Blue skies and calm waters on the horizon greet the 2015 team searching for HMS Terror. The CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier sets out on its journey carrying Parks Canada’s RV Investigator and the Canadian Hydrographic Service’s two launches, Gannet and Kinglett.
The tedious work of removing kelp and cleaning the 30-metre long ship is key to preparing the wreck for the archaeological research and will allow the Underwater Archaeology Team to see the structure and integrity of the ship as well as damage caused by ice. After 169 years under the cold frigid Arctic water, the ship’s strong internal wooden framework still showcases its robust construction.
The aurora borealis dances above the flight deck of CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier as the team searching for HMS Terror look up at the same skies that Franklin’s men would have observed during their tragic expedition.
For the first time, HMS Erebus is seen in its entirety without the help of multibeam sonar technology, 30 metres from bow to stern, in her final resting place in clear Arctic waters.
This boot, discovered by Parks Canada underwater archaeologists, reminds us that 129 men – the officers and crew of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror - lost their lives during the infamous 1845 expedition.
A Parks Canada underwater archaeologist collects a marine biological sample from the hull of HMS Erebus. Her final resting place is a mere 11 meters from the surface of the water.