While the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc in all areas of life, including every aspect of our exploration, study, and appreciation of the underwater world, there is some positive news that can be reported:

We are excited to announce that our book, The Christmas Tree Ship, has been released as an audio book just in time for Christmas, 2020! It is available on Audible Books, Amazon, and iTunes. It is a first-rate, professional production narrated by Broadway actor Charles Huddleston.

A spin-off of the television series called "The Curse of Oak Island" began this year under the title, "Beyond Oak Island." The recent episode we watched included participation by Robert Marx ("the godfather of shipwreck archaeology and treasure hunting") and John Chatterton (well-known for his underwater quests and role as a co-host of the "Deep Sea Detectives" television series.) This well-done episode was divided into several stories, linked by the common theme of hunting for treasure, with every tale including the history of each shipwreck or treasure trove, exciting underwater footage, clips of interviews with the main characters involved in each project, and, at the Michigan brothers' headquarters on Oak Island, Nova Scotia, thoughtful commentary and evaluation of each relationship, whether it was a clash over ownership or an amiable settlement, between treasure hunters and government agencies. This show will keep your attention during -- and well beyond -- the COVID-19 lockdowns!

Technical diver Terry Irvine, from southwestern Ontario, actually managed to get some diving done on Great Lakes shipwrecks this past summer (2020) and shot some pretty amazing photos of the J. H. Jones in Georgian Bay for an article he is currently writing for publication.

The year 2020 is the 40th anniversary of the founding of Divers Alert Network (DAN), and Joan wrote the cover story about DAN's history for the Journal of Diving History, issue #105, which came out in the Fall of 2020.

And 2020 is the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, of which Joan is proud to be a member.

In early December, 2020, Cris Kohl and Joan Forsberg were two of the dozen participants in a virtual NAS (Nautical Archaeology Society) specialty course on the topic of "Recording Waterlogged Timber," offered by the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago and taught by David Thompson, who did an excellent job making a highly technical subject very understandable.

I (Cris) received a signed copy of the new book, The Daniel J. Morrell, Lost, But No Longer Forgotten by John DeBeck, for Christmas (2020), and I am finding the tome's 401 pages to be incredibly detailed and absolutely absorbing -- a definitive book about the history and tragic sinking of this huge Great Lakes freighter in Lake Huron in November 1966, and much information about the sole survivor, Dennis Hale. Only one question arises, and it involves the title. This ship was definitely lost, but was it ever "forgotten?" Noted shipwreck hunter Dave Trotter, who located the stern end of this wreck in the late 1970s, has kept its memory alive through the many times he has done presentations about it. Numerous books, which will be around much longer than any of us, have been written about this wreck, particularly by Jim & Pat Stayer and Tim Juhl, and even by Dennis Hale himself. Dennis gave many popular and emotional presentations, nearly right to the end of his life, outlining his own experiences with the Morrell. On many occasions, starting in 1996, I was one of the opening presenters for Dennis' talk; my small contribution was outlining the ship's history right up to the time of its sinking. And with scuba divers' continued fascination with this shipwreck and its story, a steady flow of magazine articles has kept its memory very much alive, and will likely continue to do so. This new and exceptional book will help ensure that the memories of the Daniel J. Morrell, its lost crew, and its sole survivor, Dennis Hale, will remain with us.

Stay tuned for more news in this regularly-changing cycle!

If you would like to report some positive news about all things underwater marine and maritime, such as new research/writing or recent shipwreck discoveries, please contact us (Cris and Joan) at

Please double-check with these events organizers before booking your flight or accommodations, as events have been known to be postponed or cancelled with very short notice due to COVID-19.

January 8-11 (Fri. to Mon.), 2021 -- Salon de la Plongée (Paris, France, Dive Show). Postponed due to COVID-19.

January 20-24 (Wed. to Sun.), 2021 -- Interdive (Frankfurt, Germany)

January 30 (Sat.), 2021 -- Long Island Divers Association (LIDA) -- Virtual via ZOOM, 7 to 9 PM, tickets $10 each. Presentations: Paul Cater Deaton (Exploring the Flower Garden, the Natural Reef of Texas); Michael Salvarezza and Christopher Weaver (It Came from the Muck: Indonesia's Lembeh Strait); Michel Labrecque and Julie Ouimet (On Land and at Sea -- the People, the Places, the Diving); Peter Venoutsos (Diving Vancouver Island); Cris Kohl and Joan Forsberg (Shipwreck Tales of Georgian Bay); Maureen and Stephen Langevin (Diving Papua New Guinea); Christopher LaPorta (Long Island's Sunken Treasure: Governor's Artificial Reef Initiative and the Resurgence of the NY Reef Program.) Emcee: Michael Salvarezza.

The long-running "Great Lakes Shipwreck Festival," presented by the Ford Seahorses and Sea Lancers at Ann Arbor, MI, usually in February, has not yet been scheduled for 2021

March 12-14 (Fri. to Sun.), 2021 -- "Beneath The Sea" Show, Meadowlands Convention Center, Secaucus, NJ

March 20 (Sat.), 2021 -- Michigan Shipwreck Research Association's "Histories and Mysteries" Show, Holland, MI

March 27-28 (Sat. & Sun.), 2021 -- Dive 2021, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

The popular "Shipwrecks!" Show, held annually now for 25 years at Welland, Ontario, and organized by the Niagara Divers Association, has posted this statement on their web site regarding a show in 2021: "As soon as the Ontario government and the Chief Medical Officer deem it safe to hold large shows again, the NDA will announce a date for the return of Canada's largest Shipwreck Show." Stay tuned!

Update: Show organizers are looking into the possibility of offering a "virtual via ZOOM" "Shipwrecks!" Show in the spring of 2021. Carry-over tickets from the cancelled 2020 Show will still be honored when the next in-person show returns to an auditorium.

April 10 ( Sat.), 2021 -- Upper Midwest Scuba And Adventure Travel Show, Vadnais Heights, MN (Minneapolis area). Presented by The Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society.

May 22-23 (Sat. & Sun.),, 2021 -- Long Beach Scuba Show, Long Beach, CA

September 11-12 (Sat. & Sun.), 2021 -- OZTek Advanced Diving Conference & OZDive Expo 2021, Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia

October 2-3 (Sat. & Sun.), 2021 -- Boston Sea Rovers Annual Show, Middleton, MA

October 14-17 (Thurs. to Sun.), 2021 -- ADEX (Asia Dive Expo), Singapore

November 13 (Sat.), 2021 -- "Shipwrecks and Scuba" Show, Sandusky, OH

November 16-19 (Tues. to Fri.), 2021 -- DEMA, Las Vegas Convention Center, NV



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