Patricia Lake

Patricia Lake in Jasper National Park

If you decide to take a trip to Jasper National Park in the Canadian province of Alberta, you can not miss a visit to the beautiful Patricia Lake - one of the most secluded and romantic spots in the area. Patricia is a peaceful and harmonious lake popular with fishermen and divers. For lovers of scuba diving, Patricia is attractive and at the bottom can be seen something unique - a military development of the U.S. government during World War II, an attempt to design an untraceable, unsinkable ship full of ice.

The lake itself is one of the most developed tourist areas in Jasper. It is very well connected by trails to Pyramid Lake and the beautiful eponymous mountain. Patricia is actually the last stop on the routes in the park. On its coast are built nice holiday house bungalows, offering all comforts, even for those who have decided to spend their honeymoon here.

The villas and bungalows of Patricia are located just 10 minutes from the town of Jasper, making them a convenient destination for recreation in the park. The guests are offered wooden chalets, motel rooms, caravans and apartments with new kitchens and fireplaces. Among the luxuries of the holiday houses are Jacuzzis, and among the wide array of outdoor activities, one can choose between cycling along the coast of Patricia, a simple walk or renting a canoe or kayak for sailing enthusiasts.

For divers the greatest challenge in the lake Patricia remain the unusual remnants of a secret military experiment of the Second World War. The operation was under the command of Winston Churchill and was named codenamed Operation Habbakuk. The project envisaged construction of a battleship that can not be immersed. It was to be made entirely of ice.

An ambitious venture in Patricia Lake was carried out. The prototype ice ship was built and the entire summer of 1943 maintenance allowed it to keep afloat. The prototype would be made only of ice and dust, from a material called Pykrete. It was made by about 15 specialists, who within a few months had to build a scale prototype on Patricia Lake, in a scale 1:50 of the actual size of the ship. The planned ice miracle was supposed to be 600 meters long, and the experimental model was one-tenth of it.

For "construction site" of the military craft was intended Lake Louise, but Patricia was subsequently chosen for its natural weather conditions and the abundance of ice during the long winter months and Jasper was already well connected by rail t, while being remote enough. Apart from this, earlier in the park was also held some other military training.

Construction of the ice boat on Lake Patricia continued until March 1943, as part of the structure was cooled independently, and another by a special mechanical refrigeration system. However, the tension of war and the lack of sufficient funds for the project are the real reason the craft was not made. The cooling system and the prototype spent the summer on the surface of Patricia before it finally melted and sunk to the bottom.

Even today, remnants of this unique development remain at the bottom of Patricia and are a major attraction for divers. They were found during an expedition in 1985 on a steep slope near the shore at a depth between 26 and 43 meters. Although the cooling systems have been removed from the structure before it was finally abandoned, the half-preserved wooden scaffolding and insulation can still be seen.



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