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An Ocean Adventure

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Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Tue 25-03-2025, 19:00Horta, on Ilha do Faial, Azores Tue 08-04-2025, 10:00Brest Eye of the Wind 14 NightsEYE25/09

A remarkable two-week voyage aboard Eye of the Wind, sailing non-stop from the lush Azores to the historic port city of Brest, Brittany. Experience authentic tall ship sailing, join a night watch, and revel in the simple joys of maritime life. Escape your everyday life and get into the rhythm of sailing a small square rigger with only 12 guest crew. You really are part of the team!

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

VOYAGE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit the iconic quay and Peter’s Cafe in Horta, Azores
  • Get into the rhythm of life on board
  • Tuition from a friendly professional crew
  • Good trade winds for exciting sailing
  • Fantastic wildlife spotting
  • Star gazing in the clearest of skies
  • Delve into the fascinating maritime history of Brest

Eye of the Wind

Sailing Areas New Zealand
Vessel type / Rig 2 Masted Brig
Guest Berths 12
Beam 7.01m (23ft)
Draft 2.7m (8.9ft)
Overall Length 40.23m (132ft)
Year Built 1911
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

Azores from Pixabay

FULL VOYAGE DESCRIPTION

This is a proper ocean passage- non-stop sailing, night watches and the chance to fully embrace life on board ship. Sailing experience is not required, but a willingness to get stuck in and a healthy dose of humour and sociability are essential!

Setting Sail from The Azores

Horta is a real trans-Atlantic way point, visited by all kinds of ships on all kinds of journeys, and every surface of the quay is covered in murals painted by the crews of visiting boats. If you have time before joining the ship, make sure to visit the scrimshaw museum at the world-famous Peter’s Cafe, and perhaps enjoy a leg-stretch along one of the islands’ many fantastic hiking trails.

Stepping aboard Eye of the Wind, you’ll get to know your fellow crew over dinner and receive a full safety briefing, plus an up to date itinerary based on the latest weather forecast.

Along the Way

With experienced crew to show you the ropes, sails and deck skills you will also learn how to spot wildlife, how to steer the ship, why the sails are set a particular way. Watch the pattern of the waves and understand the swell and how it is affected by the weather hundreds of miles away. Always keep an eye to the sky and try to foretell what the weather is going to do next. 

Once out into the ocean, a relaxing and comfortable routine will be established. Night sailing with absolutely no light pollution allows you to see the stars like you have never seen them before, and clear days offer the widest of horizons.  All of the seas moods will be encountered, from glassy calms to white capped swells where flying fish are launched from crest to crest.

If the winds are light then rolling out the stuns’l booms and setting these giant light wind stun sails can occupy a fair bit of the day. It is a good idea to practice getting them down quickly too, as this part of the world can get a bit thundery and squally.

Arriving in Brest

After two weeks of thriving on salty air and camaraderie, the rugged coastline of Brittany will loom into view, and Eye makes for the historic shelter of Brest Harbour. Enjoy an evening ashore with your new shipmates before a final night on board.

If you fancy lingering in Brest a bit longer, consider visiting the National Maritime Museum, and make sure to try some of the great local seafood.

Brest lighthouse

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

In March and April, the area benefits from the North Atlantic Drift, a branch of the Gulf Stream, creating mild and relatively stable conditions. Winds are generally from the west or southwest, ranging from Force 4 to 6. The seas are typically moderate, but always respect the ocean; she can surprise even the most seasoned sailor.

A NOTE ON VOYAGE DESCRIPTIONS

On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best and safest sailing routes for the forecast. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described above, but when it comes to sailing, you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description provided is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or prior experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage. As such, the scheduled joining ports, routes, activities and/or destinations may be altered. Due to the complexities of weather systems, this may be at very short notice. 

HANDS ON HOLIDAYS

Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail. Handling cargo adds an extra dimension – building teamwork and communication skills and leaving you with a great sense of achievement.

SAILING STYLE & LIFE ON BOARD

We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.

Start & End Port

Horta, on Ilha do Faial, Azores

Visit the Horta Museum to delve into the island’s rich maritime past. Peter Café Sport is also worth a visit; it has been serving sailors for more than 100 years.

The marina in Horta is a key stopping point for transatlantic yachts. One unique feature is the sailor’s tradition of painting a mural on the marina wall before setting sail again. It gives Horta a communal feel that’s quite special.

Horta also offers stunning natural beauty. From hiking trails to volcanic landscapes and whale watching, there’s plenty for outdoor enthusiasts to explore.

 

Colourblind sailor and jumped-up cook

Brest

Sailing holidays to and from Brest

Worthwhile Journeys

You are going to be spending some time in the ports you embark and disembark from. These aren’t just logistical points; they’re opportunities for further enrichment. Take an extra day to discover what’s beyond the harbour. It’s not merely about filling time; it’s about making the entire journey worthwhile.

Keeping in Touch The exact location of your ship may not be known until closer to your joining time, you will be informed by email once the exact position has been confirmed. Make sure you take a note of the ship’s mobile/cell phone number with you in case you are delayed or there are any other problems on the day.

What to Do in Brest

History Brest is a living history book where the pages keep turning. The Château de Brest is a must-see, revealing layers of the city’s past, from medieval fortifications to WWII history. The National Navy Museum within the castle adds another layer of maritime heritage.

Culture The city’s festivals offer a glimpse of Brittany’s unique heritage. Astropolis, a summertime electronic music festival, may not be traditional, but it’s thoroughly Breton in spirit. The Festival of the Sea, held biennially, is a celebration of all things maritime and resonates deeply with any sailor’s soul.

