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Ilen
Frank Nugent, a crewman on the Ilen Salmons Wakes Voyage to Greenland, climbing the ridge of Tilman Peak (named for pioneering mountaineer/sailor Bill Tilman) in West Greenland, with Ilen a barely visible dot, very far below in the small bay immediately to the right of the rocky summit. Photo: Paddy O’Brien
This past summer’s successful Salmon’s Wake voyage by Limerick’s 56t traditional ketch Ilen to Greenland worked productively in many ways in high mountains, on the sea, and in ports where the crew interacted with Greenlanders on several cultural programmes. But…
The ketch Ilen’s regular training berth in Kinsale has welcomed her back to Ireland from Greenland
The Limerick ketch Ilen returned safely from Greenland to berth at an Irish quayside for the first time in more than two months when, at 0400hrs this morning, skipper Paddy Barry and his crew brought the 56ft 1926-built “little ship”…
The Little Skellig as seen from Ilen eleven months ago, when she was on passage from Batimore to her home port of Limerick
When Conor O’Brien returned from his round the world voyage in Saoirse to Dun Laoghaire in 1925, it was all carefully choreographed so that he arrived in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, and the DBSC fleet, having abandoned their…
Leaving Greenland…..Ilen under Paddy Barry’s command seen recently heading eastward through Prinz Christian Sund, the awesomely steep but very convenient passage inside Greenland’s most southerly headland of Cape Farewell. The colours leaching from some of those cliffside rocks suggest that this rugged environment might hold impressive reserves of valuable minerals, making it one very desirable piece of real estate………..if it were for sale.
There’ll be opportunities in Limerick and Greenland for young people to learn more of what the two Transatlantic voyages – outward and return - of the 56ft traditional ketch Ilen have discovered and explained, with schools now resumed after the…
The Limerick ketch Ilen making knots in Dublin Bay in May. Having since voyaged to Greenland for salmon migration research and the further development of cultural interchange between Limerick and Greenland schools, she is now bound for Kinsale for an Autumn programme of school and health projects before finally returning to Limerick in October
The 56ft traditional ketch Ilen under the command of Paddy Barry has been making excellent progress since departing Greenland on Sunday evening, and is already halfway home to Ireland along the 1200 mile passage from Prince Christian Sund writes W…
The 56ft 1926-built Ilen setting her full traditional rig off the rugged coast of Greenland
Limerick’s restored 56ft Conor O’Brien-designed 1926-built traditionally-rigged trading ketch Ilen emerged yesteray evening (Sunday) from the eastern end of Prince Christian Sound to start her passage back to Ireland writes W M Nixon. The magnificent Sound - noted for its dramatic…
The Limerick ketch Ilen in fine order at Narsaq in southwest Greenland this week
The traditional restored 56ft trading ketch Ilen of Limerick, under the command of Paddy Barry, is serenely continuing her progress homewards along Greenland’s southwest coast despite that rugged and sparsely-populated coastline suddenly becoming global news, thanks to the revelation that…
Symbolic link – Ilen’s squaresail with the distinctive Salmons Wake logo on display in St Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick during the Spring, and in use off the coast of Greenland this summer as the ship continues her mission in researching the Atlantic salmon story, and developing cultural links between Limerick and the Greenland capital of Nuuk
The 1926-built restored 56ft Limerick trading ketch Ilen has completed the varied shoreside and coastal aspects of her research voyage to Greenland writes W M Nixon. This took her as far north as Ilulissat beyond the Arctic Circle to give…
Summer in Greenland is brief but spectacular – the Limerick ketch Ilen in idyllic conditions off the majestic coast near Nuuk
The traditional 56ft Limerick trading ketch Ilen will shortly begin her long return voyage from west Greenland to the Shannon Estuary, following the successful completion of the several strands of research and exploration in the Ilen Project’s Salmons Wake programme writes…
Ilen in gentle conditions in Greenland’s Umanap Surdlua fjord this week, when the opportunity was taken to set every sail in the ship
While the restored 1926-built 56ft traditional trading ketch Ilen of Limerick may have arrived in the Greenland capital of Nuuk last weekend in harsh weather – albeit with a favourable southerly wind – since then conditions have become much gentler,…
Ilen's crew on their arrival at Nuuk late this morning (Friday) - Gary Mac Mahon on left, Paddy Barry second right
After a swift but cold 26-hour run up the Labrador Sea along the southwest coast of Greenland from Paamuit, Limerick’s restored 1926-built 56ft ketch Ilen reached her primary destination, the Greenland capital of Nuuk, late this morning (Friday) writes W…
The Ilen in Paamuit in Greenland, where she found perfect shelter while a southerly gale blew itself out in the Labrador Sea
The restored 56ft 1926-built traditional ketch Ilen lingered in the southwest Greenland port of Paamuit for the past couple of days while a vicious southerly gale blew itself out in the Labrador Sea writes W M Nixon. It was an…
It’s southwest Greenland. It’s big. And it has icebergs. But at least the rough conditions of Cape Farewell are now well astern for the 56ft Limerick ketch Ilen as she coast-hops towards Greenland’s capital of Nuuk on her Salmons Wake Educational Voyage.
The restored 1926 Limerick trading ketch Ilen continues to make steady progress on her Salmons Wake voyage to the Arctic writes W M Nixon. She is now port-hopping along the southwest coast of Greenland towards Nuuk, with the rough conditions…
Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich goes swimming in Greenland with Ilen anchored in the Bay at Cape Farewell
After an arduous voyage of constant fog and one serious storm en route to Greenland, Ireland’s oldest sailing trading ketch Ilen has encountered its first clear evidence of climate change. “When our skipper, Paddy Barry, was approaching Cape Farewell on…
After a successful crossing of the North Atlantic from Limerick, Ilen arrives at Nanortalik, Greenland’s most southerly town
After experiencing every sort of condition from Force 8 winds to near calms, the 56ft 1926-built restored ketch Ilen of Limerick has reached her first port in Greenland to conclude 11 days of Transatlantic ocean voyaging, having successfully negotiated the…
Cape Farewell, Greenland – an iron coast of huge headlands, rocky islands, and much loose ice
The Limerick ketch Ilen on her Salmons Wake voyage to southwest Greenland had got to within 200-miles of the huge island’s most southerly headland, Cape Farewell, towards midnight last night (Monday). With her speed held back to 6 knots in…

The Ilen is the last of Ireland’s traditional wooden sailing ships.

Designed by Limerick man Conor O’Brien and built in Baltimore in 1926, she was delivered by Munster men to the Falkland Islands where she served valiantly for seventy years, enduring and enjoying the Roaring Forties, the Furious Fifties, and Screaming Sixties.

Returned now to Ireland and given a new breath of life, Ilen may be described as the last of Ireland’s timber-built ocean-going sailing ships, yet at a mere 56ft, it is capable of visiting most of the small harbours of Ireland.

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