Saturday, February 11, 2012

On the Wheat Route

Åland has always immortalized ships and boats of all vintages through her pretty stamps, throughout her philatelic history. The Australian marine artist Robert Carter has immortalized Finnish sailing ships during their last trip on the wheat route in 1949. The Four-masted steel barque Pamir is shown departing from the Port Victoria in the Seychelles. The barque Passat, another vessel of Gustaf Erikson's fleet, is seen in the background with her sails reefed and loading. Although the Passat couldn’t sail away until five days later, she rounded Cape Horn before the Pamir. Pamir thus became the last sailing merchant vessels that rounded Cape Horn on 11.7.1949. Both vessels were sold to Germany. Passat served in Travemünde as a school and museum ship. Pamir was one of the famous Flying P-Liner sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz. She was the last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn, in 1949. Outmoded by modern bulk-carriers, and having severe technical difficulties after her shipping consortium was unable to finance much-needed repairs and recruit sufficient capable officers, on 21 September 1957 she was caught in Hurricane Carrie and sank off the Azores, with only six survivors recovered after an extensive rescue effort. Pia gave me this nice cover.

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