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