Cutty Sark

DSC_0059-small DSC_0060-smallThe Cutty Sark is in Greenwich and it has been for many years.  But it was damaged by a fire in 2007 and it was just finished its remodel.  And oh my… what a beautiful museum it is.  It has beautiful photos and videos and the hands on activities are fun.  I would definitely recommend seeing it if you are in those parts of the world.

DSC_0063-small DSC_0065-small(We don’t have many pictures of all of us… this is just one of the few handfuls we do. A fun one.)
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The Cutty Sark is a British clipper ship from 1869.  It was a ship that brought tea from China.  It was a tea trader.  It would take wine, beer and spirits to Shangai and would bring tea back to London.  It would take her 70 some days to get back to London with its precious cargo (tea).

DSC_0078-small DSC_0090-smallThe now museum, shows these wonderful screens with pictures and short videos of the tea plantations in China, and how tea is grown and how it was transported back to England.

DSC_0094-small DSC_0100-small DSC_0114-smallAfter the fire and its renovation, it was open again to the public (2012) and in its inauguration, the Queen and Prince were present.

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The floors, some of the ceilings and walls, are old tea boxes. Oh how beautiful they are.

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After the Cutty Sark had been a tea transporter for few years she turned into a wool clipper.  Now, she was part of the wool trading business coming from Australia.  Steam boats started to be more common, since they were faster than these clippers.  So after few years in the wool trading business, she again was sold and turned into Portugal for new routes and new trips.

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This bell was stolen around 1903 when it was owned by a Portuguese firm, by an officer who had once served in the Cutty Sark.  The Portuguese crew then stole a bell from the nearest vessel, Shakespeare.  When the Cutty Sark was bought by Captain Dowman in 1922, the culprit offered the original bell back, taking Skakespeare’s bell in exchange. 

DSC_0167-small DSC_0170-small DSC_0171-smallI have never been in the ocean in a ship or a sailboat.  I’ve only been a few times in a ferry, but that’s it.  I did go in a very small sailboat in a lake growing up, maybe a couple of times, but being on board of this beautiful (such a wonderful conservation project) I fell in love with all its wood, the ropes, the knots… so, so well preserved. Beautiful! Though I do prefer it more now that it’s on dry land.  It doesn’t move with the waves at all.  Very helpful when you get motion sickness at just the idea of moving water (or car, or bus, or train!)

DSC_0172-small DSC_0174-small DSC_0173-smallBut look at the ropes… oh… so, so beautiful!

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DSC_0216-small DSC_0217-small DSC_0211-small DSC_0208-smallI can’t believe of all the travels that it has done.  Around the world so many times.  Amazing.

DSC_0206-small DSC_0221-small DSC_0227-small DSC_0238-small DSC_0242-smallDown below, under the ship itself, there is an exposition of all these figureheads.  It’s Long John (really, long john! ha ha) Silver Figurehead Collection.  It is the largest collection of  Merchant Navy figureheads in the world. It was given to the Cutty Sark in 1953 by Sydney “Long John Silver” Cumbers, known for his eye patch and his love for all things maritime.

DSC_0257-small DSC_0245-small DSC_0243-smallThese figureheads are all mostly from 19th century vessels.  And this collection as is the Cutty Sark herself, has been dedicated in memory of the Men of the Merchant Navy.

DSC_0247-small DSC_0262-small DSC_0254-small DSC_0268-small DSC_0258-small DSC_0271-small DSC_0280-smallA perfect way to end our visit to Greenwich, before we headed back to London in the boat.  A complete maritime day and experience.

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This entry was posted in England, history + geography, homeschooling, travels. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cutty Sark

  1. Tracey says:

    What a beautiful ship. Living on the coast we are all about boats and that one is amazing.

    • Hi Tracey. I am not really a boat person, but this boat, the project they did to preserve its beauty, and such a beautiful museum, modern but not too much, just so much fun to visit. it was such a treat and a highlight for sure.

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