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Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario – A Journey of Discovery

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The National Museum of the Great Lakes is excited to announce the release of a new book titled Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario: A Journey of Discovery. This book contains stories of long lost shipwrecks and the journeys of the underwater explorers who found them, written by Jim Kennard with paintings by Roland Stevens and underwater imagery by Roger Pawlowski.

For decades, teams of shipwreck enthusiasts have been searching for sunken ships in the New York State waters of Lake Ontario. Using SCUBA equipment, simple depth finders, sophisticated side-scan sonar equipment and eventually with remote operated vehicles, they set out to unlock the secrets of the past.

Sea to Sky

Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario: A Journey of Discovery details the history and discovery of over 26 shipwrecks in Lake Ontario, many of which have connections to other communities across the Great Lakes including Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo, Detroit and Chicago. The oldest shipwreck discovered in the Great Lakes, HMS Ontario, is described in three chapters covering its discovery, the weather that sank the ship, and detailed information regarding the creation of its model. The book includes over 150 illustrations, photographs and drawings including underwater photography of some of the shipwrecks. It also contains original artwork by artist Roland Stevens documenting the entire shipwreck when only small portions could be recorded.

“Searching for ships in the Great Lakes demands hours spent on research; large expenditures for technical equipment; weeks, months and sometimes years looking for a wreck; plus a touch of madness that keeps a team together on an elusive quest.” said Jim Kennard, lead author. “The information I’ve amassed over the years has provided us with valuable insight into Great Lakes maritime history.” Kennard continued, “The book is truly a first class product that we and the National Museum of the Great Lakes are proud to offer the public. I hope that Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario: A Journey of Discovery will be of interest to readers for a very long time.”

About The Author

Jim Kennard has been diving and exploring the lakes of the northeast since 1970. He’s found more than 200 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, Lake Champlain, New York Finger Lakes and in the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Utilizing his background as an electrical engineer, he built a side scan sonar system that located many of these shipwrecks.  Significant discoveries include the two oldest shipwrecks discovered in the Great Lakes, the 1780 British warship HMS Ontario and the sloop Washington lost in 1803.  In 1983 he found a unique horse powered ferryboat in Lake Champlain.  All of these discoveries received worldwide attention in the news media.  Discoveries made by Jim and his shipwreck teams have appeared in a number of publications including National Geographic, Sea Technology, Inland Seas, Wreck Diving, Skin Diver, and several Rochester, NY publications.   He’s appeared on Discovery Channel, CBC, BBC, FOX News and recently in the National Geographic Drain the Oceans series on the American Revolution.

In 2013 he was selected a Fellow member of The Explorers Club.  Jim received the Joyce S. Hayward Award for Historic Interpretation from the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History in 2015 for documenting the stories of Great Lakes shipwreck discoveries on his website www.shipwreckworld.com.

In addition to searching for elusive shipwrecks Jim is an avid hiker and amateur radio operator.  He graduated from Clarkson University with a BS in electrical engineering in 1966.  A native of Peekskill he lives in Fairport.

Learn more or purchase a copy at: https://www.shipwreckworld.com


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