Eye of the Wind in the Caribbean
by Frank Anders/Sail-World Cruising on 4 Mar 2012
Caught on film as she visited the French island of St Martin in the Caribbean this week, the brigantine 'Eye of the Wind', owned by the German company Forum Train and Sail GmbH, made a wonderful sight as she arrived from St Barth's and sailed around Sint Maarten surrounded by approximately 200 participants taking part in the Heineken Regatta.
Eye of the Wind © Frank Anders
The over 100 years old vessel was on a short stop over before sailing to Bermuda and crossing the Atlantic to the Azores and further on to Europe.
Her imposing figure has attracted the attention of the film industry in previous years, so she crossed several times the waters on film sets of major Hollywood productions.
As was the case in her real life a long time ago, the 'Eye of the Wind' faced in front of the camera fierce storms, run aground, burned out and sank.
The ship was featured in several films such as the adventure film 'Blue Lagoon' (1980), the pirate movie 'Savage Island' (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, she was cast in a double role - that of the vessel 'Morning Cloud' with white sails and that of 'White Witch' with brown sails which the Eye of the Wind still uses to this day.
After participating in the Tall Ships Race 2000, a Danish businessman bought the ship, mainly for private use.
The new owner completely restored the proud brig and equipped her with the latest technology and electronics for modern navigation and comfort. The planning and upgrading to preserve her character as a traditional tall ship was done 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 meters are raised and lowered by human muscle power.
The historical vessel became accessible to the public only in 2009 when the Danish owner died. Soon after, the beloved sailing ship found a new home port at Forum Train and 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.
The owning company is actually looking into the possibilities to winter base the vessel in St.Martin as from November/December and to offer youngsters in the Caribbean sailing weeks on the ship as trainee’s trough the Caribbean Sail Training Association.
Build: 1911 C. H. Lühring Shipyard Germany
Length over all: 40,23 m
Width: 7,01 m
Draft: 2,70 m
Total Crew and trainees: 26
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