Eye of the Wind

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General characteristics
Class & type: Brigantine
Length: 40.23 m (132 ft) (LOA)
Beam: 7.01 m (23 ft)
Draft: 2.70 m (9 ft)
Propulsion: Sail, engine: 600 HP
Sail plan: Brigantine
750 m2 (8,073 sq ft)
Notes: Last sailing true brigantine in the world.
Career
Name: Eye of the Wind
Operator: FORUM train & sail GmbH
Builder: C. H. Lühring Werft, Brake, Germany
In service: 1911
Out of service: Still sailing
Renamed: 1911 - 1924 Friedrich, 1924 - 1926 Sam, 1926 - 1955 Merry, 1955 - 1960s Rose Marie, 1960s - 1973 Merry, 1973 Eye of the Wind[1]
Homeport: Germany

The Eye of the Wind is a ship built in 1911 by C Lühring of Brake, Germany, originally as a topsail schooner named 'Friedrich'.

History[edit]

The 'Friedrich' was initially used as a schooner for the South American hide trade. In 1923 she was registered in Sweden and under the name “Merry”, and was used for transport in the Baltic and North seas, and for fishing herring off the coast of Iceland in during summer. In 1969, then stripped of her masts and sailing as a motor vessel, she was severely damaged in a fire that all but ended her days on the sea.

In 1973 a group of sailing enthusiasts, including Anthony "Tiger" Timbs, who later became her Master, starting the great task of rebuilding her as a sailing ship in Faversham England. In this restoration she was rigged as a brigantine by Master Rigger Wally Buchanan. After the restoration was completed she was given the name Eye of the Wind, inspired by Sir Peter Scott's book published in 1961. In October 1976, three years and eight months after her purchase by the new owners, Eye of the Wind set sail for the first time since the restoration, on course to Australia.

In 1978 she set sail from Plymouth as the flagship of Operation Drake, a 2 year sailing expedition, which brought her back to London in December 1980. In the years to follow she sailed the seas, manned by the people who had restored her in Faversham and a group of people who had fallen for the old lady and her great crew.

While under the care of Tiger Timbs the ship was hired for several film roles. During one, the film producers had it fitted with a tan coloured sail set in order to be able to play two different ships. This noticeable colouring was maintained thereafter making the 'Eye of the Wind' very distinctive.[2]

In 2001, she was taken over by a new owner and registered in Gilleleje, Denmark. Her interior underwent a substantial renovation, introducing a more luxurious accommodations. Also, the new owners decided to call her rig a brig. This was only a change of naming, the rig remained the same since the filming of Tai Pan. Again in 2009 she found a new owner with the Forum Media Group, Germany.

Published Books[edit]

  • "Eye of the Wind", by E. A. Mitchener (1984 Published by the author 1984, ISBN 0-9591286-0-3)
  • "Eye of the Wind - Einem Traum auf der Spur" (German), by Harald Focke and Ulf Kaack, 2014, Forum Media ISBN 3865863795

Filmography[edit]

The 'Eye of the Wind" has been used for several film and television roles.

  • The Blue Lagoon (1980) where the ship appears as the 'Northumberland'.
  • White Squall (1996) as the 'Albatross'.
  • Tai-Pan (1986) as the 'Morning Cloud' and the 'White Witch'.
  • Nate & Hayes (1983) as the 'Leonora'.
  • Lost at Sea: The Search for Longitude (1998) This was an episode of the U.S. television series NOVA.

External links[edit]

References[edit]