Frobisher Bay

Frobisher Bay

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Frobisher Bay is a relatively large inlet of the Labrador Sea
Labrador Sea
The Labrador Sea is an arm of the North Atlantic Ocean between the Labrador Peninsula and Greenland. The sea is flanked by continental shelves to the southwest, northwest, and northeast. It connects to the north with Baffin Bay through the Davis Strait...

 in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. It is located in the southeastern corner of Baffin Island
Baffin Island
Baffin Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut is the largest island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world. Its area is and its population is about 11,000...

. Its length is about 230 km (142.9 mi) and its width varies from about 40 km (24.9 mi) at its outlet into the Labrador Sea to roughly 20 km (12.4 mi) towards its inner end.

The capital of Nunavut, Iqaluit (known as Frobisher Bay until 1987), lies near the innermost end of the bay.


Frobisher Bay has a tapered shape formed by two flanking peninsula
A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland. In many Germanic and Celtic languages and also in Baltic, Slavic and Hungarian, peninsulas are called "half-islands"....

s, the Hall Peninsula
Hall Peninsula
The Hall Peninsula is a peninsula on the southern end of Baffin Island, in Nunavut, Canada. It lies between Frobisher Bay on the west, and the Cumberland Sound on the east between 62°40'N and 65°10'W. The Hall Peninsula is part of the Arctic Tundra biome—the world's coldest and driest biome. The...

 to the northeast, and the Meta Incognita Peninsula to the southwest. The Bay's funnellike shape ensures that the tidal
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth....

 variance at Iqaluit each day is about 7 to 11 m. This shape is due to the large outlet glacier centred over Foxe Basin
Foxe Basin
Not to be confused with Fox Bay, Falkland IslandsFoxe Basin is a shallow oceanic basin north of Hudson Bay, in Nunavut, Canada, located between Baffin Island and the Melville Peninsula...

 during the Pleistocene glaciation, which gouged the Bay's basin, now flooded by the sea.

Within Frobisher Bay itself are a number of bays, inlet
An inlet is a narrow body of water between islands or leading inland from a larger body of water, often leading to an enclosed body of water, such as a sound, bay, lagoon or marsh. In sea coasts an inlet usually refers to the actual connection between a bay and the ocean and is often called an...

s and sound
Sound (geography)
In geography a sound or seaway is a large sea or ocean inlet larger than a bay, deeper than a bight and wider than a fjord; or it may be defined as a narrow sea or ocean channel between two bodies of land ....

s. Among these are Wayne Bay and Ward Inlet (up towards the far northwestern end), and also Newell Sound, Leach Bay and Kneeland Bay (along the southwest shore). Hamlen Bay, Newton Fiord, Royer Cove and Waddell Bay are to be found in the northeast shore. Indeed, Frobisher Bay's whole coastline is marked with innumerable narrow inlets into which flow many small streams. There are high cliff
In geography and geology, a cliff is a significant vertical, or near vertical, rock exposure. Cliffs are formed as erosion landforms due to the processes of erosion and weathering that produce them. Cliffs are common on coasts, in mountainous areas, escarpments and along rivers. Cliffs are usually...

s on both shores, rising to roughly 330 m on the northeast shore, and twice that on the southwest shore as a result of the tilting of the earth's crust
Crust (geology)
In geology, the crust is the outermost solid shell of a rocky planet or natural satellite, which is chemically distinct from the underlying mantle...

 locally during the early Tertiary
The Tertiary is a deprecated term for a geologic period 65 million to 2.6 million years ago. The Tertiary covered the time span between the superseded Secondary period and the Quaternary...


Frobisher Bay is also studded with island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

s. These include Hill Island
Hill Island
Hill Island is a Baffin Island offshore island located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the territory of Nunavut. The uninhabited island lies in Frobisher Bay, approximately southwest of Iqaluit. Bishop Island and Faris Island are in the immediate vicinity....

 and Faris Island
Faris Island
Faris Island is one of the many uninhabited Canadian arctic islands in Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut. It is a Baffin Island offshore island located in Frobisher Bay, approximately southwest of the capital city of Iqaluit....

 near Iqaluit, Pugh
Pugh Island
Pugh Island is an uninhabited Baffin Island offshore island located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the territory of Nunavut. The island lies in Frobisher Bay, less than from Baffin Island's Everett Mountains range. Islands in the immediate vicinity include Pike and Fletcher Islands to the...

