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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Cutty Sark

Figurehead

Entrance at the stern

Rudder

Hull cut

Structure

Cargo hold

History in screens

Model skeleton

Tween deck

Fo'c's'le

Porthole view

Tween deck aft

On deck

Fresh meat

The view northwest

Wet and rainy

Rigging

Cabins on deck

Galley

Workshop

Sleep tight

Chest

Scrubbin'

Ghost in the machine

Ropes and pullies

Stern weather

Wheel

Compass

Back inside

Saloon

Second Mate's cabin

Pantry

Sun?

Rudder from below

Keel

On land dreaming of sea

Permission to disembark

After travelling the world, the Cutty Sark is just just a short ride from central London. For the full story behind this tour, check out Cutty Sark: A tour of 147 years of sailing history.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Named after a line about a poorly clad witch in a Robert Burns poem, the Sark's figurehead is said witch carved in white.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The Sarkis suspended above its drydock, and the glass greenhouse that surrounds its hull vaguely implies the water and waves. You enter under the stern.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Inside is far more impressive, with the ship hovering in a lattacework of beams.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Given how immaculate the rest of the ship is, this decision to make the main entrance to the ship via a hole cut in the hull seems odd.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The hull is a skeleton of metal, clad with wood and more metal.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

During its shipping days this would have been packed with tea, wool or other goods.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Today there are short clips describing the ship's history.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The model in the foreground shows the iron framework of the ship, which you can see full size behind it.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The next deck up is the Tween deck, which was also used for cargo. Multiple exhibits line the space now.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Once a place where upwards of 20 men slept, it was later used for cargo and the sailors slept in cabins on deck (which you'll see later).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

A typical British view out the porthole, though there are fewer and fewer telephone boxes every year.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

It's nice that they didn't pack this space full of exhibits and artifacts. It gives a better sense of the size of these ships.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The bow of the ship, fully laid out with all its running gear.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This bacon had a decided woody flavor.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Peeking out over the buildings in the distance is The Shard.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The deck was wet, and the last time I toured a wet British ship I sprained two fingers in a fall. Being weather in Britain, it changed completely over the next 30 minutes, to a bright sunny day.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

In full kit, the Sark had 36,000 square feet (3,345 square meters) of sails. At various times in its life, it had far less so fewer crew were required.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Along the right (the center of the ship) are a series of cabins that held work and sleeping space for the crew.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The ship's tiny galley, featuring a cameo of my hand and camera.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This is the carpenter's workshop, a handy thing to have on a ship made primarily of wood.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

If you watch a show like "Deadliest Catch," you'll notice how little the bunks of the crew have changed in 150 years.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

In the center is a seaman's chest, where he kept all his belongings for the multi-month trip.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Note the display so kids can try out mopping and scrubbing the deck. Seems like a clever way for the museum to get help cleaning.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

A "real" officer talking about what life was like on the ship. A clever use of a projector and glass. Similar to my favorite Disney effect at the Haunted Mansion (was that a spoiler?)

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Though the Cutty Sark had many sails, it only had a crew of around 30; fewer in later years when they reduced the total number.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Some ominous looking clouds over the stern.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

I have to say this confused me. Why is the wheel "facing" the wrong way. Wouldn't you want the sailor steering the boat to be able to see where he's going?

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The Master's Cabin, just down the ladder from the bridge. A few decades after it was built, a later owner expanded one of the smaller cabins and made a larger suite for the captain.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

An all purpose room, generally used as the officer's mess, but also to entertain guests and more.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The second mates did a bit better than the lowly crew members, but had to share their room.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The ship's pantry. Most meals would be salted meats, vegetables and so on.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

After reemerging from belowdecks, the sun had come out. I'm sure Londoners were horrified.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

A quick elevator ride (or stairs) bring you to the big open space below the ship, where there's a small cafe where you can stare at the massive rudder.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This is a unique angle as far as I know for viewing a sailing ship. The tiered steps of the drydock have a few displays and offer a place to sit.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The blue greenhouse (bluehouse) cradles the ship like the water once did, water that is so close but never to touch the hull again (probably...).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Such a well-preservied and gorgeous piece of history.

For the full story behind this tour, check out Cutty Sark: A tour of 147 years of sailing history.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
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