Cutty Sark Site

Updated: 12 Jan 2015

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"All I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by......"

I have been lucky enough to have seen the Tall tallships in Liverpool and Belfast

Cutty Sark

Dar Mlodziezy






Constellation. Baltimore Harbour.

Eye of the Wind

Jeanne de la Lune


Bluenose 2. Canada. Based in Nova Scotia

Lord Nelson

Da Mlodziezy - Image taken by me in Belfast 1991 

Tall tallships Belfast 1991. My photo.


Russian Training Ship "SEDOV" photo by me in 1991 (Belfast)

Leaving Belfast Lough - 1991. My photo.



Soren Larsen

Solandet 2010






USS Monogahela (An American friend's grandad sailed this)




Kathleen 1

Below and above right are 3 images of the Kathleen & May in Bideford, North Devon on May 23rd 2003

Kathleen 2

Kathleen 3

The next three were taken in Norway in 2005 (not by me!)


I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trip's over.

On a lighter note:

Why is a ship called a She?

There is always a great deal of bustle around her
There is always a gang of men about
She has a waist and stays
It takes a lot of paint to keep her good looking
It is not the initial expense that breaks you - it is the upkeep!
She can be decked out
It takes an experienced man to handle her correctly
And, without a man at the helm, she is uncontrollable
She shows her topside but hides her bottom and
When coming into port, always heads for the buoys!

It is probably the British clipper which has become the universal symbol of the shining epoch of sailing tallships and one of the last of its line is the legendary Cutty Sark. Built in Scotland in 1869, it had a length of 212 feet, a beam of 36 feet, a depth of 21 feet and a gross tonnage of 963. Iron-hulled, three-masted and fully rigged, it featured gilded floral carvings on its bow contrasting with the dark color of its hull. Its beauty is legendary, but its fame largely rests on its 1872 race fame from Foochow against her rival, the Thermopylae.  The Cutty Sark embarked on her maiden voyage in February 1870, leaving London for Shanghai. As a British clipper, it was engaged in the tea trade, and later when this waned, with the Australian wool trade, although this too did not last very long. She reached the peak of her performance in the years 1874 to 1880, after which she virtually disappeared from memory when she was sold to the Portuguese and renamed the Ferreira. The historical accounts of Martin and Bennett says that after twenty years in their keeping, she was dismasted off the Cape of Good Hope in 1916 and re-rigged as a barquentine, thus losing her identity. Eight years later, in 1922, she was recognized by a British captain who bought her back. After her long years of eclipse, she was eventually restored to her original splendor as an iron-hulled, three-masted and fully rigged tea clipper of the 1870s and opened to the public in her dry dock in Greenwich.  Her legendary race with the Thermopylae, another handsome dipper with Leonidas King of Sparta and victor of Thermopylae at her figurehead, took place on their way home from Shanghai laden with their cargo of Chinese tea. A brief account by Martin and Bennett narrates: They both left on 2l July. Two days out, after they had been delayed by fog, the fore topgallant sail of the Cutty Sark split in a gale. All down the China Sea they were in sight of each other, one leading and then the other. The Thermopylae was a little ahead at Anjer, but a few days later the Cutty Sark had the advantage in a spell of strong breezes--the weather which suited her best. But in latitude 5 degrees South a strong westerly gale, after splitting a number of her sails, carried away the rudder and with it her chance of victory. "Earth shall not see such tallships as these again."

21st July 2008

Tallships visited Liverpool and the following are my images of the departure under the Parade of Sail. These were taken from the beach at Little Crosby on Liverpool Bay during the afternoon of the 21st July 2008 after high tide at 1406 hrs the first four were taken in the morning time.

Images of Cutty Sark


Fire on the Cutty Sark 

Now fully restored 


During the course of the day at Crosby watching the Tall Ships I chatted with this gent and his wife. Thanks for an interesting afternoon John. Nautical Terminology