You might be surprised to read that I have yet to go and explore the Cutty Sark. I have a great affinity with ships, especially old ones, but for some reason I must have missed the fact of her rebirth at Greenwich this year. It wasn’t until I passed her on Saturday that I saw her and thought ”I need to go and have a look at that soon”. It cannot be denied that she looks magnificent now she has been rebuilt, but something about the sight of a ship held firmly on land by iron and glass. Part of me thinks that they should have rebuilt her as a working, sailing vessel, as they did with Endeavour. The replica of Cook’s ship, as I wrote here, looks magnificent in Darling Harbor, Sydney, but she can actually still do the job of her namesake and explore the oceans. You can smell the salt on her bows. In contrast, I can’t help but feel just a little sad at the sight of a ship that goes nowhere. Who knows, maybe once I take a closer look I’ll be just as impressed as I was with Endeavour. After all, to make her seaworthy again they would have had to have started from scratch, so they probably did the right thing under the circumstances. Even so, it is rather interesting to compare these two cases of historic ship maintenance.