EXPEDITION OF THE YEAR
The leaders of the latest expeditions funded by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society share, in their own words, the most memorable moments from their epic journeys As told to Canadian Geographic staff
MUCH OF MY WORK TAKES PLACE in the hidden geography of the planet. People often ask me why we explore places like the mine on Bell Island. Few people know that it was directly attacked during the Second World War. In , German U-boats raided the island in an attempt to disrupt the ow of high-grade iron ore being shuttled from local mines to the mainland war eort. Three boats sank, killing people. I and a team of divers wanted to explore and document these remarkable war graves. Within the ooded mine passages beneath Bell Island and the sea oor of Conception Bay where the wrecks reside, we found a trove of mining relics, heavy equipment and remarkable grati that tells the story of miners who died during their work on Bell Island. When we visited local schools to talk about the expedition, I saw many of the kids recognize that they could do something incredible with their own lives. More than anything, I think they left our presentation with new pride in their community. Our country’s geography oers us a unique fortune in this world. If we can help connect more people with their sense of place and share this remote and special corner of Canada with the world, then our mission is accomplished.
Jill Heinerth navigates a flooded mine passage beneath Bell Island., N.L., site of a German U-boat attack in 1942.