February 13, 2019
It's time to congratulate Cutty Sark!
The only remaining tea clipper – Cutty Sark – celebrates its anniversary. The famous ship is 150 years old!
And the celebrations will last a whole year, since the construction of the Cutty Sark began in February 1869, and on its first voyage – to China for tea – the ship departed exactly one year later, in February 1870.
And now, during the whole year, various events will be held – for example, the first of the planned concerts will take place in a couple of weeks. In addition, every day on board the famous clipper, which has long been a ship-museum and is located in a dry dock in the historic district of London – Greenwich, theatrical performances will take place.
Well, we congratulate Cutty Sark not even with the day, but with the year of birth and use the significant date to remind some facts to our readers. First, here are the characteristics of the vessel:
– Displacement: 2133.779 tons with a draft of 6.1 m;
– Full length: 85.4 m;
– Case length: 64.8 m;
– Width: 11 m;
– Draft: 6.7 m;
– The height of the main mast from the main deck to the top: 46.3 m;
– Total sail area: 2980 square meters. m;
– 3 masts.
There are several versions of why the clipper received such a name. According to the most common of them, ship captain John Willis (using the Wikipedia article) “was going to call the Sea Witch clipper, but it turned out that another ship was already registered under this name. And then he chose the name Cutty-Sark – the nickname of a young and attractive witch, the heroine of the poem of Robert Burns Tam O’Shanter. According to the plot, the witch is chasing Tom and at the last moment grabs his mare by the tail. It is not for nothing that the nasal figure of the clipper depicts a witch in a short shirt, an extended arm forward, with a bundle of horsehair clamped in it.
Many believe that Cutty Sark was the fastest clipper. But it will be more accurate to say – one of the fastest, all the more so since there is not a single victory in contests with other clippers on the Cutty Sark account.
The fame (again we use Wikipedia) was brought to the ship by a speed contest with the Thermopyla clipper in 1872. Both clippers simultaneously left Shanghai on June 18, but after two weeks the Cutty Sark lost the steering wheel in a storm and Captain Mody held the clipper down the wind during a storm with a floating anchor while a spare steering wheel was being made on board. The work lasted eight days, because the violent storm did not stop. The ship's carpenter assembled the bars, fastened them with brackets, which he forged himself. The forge was smashed on the deck over which the waves walked. Once the horn overturned, and the son of the captain, who was inflating the bellows, barely managed to jump aside, dodging hot coals. The next day, the blacksmith almost blew his head off with a red-hot iron bar. As a result of this, Cutty Sark arrived in London a week later for Thermopylae – on October 18, spending 122 days to travel. Nevertheless, the clipper forever went down in history due to the fact that after the accident the captain did not give up, but decided to continue the race by building an improvised steering wheel on the high seas (instead of going off the road to repair the port), while lagging behind one week".
In the fate of the Cutty Sark there were many such dramatic moments, but in the end, this fate was happy – the ship did not disappear into the sea, it was not dismantled. And in 1954 he was put on eternal parking in the dry dock of Greenwich.
But that's not all. In 2007, aboard the Cutty Sark, due to the ignition of the motor of an industrial vacuum cleaner, a fire broke out that destroyed more than 80 percent of all wood paneling and deck ceilings. The restoration of the ship took five years and required 50 million pounds.
Turn up in London – take the time to go to Greenwich. Congratulate the 150-year-old legend with an anniversary!
269 February 13, 2019 # 8791