Canadian archeologist searching for Franklin
- On 05/09/2008
- In Expeditions
By Randy Boswell
The archeologist leading Canada's hunt for the lost Arctic ships of Sir John Franklin will get an inspirational boost on Thursday as he celebrates the 30th anniversary of his own world-class discovery of several 16th-century Basque shipwrecks off the coast of Labrador -- a stunning find that rewrote the earliest chapters of Canadian history and set the gold standard for studying and preserving the world's underwater heritage.
Robert Grenier, Parks Canada's 70-year-old chief of marine archeology, is hoping to cap his stellar career by locating the Erebus and Terror, the famously ill-fated ships of the 19th-century Franklin Expedition that are being targeted this month as part of a three-year, federally-sponsored seabed search of the Northwest Passage.
But even that sensational find would merely match Grenier's 1978 triumph -- the dramatic discovery of the 1560s-era, three-masted whaling vessel San Juan, found after his research team followed 425-year-old clues culled from a Spanish archive to a long-forgotten whaling station along the Strait of Belle Isle.