For Berrimilla's first circumnavigation, the International Space Station
and the North West Passage, go to

Thursday, April 29, 2010

If you have received a Kergy cover or you expect one...

It seemed to me that something like the following 'certificate' might give future provenance to the Kerguelen covers as my signature should correspond with the one on each envelope. If you want one, send me an email and a snailmail address - even if you think I have it already.

Could not get the photo to load as part of the file but there will be a front and reverse pic at the top.

There should be a photo of the front of the envelope at the top


This cover commemorates the visit to the Kerguelen Islands by the Australian registered sailing vessel Berrimilla 2 during her second circumnavigation of the world. The cover is one of only 60 created by M. Renaud Huez, the Postmaster at Port Aux Francais to commemorate the visit. The 60 covers were stamped, addressed and signed by Berrimlla's crew, Alex Whitworth and Peter Crozier on 27th January 2010 and then postmarked by M. Huez.


Berrimilla departed for Hobart on January 28th  The covers were kept in the Post Office by M. Huez until the research vessel Marion DuFresne arrived from Reunon in Mauritius at the end of April 2010 to resupply the islands and collect the mail and return to Reunion via Isle Amsterdam. From there the covers were flown to Noumea whence they were delivered around the world by the French postal service.


Berrimilla's first circumnavigation started with the 2007 Sydney- Hobart yacht race, continued via Cape Horn and the UK and back to Sydney around the Cape of Good Hope in time for the 2008 Sydney-Hobart race. While in the UK she competed in the Fastnet race and finished 11th overall out of 300 and second in the Double Handed division.


Berrimilla's second circumnavigation started on April 10th  2008. She sailed direct to Alaska from Sydney and then via the North West Passage to Falmouth, UK where she was laid up for the winter. She returned to Australia via the Cape of Good Hope in 2010.


During these two circumnavigations Berrimilla became the first vessel ever to:

  • Sandwich a Fastnet race between 2 consecutive Sydney – Hobarts, all under sail
  • Sail to England twice to compete in the Fastnet and then return
  • Sail from Australia to England via the North West Passage
  • Circumnavigate the world under sail via the North West Passage
  • Circumnavigate the world via both Cape Horn and the North West Passage.


Berrimilla was the 77th vessel to transit the North West Passage since Amundsen's Gjoa in 1903 -6 and her transit was the 114th ever. Both figures may be disproved by later research but they are as close as we can get at the time of writing.




Alex Whitworth


A reprint for those who could not find it

Jan 27th 2010

The envelopes:

Doing envelopes most of today.
For those who asked for one on the blog and for my family, this is what they will look like - suggest you print this because they won't arrive until the end of April. I hope we beat them back to Oz!
FRONT: Photo of Berrimilla with bow of L'Aventure in the background. Photo and envelopes courtesy M. Renaud Huez, interesting man of many parts, now the Postmaster here for a year, who set all this up for us.
Personal rubber stamp of Renaud Huez,
Two postage stamps - one of de Rochegude (as an Admiral) who first landed, with great difficulty, at Baie de L'Oiseau. The other of Charles Rouillon - much later but very eminent explorer - google him - just to keep a historical perspective. Stamps cancelled with special postmark.
Pete's and my signatures.
BACK: Official (rubber) stamps for L'Aventure, CNES - the Centre National des Explorations Spatiales and Meteo France, the French Bureau of Meteorology. CNES and MF provide most of the funding for this District. The CNES stamp was badly worn and the image is a bit indistinct.

Pete's envelopes are for his family and friends. They may be different. The choice of postage and rubber stamps is bewildering!