here's a nice snap of this wonderful glacier. 
This wall of ice is about 250 feet high above the waterline with another 100 feet or so below the waterline. Upon leaving this area we turned into John Hopkins Inlet and then past Lamplugh Glacier.  We then headed west north westerly across the Gulf of Alaska towards Prince William Sound.

Tuesday 18 September. Around 1200 ,  noon ,  we entered Prince William Sound. Due to a storm over the Bering Sea which was to cause gale force winds and squalls of up to 50 knots in Whittier  we changed course and had to cancel our call to College Fjord. We proceeded directly to Whittier and arrived at 1730 about 7 hours earlier than we should have.   Glacier Bay to Whittier was another 455 Nautical Miles.

Total distance travelled from Vancouver to Whittier was 1474 Nautical Miles or 2730 Kilometers .

So ends another cruise.

I do want to show one more postcard, it's one I purchased  but did not mail. it's a nice Alaska scene reproduced on a wooden postcard.I think these are kind of neat and anytime I see one in my travels , I will be buying them.

Thanks for reading, Take care and Happy Cruising.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Windmill, Airplanes, A Lighthouse, A Sailing Ship, A Postbox, Mexico, Romaina and Kazakhstan and a Couple of Newfoundland Towns

Hello again,
Quite the title on this update. Sounds like another mixed bag as I like to call them.
Let's start with the windmill. This card is from Johan and shows a windmill in the small Dutch coastal village of Retrenchement.Johan wrote that it is the first coastal town of Holland , coming from Belgium.

Johan's stamp is from a 2011 set of 2 issued to highlight the environment.


Next is a card of the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona. This is a card from Postcrosser Rhonda. This museum is one of the world's largest aerospace museums. Opened in May 1976, the museum features over 300 aircraft representing a century of aviation including President Kennedy's Air Force One, the supersonic SR-71,Blackbird, and the X-15 space plane. 

Rhonda used a 2012 Lancaster County stamp and here it is .

Now here's a card from Kazakhstan, Astana to be precise. Astana has been the capital of the country since 1997 and is the country's second largest city after Almaty. It is located in the north-central part of Kazakhstan with just over 700,00 people. David's card shows a nice view of a modern city with lots of highrises.

David used 2 recent stamps , one from 2011 and one from 2012. The one on the left is 1 of 4 in a 2011 set featuring Old Coins. The right stamp , from 2012 ,is is an Europa Stamp , suggesting one Visit Kazakhstan. 
Cape Hatteras Light is next. Located on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, USA. At 208 feet it is the tallest lighthouse in North America and the 23rd tallest in the world. It was built in 1870.  Due to erosion of the shoreline, Cape Hatteras Light was moved 2,870 feet inland during 1999 and 2000.Pam, a U.S. PostCrosser sent this card along. Here is the 2012 Glacier National Park , Montana stamp that Pam used.


 Halmstad is up next. Halmstad is a port city on the Swedish west coast. It has a population of just over 58,500.Lisbeth's card shows a sailing ship at rest with sails down in the evening.

Here is the stamp that Lisbeth used. It was issued this year, 1 of 5 Photo Art stamps in a self adhesive booklet.
Now for another addition to my mailbox/postbox on postcards collection. This one comes from Germany and is described by Anke as a German Private Postbox. She writes that the official German postbox is yellow.

Anke used a common flower definitive and 1 of 2 stamps in a 2012 landscaped issue. Her's showcases Jasmund National Park, famous for its large high chalk cliffs, towering up till 161 m above the Baltic. 


Airplanes on Postcards-- another one for my collection of that topic. This one is just a silhouette of a large jet airliner passing in from of the sun with a number of palm trees in the foreground.Don't know the aircraft type or the airline.No matter though. It's a cool shot. The card comes from Hanna in Germany.

Hanna used a flower definitive along with a 2007 commemorative showing the Brandenburg Gate. The stamp honours the gate's designer Carl Gotthard Langhans.

My next card is another one from Mexico City, Mexico. Another from Ana, from her recent trip there.Ana's card shows The Palace of Fine Arts at night. A beautiful looking building indeed.

Ana used a nice high value definitive , 1 of a set of 5, issued this year.


Here's a card from Romania compliments of Jean Pierre. It shows various sights and scenes around the country.

Jean Pierre used 2 nice 2012 stamps. The stamp with the apples is from a set of 3 showing various fruits. The other stamp is a stamp issued for Easter.


My final 2 cards for this time are 2 more received from Newfoundland for my Towns of Newfoundland Collection.They represent the town of Main Brook and the town of Stephenville.
Main Brook is a small town located along the inner shores of Hare Bay on the Northern Peninsula. Permanent settlement did not take place until the 1920s. Main Brook has a population of just under 300 people. Barb's postcard shows an eagle in flight.

We see another Baby Wildlife definitive from 2012 on this one.

Here's the final card , the Stephenville one. Mr bother Mel sent this card along and it shows a few scenes and sights of Stephenville. The town of about 6700 people is located on the northeast coast of Bay St George , on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland. Stephenville was also the location of the Ernest Harmon Air Force Base, operated by The United States Air Force from 1941-1966. One of their aircraft, a F-102 Delta Dagger is shown on the postcard. 