, Pike
Pike Island (Nunavut)
Pike Island is a Baffin Island offshore island located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the territory of Nunavut. The island lies in Frobisher Bay, between Pugh Island and Fletcher Island....

, Fletcher
Fletcher Island (Nunavut)
Fletcher Island is a Baffin Island offshore island located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the territory of Nunavut. The island lies in Frobisher Bay, north of Newell Sound. The Hall Peninsula is to the east. Islands in the immediate vicinity include: Field Island to the east; Bruce Island to...

 and Bruce Island
Bruce Island
Bruce Island is an island in Franz Josef Land, Russia. Its area is 191 km². The highest point of the island is 301 m.Except for a very small area at the western shoreline, Bruce Island is completely glacierized....

s at the mouth of Wayne Bay, Augustus Island
Augustus Island
Augustus Island is one of the many uninhabited Canadian Arctic islands in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut. It is a Baffin Island offshore island located in inner Frobisher Bay. The island lies at the head of Ward Inlet, between Becher Peninsula and Hall Peninsula. Bruce Island is located at the...

 in Ward Inlet, and Chase
Chase Island
Chase Island is a Baffin Island offshore island located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the territory of Nunavut. The island lies in Frobisher Bay, west of Kneeland Bay, and southwest of Royer Cover on the Hall Peninsula...

, McLean, Gabriel
Gabriel Island
Gabriel Island is a Baffin Island offshore island located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the territory of Nunavut. The island lies in Frobisher Bay, south of Hamlen Bay, and southwest of the Hall Peninsula. Islands in the immediate vicinity include Nouyarn Island to the east, McLean Island...

 and Nouyarn
Nouyarn Island
Nouyarn Island is an uninhabited Baffin Island offshore island located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the territory of Nunavut. The island lies in Frobisher Bay, southeast of Hamlen Bay, and south of the Hall Peninsula tip. Islands in the immediate vicinity include Gabriel Island and McLean...

 Islands towards the Bay's mouth.


Frobisher Bay is named for the English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 navigator Sir Martin Frobisher, who, during his search for the Northwest Passage
Northwest Passage
The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways amidst the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans...

 in 1576, became the first Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an to visit it. Until Hall
Charles Francis Hall
Charles Francis Hall was an American Arctic explorer. Little is known of Hall's early life. He was born in the state of Vermont, but while he was still a child his family moved to Rochester, New Hampshire, where, as a boy, he was apprenticed to a blacksmith. In the 1840s he married and drifted...

's voyage in 1861, the Bay was thought by Europeans to be a strait
A strait or straits is a narrow, typically navigable channel of water that connects two larger, navigable bodies of water. It most commonly refers to a channel of water that lies between two land masses, but it may also refer to a navigable channel through a body of water that is otherwise not...

 separating Baffin Island from another island.

The first Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 service recorded on North American soil was a celebration of Holy Communion at Frobisher Bay in the last days of August or early September 1578. The Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada
The Anglican Church of Canada is the Province of the Anglican Communion in Canada. The official French name is l'Église Anglicane du Canada. The ACC is the third largest church in Canada after the Roman Catholic Church and the United Church of Canada, consisting of 800,000 registered members...

's Prayer Book
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

 fixes the day of commemoration as September 3. The chaplain on Frobisher's voyage was " 'Maister Wolfall (probably Robert Wolfall
Robert Wolfall
The priest Robert Wolfall, chaplain to Martin Frobisher's expedition to the Arctic, celebrated the first Anglican Eucharist on what is now Canadian territory in 1578 in Frobisher Bay....

), minister and preacher', who had been charged by Queen Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 'to serve God twice a day'."

Popular culture

Frobisher Bay
Frozen in Frobisher Bay
"Frobisher Bay", also known as "Frozen in Frobisher Bay", is a song by James Gordon about whaling in the Canadian arctic. It has been recorded by many artists in Canada and the US, and was used as an audition song on Canadian Idol.-Discography:...

 is a James Gordon song, featured in the TV program Canadian Idol
Canadian Idol
Canadian Idol is a Canadian reality television competition show which aired on CTV, based on the British show Pop Idol. The show was a competition to find the most talented young singer in Canada, and was hosted by Ben Mulroney. Jon Dore was the "roving reporter" for the first three seasons...