The Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark now resides in Greenwich. It was originally constructed in the ship works of the Clyde at the end of the nineteenth century and was designed as a tea clipper. She was one of the fastest tea clippers to be built, however she spent only a few years in service before the Suez Canal opened a shorter route to China. Then the Cutty Sark was used to travel to and from Australia in service to the wool trade and for a total of ten years, she held the record for the fasted time for that journey. The maximum speed recorded for the Cutty Sark was 17.5 knots and her greatest distance travelled in 24 hours was 363 nautical miles.
The Naming Of The Cutty Sark
The ship was given its name from the nick name of the witch in the Burn’s poem Tam O’ Shanter. In the poem she wore a linen sark, the Scottish word for a type of under wear. However she had been given the sark when she was a child and so the garment was too short, known as cutty in the Scots dialect. The figurehead of the ship shows the witch, Nannie Dee, wearing her long black hair down and holding a horse’s tail in her hand.
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