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, providing ideal opportunities for local coastal exploration and continuation of the research programme into the migratory patterns of the Atlantic salmon writes W M Nixon.
It is this programme which has given the venture the overall title of Salmons Wake, and the arrival of summery conditions in Greenland has facilitated regular deployment this week of Ilen’s distinctive square sail, emblazoned with the distinctive Salmons Wake logo. Skipper Gary MacMahon of the Ilen Project reports on a rewarding three days:
"After a magnificent three day trip to Umanap Surdlua and other adjacent fjords, the Limerick ship Ilen and her crew returned to Nuuk, West Greenland this evening (Wednesday). Umanap Surdlua is a vast Fjord area where we find Greenland's only salmon-spawning river, the Kapisillit, a river which is central to the Ilen Project’s Educational Programme - Salmon's Wake.
All on board are delighted with the achievement and results of visiting the Kapisillit River, and discovering at first hand the challenges it shares for the wild salmon with our very own river, the majestic Shannon. The research results and discoveries made will be presented in due course, on return to Limerick.
The Umanap Surdlua trip, in sheltered waters, also provided some excellent sailing and ship handling conditions. conditions which crew of Ilen crew did not waste, taking the opportunity to set every stitch of sail the ship carries”.
Today (Thursday 25th July) Ilen will be sailing north from Nuuk, and in time will cross the Arctic Circle.