As a last bit of info , I lived , along with my wife and 2 sons in Stephenville from 1978-1985.

Mel's card arrived with another of the Baby Wildlife definitives issued this year.

That's it for this time. Be sure to drop back again, hope to get another update in before September passes.
As always , your comments are always welcome.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Another Mixed Bag of postcards

Here's another update. The cards are from all over and are what I call a mixed bag. Before I get to the cards though, just want to say thanks to Joe for his comment in my last update. Yes, that is a cool card from The Netherlands. Always love to see an Airline/Aircraft postcard. You can never go wrong with those. Also found some of your photos, love those post office shots, and railroad/train shots,they would make great postcards. Got your Vermont card yesterday, thanks. Now on to the cards in the bag.

First up is India. The card features a popular tourist attraction in Delhi. It is actually called the Jama Masjid. This mosque is the largest and best known in India.Built between 1650 and 1656 it can hold up to 25,000 people. I can't make out the senders name but it is a PostCrossing card. Three stamps were used, two of which are of special interest. They are the two larger ones and are from a 2012 set of 4 issued for the 100th Anniversary of Aviation.


My next two cards are from family members. The first one is a Howdy from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA . It is from my grandson Evan who was vacationing in Phoenix with his Mom and Dad and little sister. Even said it was hot as , well you know. Naw, he really didn't say that, but it was hot. Evan didn't use a stamp on this one, it just fell under a postage meter, but that's okay. The card and thought are what counts. Thanks Evan, Love you.
The next card is from my brother Dale. He was recently in Brazil and Argentina. His card is from Buenos Aires. It shows a number of scenes in Recoleta , a historical and cultural center in the city. The Recoleta Cemetery  is one of the main tourist attractions in the neighbourhood. The most famous and popular tomb in the cemetery is that of Eva Peron. Dale's card brings back many memories as My lovely Teena and I visited this area and cemetery back in April. Dale used a DHL courier stamp as this seems to be the most popular way of mailing a card there. I ran into the same problem. They do arrive in the mail stream at destination but for some reason take an extra long time.
Now I have three cards from David , posted from Uzbekistan. The first one was posted from Tashkent, the capital.and shows the Khast-Imam Mosque. It dates from the 16th century. David used a new 2012 stamp featuring Uloq-Ko''pkari, a national equestrian event.

Here's the second one. posted from Bukhara, the fifth-largest city in the country. Located on the famous Silk Road, the city has long been a center of trade, culture and religion. The historic center of Bukhara was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993. This second card shows the Khanaka, built around 1620. On this one David used 2 more current 2012 stamps. I don't have much information on these current Uzbek stamps but I can  see that the one on the right was issued for the London Olympics.

David's final Uzbek card is from Nukus. It is the sixth-largest city of Uzbekistan and the capital of the autonomous Karakalpakstan Republic. It is best known for its world class Museum of Art.    This is what is pictured on David's card.  The large stamp on the right is 1 of 52 in a set issued in 2011 , for the 20th year of Uzbek Independence. Thank you David for these cards and great stamps. I know from experience that large current commemorative stamps are not often found on Uzbek postcards. Usually they arrive with very small unattractive definitive stamps .

Next up is Joe's card , the same Joe that I mentioned earlier. This is a card of Newport and Lake Memphremagog, Vermont, USA. The city of Newport is located at the southern end of Lake Memphremagog, where it is joined by the Clyde River. Joe used 2 great stamps from 2011 celebrating Project Mercury , the early space exploration program. Alan Shepard is featured on the stamp on the right. He was the second person, and the first American in space. He was also the fifth person to walk on the moon.

Now we have a card from Sri Lanka, sent by Ravindra. It shows an early morning view of the top of Adam's Peak Mountain. It is a 2,243 metre conical mountain in central Sri Lanka. Ravindra used a beautiful large National Parks stamp from a set of 4 issued in 2010. This one celebrates Horton Plains National Park. The st of 4 is really a nice set of stamps.

Now to end things - I have 2 cards from towns in Newfoundland. They are from Millertown and Grand Bank.  Let's have a look at the Millertown card first. It's a view of the town from Red Indian Lake. Millertown is a small town of about 100 people , located in the interior of the island of Newfoundland on the north east side of Red Indian Lake. It was founded in 1900 by Scottish lumber baron Lewis Miller. Teresa used a 2012 Daylily stamp from a set of 2 permanent domestic rate stamps. It was issued on March 01st.


Last card is from Grand Bank. This town of 2,415 is located on the tip of the Burin Peninsula. Grand Bank's history goes back to around 1640 and its first census in 1687 showed a total of 45 people living there. This postcard gives an old time view of a still sparsely inhabited small town . No stamp , postage meter.

I think that about wraps up another update . I want to thank Teresa, Ravindra, Joe, David, Dale and Evan for their cards.Back again soon, got to get those September updates in.

I've finally had to go with the new Blogger format . I put it off as long as possible, but I hate it, I have a lot of trouble putting the card images and stamps where I want them . I hope I can figure it out eventually.