In 1845, British explorer Sir John Franklin, on the period’s most technologically advanced expedition, vanished in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. Monumental Island was named by fellow Arctic explorer Charles Francis Hall in memory of Franklin. Located in Davis Strait south of Baffin Island, it is known as Oomienwa in the local Inuktitut language.
This barren, rocky and windswept island is home to a variety of wildlife. Nesting black guillemots are the most prolific seabird. The Island is a favorite resting spot for walrus and they may be viewed at numerous haul-outs around the island. The elusive polar bears patrol the ice-floes in search of seals while whales feed offshore.
This is also an excellent location for viewing elaborately sculpted icebergs of all sizes and shapes. Numerous glaciers descend from the island’s high peaks, their crevasses appearing almost to glow an iridescent blue against a landscape of stark white.