Exploration

Jill Heinerth on spending the pandemic underwater

Episode 35

The RCGS Explorer-in-Residence returns to the Explore podcast to share an exciting project she’s been working on close to home

  • Published Mar 22, 2022
  • Updated Apr 14
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It’s always fun when one of our RCGS Explorers-in-Residence comes on the podcast; they’re always up to the most fascinating things. That’s especially true of Jill Heinerth. An internationally acclaimed cave diver, bestselling author, and award-winning documentary filmmaker, Jill has been spending the pandemic exploring Canada’s longest underwater cave system, underneath the Ottawa River, just northwest of the nation’s capital and down the road from her house. What she found there is remarkable: “The most dense biomass I’ve ever seen in a freshwater cave.” Heinerth takes us into those caves to reveal the remarkable life inside. And she previews her forthcoming RCGS-flagged expedition diving around the coast of Newfoundland, which includes the incredible story of Lanier Phillips, an African-American sailor in the Second World War who survived the sinking of his ship off the coast of Newfoundland, got ashore and expected to be lynched by the locals, but instead was rescued and nursed back to health, sparking lifelong friendships and a remarkable life in the civil rights movement.

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