Today we travelled all the way to Greenwich in order to see one of the world’s last two remaining clippers: the Cutty Sark. We toured the entire ship and even had the chance to stand directly below it as it was raised, then headed off to the royal observatory on a nearby hill. We had a bit of time between these two tours as well to grab lunch and explore the Greenwich area, including the Greenwich market which had a food stands and handmade product stands. Finally, we concluded the day with a very entertaining and informative tour of the Drury Lane Theatre, the oldest theatre in the world.
The Cutty Sark was extremely cool to tour, even though I never had much interest in sailing or boats. Again, though we toured it in order to learn about culture and such, business was in the background the entire time when discussing the profitability of tea clippers and what eventually retired the Cutty Sark. Also because I never had much interest in ships, my favorite part of the tour was talking about how crucial it was to have a solid crew so that you avoid a so called “hell ship.” Interestingly enough, the discussion on how the quality of the captain correlated with the quality of the ship reminded me of how teams work nowadays in businesses. Without a solid project manager, it’s really difficult and sometimes nearly impossible to acquire a good result. For a moment as we stood on the deck, I simply stood there staring at all of the places the masts would have been and imagined the amount of coordination needed to sail a ship of that many sails with only a crew of roughly 20 men. If they can do that, then I certainly hope that when I am in a company team in the future, I can work together with my fellow coworkers to sail the company to success.
The royal observatory tour had a massive amount of history ingrained within it, most of it very technical because it was all on astronomy and time. Though there was a lot of information on this tour, I ended up really enjoying it because we saw how time, something we take for granted, played a critical role in sea navigation and saved the lives of thousands. It was rather inspiring to hear that Harrison worked on the chronometer for nearly 80 years before coming up with a viable solution, competing with other people the entire time and being dismissed by many authorities. This was more briefly touched upon, but we also talked about how the invention of the telegraph marked the beginning of many new ways to tell time and time as we know it now is crucial to our world. The telegraph example really helped me realize how massive of an impact technology has on every aspect of our lives. Without time or accurate clocks today, stock/bond trading would be a disaster and the business world would be even more chaotic than it already is. Ultimately though the tour was packed full of information and quite fast paced, I retained a lot of the information and it was cool to see an older example of how technology changed lives back in the day.
My favorite part of the day was the Drury Lane Theatre tour, not only because of how interactive it was but also because I’ve slowly developed an interest in theatre over the years that I’ve been on the Early Entrance Drama Society board. I feel as if theatre is, like most other arts, dismissed as a skill and not given enough credit for how difficult it is. As someone who has been the Production Manager of a play, it was incredible for me to see the sheer size of the stage and to hear about all of the props they had for plays such as Ms. Saigon, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Lord of the Rings. The history that they gave was also quite incredible, detailing all of the various struggles that theatre has been through in the past and how they’ve persevered through all of that. As a young professional seeking to have a career in business, I think it’s really important that we understand the struggles of different industries and continuously diversify our knowledge of different groups of people. Hearing about the history of theatre and the passion that has gone into it only further increased my understanding of the world, which I appreciate a lot.
Overall the day was extremely tiring, but a good time.