In our latest look at tall ships heading for Falmouth this summer we throw the spotlight on a ship that made a name for herself in the past as a film star.
The Eye of the Wind’s “imposing figure” attracted the attention of the film industry and she featured in 1980’s Blue Lagoon, the pirate movie, Nate and Hayes in 1983, Tai-Pan in 1986 and the and Jeff Bridges’ movie, White Squall in 1996.
The ship began life as a topsail schooner in Germany in 1911 as Friedrich, but was sold and renamed Sam in 1924.
Two years later she was acquired by the shipping company KH Hendriksson in Stockevik/Sweden became a motor schooner and spent 30 years criss-crossing the Baltic and North Sea as a cargo ship, Merry. In the autumn of 1955, she ran aground on the Swedish coast in a heavy storm and the wreck was salvaged, repaired and put into operation as one-and-a-half masted schooner Rose Marie, at times deployed for drift-net fishing off Iceland.
The ship, which was now exclusively engine-powered, changed her owner twice in the 1960s, and Rose Marie became Merry again. In 1970, a fire destroyed the ship's stern and engine room and it only narrowly escaped the scrap yard. It was first sold to a buyer from the USA who originally wanted to transform it into a pub, but this didn’t happen.
The ship was given a new lease of life in 1973 when it was bought by Englishman Anthony "Tiger" Timbs. A group of enthusiastic ship lovers began to rig the vessel as a brigantine as part of a restoration which took nearly four years.
The cargo holds were transformed into a lounge and accommodation for crew and passengers and a new engine was installed.
Under its new name Eye of the Wind, the two-master sailed around the globe on her first journey, stopping in Australia, the Pacific and the infamous Cape Horn.
After participating in the Tall Ships Race 2000, a Danish businessman bought the ship, which he used to set out for private trips from his home port Gilleleje. The new owners completely restored the brig and equipped her with the latest technology and electronics for navigation and comfort.
Nine years later, her owner died and the ship found a new home port at FORUM train and sail GmbH, a subsidiary of the German Media Group FORUM. Since then, it has been used for group and theme travel as well as for exclusive charters and management training.