American Revolutio

Shipwreck hunters still searching for 'ultimate Grail' of the Great Lakes

HMS Ontario

From The Canadian Press

The recent discovery of a British warship that foundered in Lake Ontario during the American Revolution has many marine history buffs likening the find to the Holy Grail of the Great Lakes.

But shipwreck hunters believe the "ultimate Grail" of the Lakes is still entombed in the cold, murky depths.

Last spring, U.S. wreck enthusiasts Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville located HMS Ontario below the waves of Lake Ontario, not far from the New York shoreline.

Kennard's quest to find the watery grave of the Ontario, which was lost with 130 people on board during a powerful gale in 1780, had spanned 35 years.

The 64-year-old is one of many to call the 22-gun sloop of war the "Holy Grail of the Lakes," but even he acknowledges the most treasured wreck is still out there.

"I think the boat that would top it would be the Griffon," he told The Canadian Press in an interview from his home outside Rochester, N.Y.

"That would maybe be the ultimate Grail."

The Griffon was the vessel of noted French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. It is believed to be the first ship to sail the upper Great Lakes.