Friday, February 8, 2008

Paquebot mail

Paquebot Letters posted in Dakar & Lome

As the last post said, I am back from the trip at sea. It was pretty eventful trip by all means and we throughly enjoyed it. But on the Postal front, it was an exciting time. I was able to visit a lot of post offices in foreign lands and posted to a lot of people from obscure spots on the globe.

One of the things I am happiest about is the use of the Paquebot mail that I tried for the first time. I had written extensively about the use of Paquebot mail before I left for the ship and let us do a slight recap of the concept before we go any further.

The ship is considered as part of the country of the place that it is registered in. So technically letter's posted on the ship are considered as posted in that particular country and hence are legally accepted as proper means of postage as long as the vessel hands them to the port post office on the first port of arrival.

The beauty of the Paquebot mail is that the cancellation of the stamps is done by the country through which the letter is posted. This would normally never happen. In the picture above you can see two of the Paquebot mails that i posted to myself. The top one is posted in Dakar (Senegal) and the bottom one was posted in Lome (Togo).

Paquebot canceled at Panama

A bit about the envelopes themselves. On the top of the envelope is the marking with the "Paquebot Mail - Posted at high seas" By all accounts I could have written this by hand as well, but this gave a better look, so dad sent it across to me on the ship.

The stamp on the left top is the stamp of the ship and this ship was the M.T Maroni, registered in the port of Willemstad in Netherland Antilles (This is why the stamps are from Netherland Antilles). The notations below the name refer to the GRT (Gross Registered Tonnage), NRT (Net Registered Tonnage), DWT (Deadweight) and the BHP (Power of the vessels Engine).

And finally the stamp on the bottom right is the stamp of the vessels captain. As per Paquebot regualtions the letter has to be signed and stamped by either the ships captain or the purser.

I did try to send these mails from pretty much every post that I went to, and surprisingly the mail reached from most of the places. The best were the African countries of Senegal and Togo, where they were decent enough to put nice cancellations and send it across. A month late, but still in one piece!Paquebot canceled in Corpus Christi, USA

Panama topped the list of countries that requires to put some money into making new postmarks. You can see why by the picture posted up there. I had heard that posting Paquebot through the US would be a pain, but surprisingly the only mail that I posted from Corpus christi, Texas did reach in good order and I was surprised to see that they even put a hand-stamped postmark and not one of their usual machine made ones.

Some of the other chaps who were nice enough to put the Paquebot on their blogs were Eric from the My Philately Blog, and again Eric from Jura. Thanks to the both of them for the nice write ups along with the pictures. George from Taiwan had also put up the pictures on his blog but I can't seem to open his page right now.

Thanks to you all!

1 comment:

Pilot Rock said...

Interesting the Paquebot Mail. Can I send you China stamp to make it? Thanks!