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Cutty Sark & Lord Nelson

April 5, 2014

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And here I thought Cutty Sark was just a name for whiskey.

Here I learned that the whiskey is named after the last remaining tea clipper ship, a masterpiece of sail innovation that once brought tea from China to England.

Afterwards, I walked over to the National Maritime Museum where I was surprised -- astounded! -- to find myself standing in front of Nelson's admiral's uniform. And not just any of Nelson's admirals coat: the very one he was wearing the day of the Battle of Trafalgar, the day a French sharpshooter in a crow's nest fired a musket ball through that coat and killed him. (You can see the hole near the left shoulder.)

I couldn't tear myself aware from this grotesque historic and practically sacred artifact. After each announcement that the museum would be closing soon I would turn and head away, then find myself circling back to stand before the coat, as if I was standing before Nelson.

After the 5-minute announcement, and realizing that one of the guards would soon come and ask me to leave, I thought: "This must happen every afternoon."