One of the last traditional sailing ships of our time will sail Scotland this summer. 105-year-old brig Eye of the Wind will be heading across the North Sea from Denmark, before coming through the majestic Caledonian Canal. Two voyages to the Isle of Skye and the Inner Hebrides are scheduled for the end of September.
Sail training activities aboard a traditional square rigger
Certified as a civil sail training vessel and registered in the home port Jersey, the Eye of the Wind is sailing under the Red Ensign. Guests and trainees of all ages 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 practised aboard on a daily basis”, explains Captain Cornel Greth. The 34-year-old skipper from Switzerland has been working aboard the ship for more than six years now. “We want to facilitate access to the principles of sail training and to the traditional way of seamanship for everyone”, he underlines.
Captain’s promise is “100 percent Scotland”
The voyages will be a comfortable composition of time at sea and time for shore leave. “Usually we spend the daytime out on the water whereas we stay in port or at a cosy anchorage for the night. There will be a good balance between active sailing and time for cultural activities onshore”, says Captain Greth. “We are planning to visit a whisky distillery on the islands of the Inner Hebrides and to have an encounter with the Loch Ness Monster during our passage of the Caledonian Canal. The voyages will be one hundred percent Scotland”, he adds with a smile.
The Eye of the Wind – a unique sailing legend with a Hollywood-past
The ship’s history fills hundreds of pages of logbooks and story-books, too. 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. “We are aware that her maiden voyage under the new name Eye of the Wind took part in September 1976”, Cornel Greth knows. “During our trip from Portree to Oban we will be celebrating the ship’s 40th anniversary.”
On her first journey she sailed around the globe. In 1978 the two-master had the honor of being the flagship for the scientific “Operation Drake” under the patronage of HRH Charles the Prince of Wales. Her imposing structure also attracted the attention of the film industry. The Eye of the Wind crossed the waters of film sets, featuring in several major Hollywood adventure films including „The Blue Lagoon“ and „White Squall“. Movie stars like Brooke Shields, Tommy Lee Jones und Jeff Bridges were steering the ship.
Inverness, Oban, Portree: save the arrival and departure dates
The Eye of the Wind will visit several Scottish ports in September – a unique photo opportunity for citizens and visitors.
Estimated time of arrival: September 09 (Fri) / departure: September 11 (Sun).
(1) Estimated time of arrival: September 16 (Fri) / departure: September 18 (Sun).
(2) Estimated time of arrival: September 30 (Fri) / departure: October 02 (Sun).
Portree (Isle of Skye)
Estimated time of arrival: September 23 (Fri) / departure: September 25 (Sun).
After departing from the Argyll and Bute area the ship’s journey continues to Ireland, the Netherlands, further south across the Atlantic Ocean, on to the Carribean Sea.
For more information see: www.eyeofthewind.net