The Drake Passage-Indian Express-30-12-2019


As per the Guinness World Records, the row represents, among other firsts, the first row on the Southern Ocean, the first row across the Drake Passage and the first row to the Antarctic continent.

In a first, six rowers from four countries on December 25 crossed the Drake Passage, in just under two weeks after pushing off from the southern tip of South America.

The Passage is located between Cape Horn at the tip of South America and the Antarctic Peninsula.

What is the Drake Passage?

The passage is named after Sir Francis Drake, who was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the passage has an average depth of about 11,000 feet, with deeper regions going up to over 15,600 feet near the northern and southern boundaries.

While making their way through the passage, the team of six dodged icebergs, held their breaths as giant whales breached near their small boat, and rode building-sized waves, the Associated Press reported.

Why is it considered so treacherous?

The Drake Passage is considered one of the roughest waterways in the world because here, layers of cold seawater from the south and warm seawater from the north collide to form powerful eddies, which when combined with strong winds and storms can be treacherous for those attempting to navigate it.

It is also the narrowest stretch in the Southern Ocean and spans approximately 800 km between the southern tip of South America and the northern tip of the West Antarctic Peninsula, according to the National Oceanography Centre. NASA describes the waters of the passage as “notoriously turbulent, unpredictable, and frequented by icebergs and sea ice.”

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