For Fred Saunders
The Centenary Celebrations of The Eye of the Wind
A magnificent start to 2011.
As you well know The Eye was built in Germany in 1911.
After a varied life under other names she came into the hands of Tiger and dedicated visionary associates in late 1972. She was renamed The Eye of the Wind and during the following 28 years she touched the lives of many people.
There is a strong Australian fan club, many of whom are based in delightful Tasmania.
There have been several previous gatherings during previous Wooden Boat Festivals which have been held every second year in Hobart - that historical home of sailing ships deep in the southern hemisphere.
Previous gatherings have been hosted by Linda Kirkwood and previously by Tim Nossiter.
This year the larger numbers required a bigger venue and the historic Old Custom House was excellent - right on the waterfront of Hobart.
On Sunday 13 February, perhaps a hundred folk gathered to meet old friends and to reminisce - sailing on The Eye as Permanent crew or as Voyage crew. The weather and the waves, the excitement of exotic destinations and the lasting friendships that we made.
The Eye was down in Tasmania for several seasons in the southern summers of the 1980s, she had the good sense to head for the Pacific Islands during the colder months - even extending as far as China for a film schedule.
Her Tasmanian friends are varied and were well represented on this evening.
There were Cape Horners resplendent in their special ties and blazers - after all Tiger and the crew of the 1989 trip, Homeward Round the Horn are part of that distrnguished group.
Many Bush Walkers were pleased to come, sailing was not heir priority but they travelled with The Eye to the inaccessible Port Davey for rugged walking. Port Davey also offered unusual scuba diving destinations. And then the many more ordinary folk who boared The Eye for a casual holiday and then became captivated by her charm.
There was continuous slide show and then Tiger gave a delightful often humorous resume of The Eye's history whilst in his care (click here for a record, (without some seconds of the beginning...), 1.88 MB, 8:14 min ), the anecdotes were only a few of the several hundred that he has in his amazing memory.
It was a pleasure to have 4 of the owners present, Tiger, Lesley, Jo and Rodney (click here (2.83 MB, 12:22 min) for Tim's thanks to them). Jean, nearly 93 is living in UK with her sister Miff, perhaps we shall see them in Weymouth in June.
Delicious snacks courtesy of Stella and drinks flowed freely at the bar.
Special mention must be made of folk whose association with Tiger precedes The Eye.
Especially Kristin Keeble, widow of Gordon Keeble who was the Captain aboard the New Endeavour - not the Young Endeavour or the Endeavour replica - but the beautiful old timber vessel that sailed from Ramsgate to Australia in 1965/66. Tiger was a young crew member aboard this epic sailing voyage, as was Jean.
The Endeavour sailed into Sydney Harbour on a bleak day in the winter of 1966.
After a refit she went north to the Whitsundays, here Lesley came north for a holiday and stayed on to eventually join with Tiger and others in their search for a steel ship fit to sail the World - the rest is the history of The Eye.
Ted Michener was there, another early New Endeavour associate, sitting quietly and chatting on about his Antarctic ventures.
There were many of the permanent crew with a surfeit of engineers - Bill, recently returned from 20 years in Vanuatu. Phil, Roscoe, and Johnno with his delightful little girl Xanthe, he had left the twins Fritha and Finn at home, and Ellis now settled in Australia - a long way from his Shetland home and David Williamson of the 1990s. Long term crew members Benny and Angela, how well we remember their wedding in Stromness with young Fergus, now living in Adelaide. Ina was here. She was on an Australian holiday from Berlin and maintains the Eye of the Wind website. Trish Holdway, marine biologist from the Drake Voyages came down from Sydney with husband Ted.
Geoff Andrewartha, veteran of 2 Pitcairn trips and Sue. David Bond who has just completed a very fine model of The Eye. Maggie and Keith also of 2 Pitcairn trips and the around the Horn.
Memories of those who have passed on, of Mike Kitchenside, of Geoff Layton of the New Endeavour and many more.
So many people and so much chatter.
Tiger and Debbie were marvelous hosts, ably supported by Rodney and Stella and Linda and Tim
There are 2 CDs put together by Jo, Tiger and others-make sure you see them.
And now to Sydney in late March and UK in May/June
, pictures and sound records by Ina