After four years of negotiation and preparation, a team of experts is ready to leave the water the famous ship Maud has led the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen in his second trip to the Arctic.
Some 85 years after the ship ran aground in shallow waters of Nunavut, Jan Wanggaard, the leader of the crew hopes to bring the Norwegians the last ship of the national hero, is rather confident of successful operations.
The Maud was built in 1917 in Vollen, for the explorer Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole. He also led the historic expeditions to the Canadian Arctic, the first successful crossing of the Northwest Passage.
Mr. Amundsen planned to freeze the Maud specially reinforced in the ice of the ice to drift across the North Pole. After two failed attempts, the ship was sold to the Company of Hudson Bay in 1925.
Three years later, the boat was caught off Cambridge Bay, before sinking in 1930. Parts of the hull still emerging from the waves.
Since June, Jan Wanggaard and his team passed ropes and belts under the hull of 40 meters. This week, floating balloons will be attached to the ropes in order to lift the ship from the ocean floor.
Maud held good, says Mr. Wanggaard.
“This boat was one of the most robust wooden ships ever built, he assured. It has been designed to withstand the pressure of the ice. ”
Once this operation is completed, a barge brought back from Norway and will be submerged under the hull. Flotation tanks will be re-inflated, and lift the barge hull out of the water.
Maud probably spend another winter in Cambridge Bay, time to dry and be solidified for the long journey that awaits him.
From a technical point of view, it’s very simple. But the policy behind the operations was everything else.
Norway was initially met with opposition people in Cambridge Bay, who wanted the wreck remains where it is. Then the Canadian government has refused to give a permit to export group, although the boat belongs to him. This permit was finally granted him by default because no Canadian team showed any bailout.
Despite his departure, Maud leaves an everlasting memory in Canada: it was the model on which was built the famous RCMP schooner St. Roch, which was the second boat to traverse the Northwest Passage and first to do the full tour of North America.