RCGS CEL­E­BRATES LAUNCH OF FRANKLIN’S LOST SHIP

Canadian Geographic - - YOUR SOCIETY - —An­drew Lovesey

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 filled 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 first-hand ac­count of some of the pro­found mo­ments de­tailed in the book. Ere­bus, he ex­plained, is ac­tu­ally an ar­ti­fi­cial 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.”

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