Sites of Interest to a Sailor Head to the Pointe de Corsen for an awe-inspiring view where the Atlantic meets the Channel. While you’re at it, visit Phare du Petit Minou, a lighthouse that’s more than just a beacon for ships. It’s a beacon for the soul, especially during sunset or sunrise.

Entertainment Brest isn’t exactly Ibiza, but it’s no slouch either. The dockside bars offer local ciders and ales, while you’ll find a smattering of live music venues tucked away in the heart of the city.

Eating Out Brittany is famed for its seafood, so make a beeline for a waterside bistro and ask for the catch of the day. Don’t forget to try a local crêpe, or galette if you prefer something savoury.

Nature A bit further afield, the Armorique Regional Natural Park offers unparalleled hiking opportunities and splendid coastal scenery. If you’re looking for a bit of surfing or beachcombing, Plage du Moulin Blanc shouldn’t disappoint.

Unique Features What sets Brest apart is its gritty charm. This isn’t a glamourous Riviera resort; it’s a working port city with an edge, and that’s precisely its appeal.

Accommodation Well-known places include the Hôtel Center and the more upscale Oceania Brest Centre. For some relaxation, consider a day at the Les Sables Blancs Spa, though I suspect most sailors might find the sea breeze enough.

Official Tourist Website For more information, the Brest Tourist Office is your best bet.

Weather Brest Winter can be cold, wet, and windy but rarely extreme. Spring offers milder temperatures and fewer tourists. Summer is the most pleasant time, though it can get busy, with temperatures ranging from 15-25°C. Autumn is similar to spring but with more unpredictable weather.

Sea and Beyond: A Responsible Mariner’s Guide Since you’re already investing in a unique sailing adventure, why not extend that spirit to your travel choices? Opt for more sustainable methods of transport where possible like trains, coaches or sharing a car. If you fly, and we realise this may well be the case, you could research some ways to offset the carbon created by the flight.

Special Interests If you have a special interest that you would like to find out about for this port or to tell us about, we would love to hear from you.

 

How to Get There

UK Direct flights to Brest from London take under two hours. Trains from London to Brest are also an option, requiring a change in Paris.

Europe From Paris, you can catch a high-speed TGV train that will whisk you to Brest in about four hours. There are also regional flights from cities like Lyon and Marseille.

North America No direct flights, so you’ll likely connect through Paris or another European hub. Then take either a domestic flight or train to Brest.

Australia The most straightforward route involves a long-haul flight to a major European city like London or Paris, followed by a shorter connecting flight or train journey to Brest.

Kit List

What to pack for a sailing holiday on the Eye of the Wind

Working Language on Board is German and English

Practical Advice for Eye of the Wind   

Practical Advice for Covid 19 and Eye of the Wind

What is Included

  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals to include refreshments throughout the day
  • Duvet, pillow and sheets
  • Hand towels

What is not Included

  • Waterproof jackets and trousers
  • Alcoholic drinks but there is a bar on board
  • Any entry visas required

What to Bring

Suitcases take up a lot of room in a cabin, so it is better to uses soft bags in a ship. A small rucksack for going ashore is useful.

  • Eye of the Wind does not supply waterproof jackets and salopette type trousers. Please bring your own waterproof clothing.
  • A mix of warm and wind proof clothing.
  • Lots of thin layers is better than one thick layer in cold destinations.
  • In tropical countries - long sleeves and long trousers to protect you from the sun
  • Footwear on board needs a good grip and soft soles- the decks are wood or steel.
  • Ashore stout, waterproof walking boots are best if you are in remote places.
  • Eye of the Wind has electric sockets in all the cabins 240 V 
  • Cameras, spare batteries, chargers if you need them
  • Binoculars are handy for bird watching etc.
  • Suntan lotion, hats, sunglasses
  • Dont forget any regular medication, persciption glasses and spare
  • Euros for bar bill 
  • Passport, travel insurance, tickets etc
  •  To get ashore is usually by dinghy so be prepared to get wet feet. Rubber boots or quick drying sandals - depending on the location.
  • The ship provides hand towels but please bring a beach towel
  • snorkel and mask for caribbean if you like snorkelling (travel tip: swimming goggles pack up smaller than a facemask)
  • Bring insect repellant for Caribbean as can get mosquitos ashore in evening (rare at anchor)
  • ear plugs can be handy 

Electricity

All the power to your plug sockets comes from the ship's generator which runs on deisel. The less the generators have to run to top up power, the nicer it is for the guests on board and also greener for the planet. Please don't bring loads of hairdriers, electric devices to charge.

There is no internet on board whilst at sea. 

Review

A fabulous adventure! Words cannot convey the experience.

John, Tortola to Bermuda

Tortola to the Azores! What a great time. Thanks to Captain Pit and the crew. An awesome adventure with awesome people!"

F Coutreau

What a wonderful, lovely, great, awesome trip we've had from Malaga to Lanzarote! I loved and enjoyed every minute.

Thanks again for this wonderful experience. I miss you guys!

Andrea

Now that was a voyage! The EYE crew - all 10 - five women and five men - embody two words:

COMPETENT and KIND

And such a beautiful ship. Thank you beyond measure

Susan

Vessel Gallery

With red sails against a blue sky, Eye of the Wind is a photogenic ship. If you have any new images we would love to see them since Eye of the Wind has only recently returned to our website. 

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