The Drake Passage or Mar de Hoces is the open body of water between the southern tip of South America at Cape Horn, Chile and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. It connects the southwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean (Scotia Sea) with the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and extends into the Southern Ocean. The passage receives its English language name from the 16th century English privateer Sir Francis Drake. Drake's only remaining ship, after having passed through the Strait of Magellan, was blown far South in September 1578. This incident implied an open connection between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The first recorded voyage through the passage was that of the Eendracht, captained by the Dutch navigator Willem Schouten in 1616, naming Cape Horn in the process.
The 800 km (500 mile) wide passage between Cape Horn and Livingston Island is the shortest crossing from Antarctica to the rest of the world's land. The boundary between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans is sometimes taken to be a line drawn from Cape Horn to Snow Island (130 kilometres (81 miles) north of mainland Antarctica). Alternatively the meridian that passes through Cape Horn may be taken as the boundary. Both boundaries lie entirely within the Drake Passage.
Open Water Swimming
- Drake Passage was passed through at the Antarctica Off The Beaten Track Expedition in November 2018.
- Nuala Moore swam one mile from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean through the Drake Passage two miles south of Chile's Cape Horn where the water temperature was 7°C amid 3 meter ocean swells.
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