The book is finished!
Restoration of the ship in FavershamDuring the original "Tall Ships Tales" held 2001 on the Farewell Voyage John Baldwin told us how he found the Eye. He read the ad in a journal a "pretty brigantine" was going to get restored in in Faversham shipyard. Hands were needed and anyone turning up would anyway get a free meal. And John was a student, then.
So he went to the place not too far from London on a cold and wet February day. He found the shipyard, but no pretty brigantine anywhere. There were two masts towering above a pile of scrap metal, but by no means they could belong to the mentioned ship. So John decided better to go home again. But suddenly he saw some light in the deckhouse beneath the masts, so this must be the one. He was terribly cold and remembered the free hot meal offered. Alright. He wouldn't put a hand on this hopeless project, but now he went to this place he anyway wanted the free food.
Getting closer, everything there was in a whole mess. No way this ship could leave the harbour within a couple of months. In his email John now wrote: "I've scanned three old photos - see attached. These show the ship in February/March 1976 at Faversham in UK. (...) They are not very flattering - you can see how much work appears to be needed! The tree trunks (in the second picture) are still being shaped to make spars!" Anyway he went in for the warm soup and suddenly found himself surrounded by people obviously optimistic, but also very competent regarding the things to be done. They did with him a walk around the ship, explained the plans and the work to be done. And slowly John began to see what he couldn't find before: a pretty brigantine in Faversham shipyard.
The works took longer than expected and John joined them for the week-ends. The Eye left Faversham at the end of summer 1976 - not absolutely finished, as some works will never be finished, but bound for Australia.
Sitting on the monkey poop in 2001, after she ship was famous for being one of the most beautiful in the world, John challenged our inspiration: "Can you guys imagine her not shiny at all?" We couldn't. We only knew the ship that had won the 'Concurse d'Elegance'.