May Dinner of the Aurora/Newmarket branch of the Canadian Federation of University Women.
Last month's dive to the Erebus, projected to last 10 days, was cut in half because stormy weather interfered with the delivery of almost 12,000 kg of gear. But the Parks Canada team did manage to bring back massive amounts of high-definition video, photos, and laser-scan images from outside and inside the ship.
In late August or early September, searchers will revisit the Erebus, which is sitting just west of Adelaide Peninsula in Wilmot and Crampton Bay. The greatest possible on-board discovery, from an historical perspective, would be a log book or series of status reports sealed in metal canisters. The finding of human remains would prove still more sensational. And to me, this last seems a near certainty.
In the 1860s, a number of Inuit told American explorer Charles Francis Hall about visiting the ship at this location not long before it sank. Hall reported that "they broke into a place that was fastened up & there found a very large white man who was dead, very tall man. There was flesh about this dead man, that is, his remains quite perfect -- it took 5 men to lift him. The place smelt very bad. His clothes all on. Found dead on the floor -- not in a sleeping place or birth [sic]." This is just the clearest report among several. Maybe I am wrong, but I am guessing that corroboration will come later this year.
(The image above is a reconstruction from Franklin's Lost Ships, that marvelous new documentary.)