On July 22nd we decided to explore the northern part of the Ward Hunt ice shelf.
We started out walking towards the northwest section of the island and onto the ice shelf for approximately 6km. It was a strenuous walk on ice, melted snow, water puddles...
After a while Beth suggested that we hike in the direction of what looked like a straight ridge on the horizon. An hour later we were amazed to discover an opening on the shelf about 40-50m wide.
After later discussions with Dr. Derek Mueller (Roberta Bondar Fellow in Northern and Polar Studies, Geography Department, Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario), we realized that OUR GROUP WAS ON THE ICE SHELF THE VERY DAY THIS MAJOR CHUNK OF ICE STARTED TO DRIFT AWAY! What a coincidence and momentous experience for the kids.
The young explorers are saddened but thrilled to have witnessed such an important and significant event first hand and to have been the FIRST PEOPLE TO WALK ALONG THIS CRACK.
Dr. Mueller started to report the cracking of Ward Hunt island ice shelf in 2002. We are providing him with all our recorded data for analysis. The picture shows our group having lunch by the opening, unaware that the northern part of the shelf is calving.