Ryan Harris has a cool job. Harris is an underwater archaeologist at Parks Canada who recently scored what must count as the assignment of a lifetime: an undersea tour of HMS Erebus, one of two Franklin Expedition ships that, until last September, were lost to history. Until, that is, Harris and his colleagues found her waiting on the sea floor.
Today, Parks Canada released video of Harris guiding the world on that underwater tour of Erebus. “Have we got a treat for you,” he opens, swimming toward the remains of the wrecked ship. The first stop on the tour, about a minute in: aging, six-pound cannon, “one of the first features we saw” when an underwater robot probed the site last year. Harris is a fountain of information as he swims around Erebus for more than nine minutes on camera, pointing out a kelp-covered rudder, propeller, deck skylight, mast—and even a double-action bilge pump.
The discovery of the 169-year-old shipwreck captured the world’s attention. Charlie Gillis and Chris Sorensen chronicled the breathtaking achievement last year. Sorensen stayed on the story, reporting on BlackBerry billionaire Jim Balsillie’s key role in showing off a replica of Erebus’s first artifact—the ship’s brass bell—to the broader public.