In 1976 a sailing vessel – which has long been regarded as a legend among today’s last remaining tall ships – set off for its "second maiden voyage": forty years ago, the sail training vessel Eye of the Wind was given her current name, a distinctive look, and a new determination. In October, the seaworthy ship with the striking reddish brown canvas is going to moor in Dublin.
Captain: visit to Irish capital is long overdue
Cornel Greth is the captain of the ship. The 35-year-old skipper from Switzerland has been working aboard the ship for almost seven years now. “Before 2009 the Eye of the Wind sailed under various owners”, he explains. “That’s why there is no complete documentation of all past trips recorded in our logbooks. We assume that the last voyage to Dublin dates back to 1996 when the crew at that time sailed from Bristol to the “50 years of the Irish Navy” weekend. Certainly the forthcoming journey to the coast of Ireland must be the first one of its kind in nearly two decades!” The Captain and his crew arrive in Dublin on the 5th of October, after a one-week crossing of the Irish Sea from Oban / Scotland. Afterwards, the itinerary will take them onwards to the Netherlands before setting course for Spain and the Canary Islands.
The Eye of the Wind – a unique sailing legend with a Royal past
The ship’s more distant history is well documented all the better. Built as a gaff schooner in 1911 the ship was first named Friedrich and used as a cargo vessel. After passing through several different proprietors, a change of name, beaching and a fire in the engine room, the ship’s end seemed to be inevitable in 1970. Instead a British sailing enthusiast started to rig the ship anew. In 1976 the two-master with its new name Eye of the Wind was ready to sail the seas again.
On her first journey she sailed around the globe. In 1978 the Eye of the Wind had the honor of being the flagship for the renowned scientific expedition “Operation Drake”. HRH Charles, Prince of Wales himself steered the proud brig while he was patron of this almost two-year circumnavigation in the footsteps of the famous explorer and scientist Sir Francis Drake. Her imposing structure has also attracted the attention of the film industry. The Eye of the Wind has crossed the waters of film sets, featuring in several major Hollywood adventure films including „The Blue Lagoon“ and „White Squall“. Hollywood-stars like Brooke Shields and the Academy Award®-winners Tommy Lee Jones und Jeff Bridges were steering the ship.
Sail training program for young adults
Guests and trainees are welcome to join the crew on their sailing trips at all times. Previous sailing experience is not necessary, active participation in the daily routine on board is always carried out on a voluntary basis. “The sailors’ work and trade as a traditional custom is practiced aboard on a daily basis”, says Captain Greth. “We want to facilitate access to the principles of sail training and to the traditional way of seamanship especially for adolescents and young adults, boys or girls”, he underlines. Participants aged 16 to 25 years get the chance to join the crew as “trainees” at particularly favorable conditions.
Save the dates for arrival and departure in Dublin
Estimated time of arrival: October 05 (Wednesday) / departure: October 07 (Friday).
After departing from the Dublin Bay area the ship’s journey will continue to Rotterdam, further south to portside cities in Spain, and on to the Canary Islands.
Short profile Eye of the Wind
• Type: Brig
• Year of construction: 1911
• Length: 40.23 m [131 ft], Width: 7.01 m [22 ft]
• 2 masts; 750 m2 sail area
• 6 comfortable cabins for 12 guests
• Up-to-date safety standards
• Radio (worldwide), satellite phone, Fax
• Parlor with on-board library, deck parlor, sun deck