The impressive tall ship Eye of the Wind visits Dublin on Wednesday for a two day stopover. This striking ship was built in 1911 and has a fascinating sailing history.
Built in 1911 at the Lühring shipyard in Germany, the topsail schooner was originally named Friedrich. In March 1924, she was fitted with a two-stroke engine and became a motor schooner for 30 years 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. Salvaged and repaired, she was reincarnated as Rose Marie, a one and a half masted schooner, sometimes being deployed for drift-net fishing off Iceland.
In 1970, a fire destroyed the ship’s stern and engine room. The wreck only narrowly escaped the scrapyard. It was first sold to a buyer from the USA who originally wanted to transform it into a pub but this wasn’t realized. The ship then got a new lease of life in 1973 when it was bought by an Englishman. Following a restoration that took nearly four years the ship was turned into a jewel of a sailing ship, unique throughout the world.
Under her new name Eye of the Wind, she sailed around the globe. In 1978, under the patronage of Prince Charles, the Eye of the Wind joined as the flagship for Operation ‘Drake – a two-year globe-trotting expedition in the footsteps of the famous explorer and scientist Sir Francis Drake.
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.
She was bought by a Danish businessman who further restored the brig equipping her with the latest technology and electronics for navigation and comfort.
The ship became accessible to the public nine years later when the owner died unexpectedly and in 2009 the Eye of the Wind found a new home port at FORUM train & sail GmbH. She is now used all year round for group and theme travel as well as for exclusive charters and training.
Eye of the Wind arrive in Dublin on Wednesday after crossing from Scotland. The ship will then sail on to the Netherlands, Spain and the Canary Islands.
For more details see www.eyeofthewind.net