August 09, 2016 - 9:00 PM
HALIFAX - Canada's only fully operational submarine returned to its Halifax port Tuesday after completing its voyage to Scandinavian waters on its second attempt.
HMCS Windsor spent about 53 days at sea to travelling to waters off Norway to join allies in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercise dubbed "Dynamic Mongoose."
Windsor was forced to re-route in June after its first trip was interrupted by a problem in one of its diesel engines.
Lt.-Cmdr. Peter Chu said Windsor's mechanical issues were "manageable," and he was confident it would be able to perform on the international stage.
"We had very, very little issues for the last two months," said Chu. "Our team has been doing a very good job making sure the boat's running and living up to its operational obligations."
Chu said the 60 crew members cramped on board the submarine are a "close-knit family" and played cribbage and other games to keep each other's spirits high while cut off from the world above the water.
Vice Admiral Ron Lloyd said Windsor has an "action-packed" program, including taking part a multi-national exercise hosted by the Canadian navy in September in the waters off Halifax and St. John's.
"It's a very short turnaround, unfortunately, for the ship's company and their families." Lloyd said. "It's more of a challenge for the young sons and daughters who have that date circled on their calendar, and they're counting the number of sleeps until they get home."
Windsor logged nearly 200 days at sea in 2015 and is on track to do the same this year.
Windsor is one of the four submarines that Canada bought from Britain in the late '90s, but the vessels have been beset by mechanical issues.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016