Beagle Channel


A year and a half ago, I spent two weeks along Antarctica’s northwest coast.

Flying to Buenos Aires and further south to Ushuaia, the ‘southernmost city in the world’ (Latitude 55 degrees S) which sits on the north bank of the Beagle Channel, the interior passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Named for Darwin’s ship that sailed this passage in 1831, the Beagle Channel separates Argentina’s very southern tip, the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, from Chile’s islands to the south.

Upon exiting the eastern end of Beagle Channel beyond Picton Island, Chile — a passage can then be set to cross the famed and feared 500 mile wide Drake Passage that separates South America from the ‘ice continent’.

Along the north side of Beagle Channel are lovely snow-covered mountains descending down to the water’s edge. Although this passage provides an inland route across Cape Horn, it is too narrow for sizeable ships to navigate its notoriously harsh and unpredictable weather.

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