|A sailing legend
More than 100 years ago, a sailing legend was born: in 1911, the Lühring shipyard at Brake/Germany built a topsail schooner, which was baptised by her owner, captain Johann Friedrich Kolb from Fockbek near Rendsburg, with the name "Friedrich" In March 1924, the ship was sold to the ship owner Axel Ageberg in Kalmar in Sweden and was named "Sam." Only two years later she was acquired by the shipping company KH Hendriksson in Stockevik/Sweden. After a Jönköpings-two-strike engine was fitted, she became a motor schooner and spent 30 years criss-crossing the Baltic and North Sea as a cargo ship "Merry."
In autumn of 1955, she ran aground in a heavy storm on the Swedish west coast. The wreck was salvaged, repaired and put into operation as one and a half masted schooner "Rose Marie," at times deployed for drift-net fishing off Iceland. The ship, which was now exclusively engine-powered, changed her owner twice in the 1960s, and "Rose Marie" became "Merry" again.
On 21 January 1970, a fire destroyed the ship's stern and engine room. The wreck only narrowly escaped the scrap yard. It was first sold to a buyer from the USA who originally wanted to transform it into a pub. This plan was never realized.
|From a cargo ship to a royal flagship
The ship has been given a new lease of life in 1973 when it was bought by Anthony "Tiger" Timbs, an Englishman from the greater London area. A group of enthusiastic ship lovers began to rig the vessel as a brigantine. The restoration at the shipyard in Faversham / England took nearly four years. The former cargo holds were transformed into a lounge and accommodation for crew and passengers. Furthermore, a new engine was installed. Sparing no expense, the works were performed with great attention to detail and with lots of love. The benches in the living room came from a church, and the enthusiastic Timbs sourced the fine wood for the interior from a demolished bank building. The new masts were previously used to line wells for the extraction of oil. A former dance floor was used to create a durable teak deck. Many details were hand-crafted. The result was a jewel of a sailing ship unique throughout the world.
|Under its new name 'Eye of the Wind', the two-master was finally ready to embark on new adventures at sea. She sailed around the globe on her first journey, stopping in Australia, the Pacific and the infamous Cape Horn. The trip was barely finished in 1978 when the next challenge was already waiting for this impressive tall ship: Under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the 'Eye of the Wind' had the honour of being the flagship for "Operation 'Drake." More than 400 crew members took part in this almost two-year globe-trotting expedition in the footsteps of the famous explorer and scientist Sir Francis Drake. While the various crew members on board of the 'Eye of the Wind' came from 27 different countries, after a short period of time they had one thing in common: they were captivated by the character and charm of this ship. Over the decades, the ship gained many fans who formed a large fan club. To this day, the fans and enthusiasts continue to chronicle the history of "their" ship on a dedicated website and meet on board to go on sailing trips.
|Set sail for a great performance: the 'Eye of the Wind' as a film star
Her imposing stucture has attracted the attention of the film industry. The 'Eye of the Wind' has crossed the waters of film sets, and - as in real life - faced fierce storms, ran aground, burned out and sank in front of the camera. The ship featured in several major Hollywood productions including the adventure film "Blue Lagoon" (1980), the pirate movie "Nate and Hayes" (1983), "Tai-Pan" (1986) and "White Squall" (1996). Well-known Hollywood stars such as Brooke Shields and two Oscar® winners, Tommy Lee Jones and Jeff Bridges, took the helm of the ship in their hands. In the epic "Tai-Pan," based on the novel by James Clavell, the "sailing Hollywood diva" was cast in a double role - that of "Morning Cloud" with white sails and that of the "White Witch'" with brown sails which she uses to this day.
| Traditional sailing in the 21st century
In 1990, the 'Eye of the Wind' sailed in the South Pacific and participated in the 200th anniversary of the colonisation of Pitcairn Island - the final refuge of the mutineers of HMS Bounty. After circumnavigating the Cape Horn, she served as a sail training ship until 2000. During this time, she sailed all the world's oceans and navigated the best-known ports. In tall ship regattas around the globe, the ship received several awards during this period as the most beautiful nautical photo subject.
After participating in the Tall Ships Race 2000, a Danish businessman bought the ship, which he used to set out for private trips from his home port Gilleleje. The new owners completely restored the proud brig and equipped her with the latest technology and electronics for navigation and comfort. To preserve her character as a traditional tall ship, they went about the planning and upgrading in a very conscientious manner. The use of teak, precious woods, brass and other high-quality materials on the inner deck give the ship its distinctive atmosphere. A sail control system was deliberately omitted. To this day, the sails with a total area of around 750 square metres are raised and lowered by sheer muscle power.
2009: On course for a new home port
The brig became accessible to the public only nine years later when the owner died unexpectedly and the fate of this magnificent sailing ship was unclear at first.
On 1 April 2009, all the fans of 'Eye of the Wind' could breathe a sigh of relief: Their beloved sailing ship found a new home port at FORUM train & sail GmbH, a subsidiary of the German Media Group FORUM. Since then, it is used all year round for group and theme travel as well as for exclusive charters and high-quality management training.
100 years of the 'Eye of the Wind'
In 2011, the brigantine celebrated her 100-year anniversary! On 30 April, the 'Eye of the Wind' was the flagship in a tall ship parade for the opening of the Bremerhaven Kaiserschleuse-lock, which set a new world record for the longest sailing boat parade.
The adventure does not end
The 'Eye of the Wind' is very seaworthy and fit even for the high seas and should thus not be left sitting in the harbour. Therefore, FORUM train & sail offers interested sailors - even without prior sailing knowledge - new, attractive destinations. Whether it is a Caribbean cruise or summer sailing in Scandinavia - the crew of the 'Eye of the Wind' will be happy to take you to new adventures!
Photos and further information on the history of the 'Eye of the Wind' is available at: