Cris Kohl and Joan Forsberg, well-known maritime historians, scuba divers, authors, lecturers, photographers, and videographers, are a Chicago-area husband-and-wife team who love to explore shipwrecks, particularly those in the Great Lakes. They both have underwater archaeology certifications from Great Britain’s Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS).

Joan has a degree in History and has been the Chairman of the Shipwrecks and our Maritime Heritage Room at Chicago’s Our World – Underwater Show since 1996. She is the author of the scuba celebrity cook-and-tell book, Diver’s Guide to the Kitchen, and articles in magazines such as ImmersedGreat Lakes Boating, and Wreck Diving (for which she works as Copy Editor). Joan appears behind the camera shooting underwater video, and in front of the camera as Cris’ underwater model. In her three terms as President of the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago (2008, 2009, 2010), she spearheaded several significant maritime history projects, particularly the sinking of the historic ship named the Buccaneeras the newest shipwreck site off Chicago. Joan was inducted into the international Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2010.

Cris, a prize-winning underwater photographer with a Master’s Degree in History, is originally from Windsor, Ontario, was co-founder of the Windsor chapter of Save Ontario Shipwrecks (1987), is a Past President of the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago (2004), and has written eleven books and more than 325 magazine and newsletter articles about Great Lakes shipwrecks. He has appeared on numerous television programs, including on the History Channel several times and on the Discovery Channel. He has helped locate and identify many shipwrecks. He is the 2008 recipient of the annual Our World—Underwater Outstanding Achievement Award. His most recent book is the expanded Great Lakes Diving Guide, the most comprehensive book ever published about Great Lakes shipwrecks.

Co-authors of the recent book Shipwrecks at Death’s Door, co-editors of the 2010 book Our World—Underwater: The First 40 Years, and producers of several commercial DVDs about Great Lakes shipwrecks, Cris and Joan are currently working on more shipwreck book collaborations. Cris & Joan’s web site is Seawolf Communications.

Shipwreck Tales of the Great Lakes

The most dramatic stories of Great Lakes shipwrecks tinged with murder, mystery, deception and more than the usual amount of mayhem, plus intense historical research and exceptional underwater photography, will keep the audience on the edge of their seats!

Marsha Whhel photo

Tales include:

— the story of the fabled Griffon, the first ship on the upper Great Lakes, lost with all hands (possibly in Canada’s northern Lake Huron!) on her maiden voyage in 1679, and the many attempts to locate that shipwreck

— the Canadian captain who murdered his crew and sank his ship in Lake Huron

— the raising of the 1846 schooner, the Alvin Clark, from Green Bay in 1969, that ship’s fate, and how the same thing happened in Ontario 70 years earlier!

— startling new revelations about the Canadian captain who kept his Lake Ontario shipwreck survival a secret

— the story of the shipwreck which helped build Chicago

— the wrecks of the largest sailing ships ever built on the Great Lakes, the David Dows (USA) and the Minnedosa (Canada)

— the strange coincidences in the life of the jinxed captain of the steamer, Myron, which sank in Lake Superior in 1919 with great loss of life

— the world-infamous Australian Convict Ship, the Success, and how it came to be a shipwreck in the Great Lakes

— the 1875 mystery schooner, the Cornelia B. Windiate, found in deep waters
plus MORE!

This presentation is based on the popular book, Shipwreck Tales of the Great Lakesby Cris Kohl. This book was a FINALIST for the Book-of-the-Year Award from Foreword Magazine.

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