Once the feasibility studies had indicated that the Project
would be a financial success, the challenge became two fold. A, how
to obtain the submarine from the Department of National Defence and
B, how to get an object the size of a football field long and five
storeys tall from Halifax, Nova Scotia on the Atlantic Ocean over
1,200 nautical miles inland to Port Burwell, Ontario on the north
shore of Lake Erie. The first challenge will be outlined in
an upcoming book. The second is outlined here on the website.
|A journey of
approximately 1,200 nautical miles - from the salt water of the
Atlantic Ocean to the fresh water of the Great Lakes in the heart
of the Canada.
Astute Seamanship & Precision Engineering
Moving HMCS Ojibwa from the Atlantic Ocean to the north
shore of Lake Erie was an exciting operation that required astute
seamanship and precision engineering. We assembled a crack team of
some of the best in the business to make it all happen; however, we
would be remiss if we did not mention that Mother Nature also had
her say in the way the operation played out.
|The McKeil tug
Florence tows the drydock into Halifax, May 23,
The Original Intention
The original intention was to complete the move in time to
celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy in
2010. Negotiations with the Department of National Defence were
drawn out over almost three years and it became clear that to tow
Ojibwa in the water would take far too
long. The time factor, coupled with the risk of damage going
through so many locks resulted in a decision to move her by means
of a submersible drydock developed by Heddle Marine of Hamilton,
Ontario specifically for the Project. Ojibwa was in for a ride!
The Submersible Drydock
secured inside the floating drydock. Photo:
The high sides of the drydock helped to protect Ojibwa from the
worst of the Atlantic winds and waves and the width helped to
stabilize the load. Mother Nature did send rain and fog as well as
high winds to delay the progress here and there but, the journey to
Hamilton, was successfully completed in the we hours of the morning
of Tuesday, June 5th, 2012. It had taken eleven days. A summer
sojourn in the Heddle Marine shipyards to prepare Ojibwa for the
last leg of the journey began immediately.