Canada’s exploration and geography communities were out en masse on Oct. 22 to help The Royal Canadian Geographical Society launch Franklin’s Lost Ship: The Historic Discovery of HMS Erebus.
More than 100 people fi lled the Common Room at Toronto’s Massey College for the event, among them exploration great Joe MacInnis, storm chaser George Kourounis, medical geographer and new Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, writers Ken McGoogan and Shelagh Grant, and artist Cory Trépanier.
The book, co-authored by Society CEO John Geiger and journalist Alanna Mitchell, details the 2014 discovery and ongoing exploration of HMS Erebus, one of the two ships lost on Sir John Franklin’s 1845-1848 British Arctic Expedition.
Jonathan Moore of Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Service, who was one of the discoverers of Erebus and who found the ship’s bell, gave a fi rst-hand account of some of the profound moments detailed in the book. Erebus, he explained, is actually an artifi cial reef, festooned with life: “Peeling back some of the kelp growth on the shipwreck was like unwrapping a giant Christmas present,” he said. “Every time you removed kelp, new artifacts or structural features were revealed.”
During the event, both Mitchell and Geiger honoured all scientists and archeologists involved in the discovery. “This is a group who are going to produce astounding amounts of knowledge and research for the world,” said Mitchell. “Thank you — you really have made us proud to be Canadian.”