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The "Ernest Shackleton" was built in 1995 for the Norwegian Rieber Shipping Company of Bergen and was named "Polar Queen". She is a 80 meter ice strengthened vessel specially designed for polar research work. She served both in the Arctic and Antarctic before in 1999 being renamed "Ernest Shackleton" and being chartered on a long term bareboat charter to the British Government. She was registered with the Falkland Islands Government on the 30th September, 1999.  The view above shows her arriving at Port Stanley on the 12th of January 2000 after returning from a relief voyage to Halley Antarctic Base.

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ERNEST 1   2000 (February 3rd)  Airmail cover from Signy Base to Falkland Islands.     US$5

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ERNEST 2   2000 (February 10th)  Airmail cover from Halley Base with 3 cachets.     US$5

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Front of envelope

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Reverse of envelope

ERNEST 3   2000 (February 16th)  Airmail cover from Halley Base.     US$5

Note: The cover above was postmarked at Halley Base by the British Antarctic Territory Postal clerk Terry Lay. Each year the British Post Office have a ballot amongst staff who apply and the winner acts as postal clerk on board the BAT ship for the southern austral summer season. the postal clerk travels on board the vessel and postmarks mail at the various bases. The "Ernest Shackleton" left Halley Base on the 19th February and returned to Port Stanley carrying this letter amongst many others. It has been back stamped on arrival in Christchurch on March 20th, 2000.

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The view at left shows the "Ernest Shackleton" on the ice edge not far from Halley Base during February 2000.

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ERNEST 4   2001 (January 11th)  Airmail cover from King Edward Point, South Georgia.     US$8

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At left we can see the reverse of the above envelope. It bears a BAS triangular seld-adhesive sticker.

The above cover is unusual in that the King Edward Point datestamp has incorrectly been dated 2010 instead of 2001 as the year plus 01 has been inserted upside-down.

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ERNEST 5   2003 (March 22nd)  Airmail cover from Rothera, British Antarctic Territory.  US$8

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Note: the stamp on the above letter depicts the "Ernest Shackleton".

The picture at left shows  the "Ernest Shackleton" moored at Rothera Station on March 21st, 2003 unloading supplies.

The above letter would have been unloaded that day and after postmarking at Rothera would have been flown from Rothera to the Falklands and onto Christchurch where it has been backstamped on 7th April 2003.

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