Strait of Juan de Fuca

From Openwaterpedia

The Strait of Juan de Fuca (also called Juan de Fuca Strait or Détroit de Juan de Fuca) is a large body of water about 95 miles (153 km) long that is the Salish Sea outlet to the Pacific Ocean. The international boundary between the United States and Canada runs down the center of the Strait.

It was named in 1787 by the maritime fur trader Charles William Barkley, captain of the Imperial Eagle, for Juan de Fuca, the Greek navigator who sailed in a Spanish expedition in 1592 to seek the fabled Strait of Anián. Barkley was the first non-indigenous person to find the strait, unless Juan de Fuca's dubious story was true. The strait was explored in detail between 1789 and 1791 by Manuel Quimper, José María Narváez, Juan Carrasco, Gonzalo López de Haro, and Francisco de Eliza.


The USGS defines the Strait of Juan de Fuca as a channel. It extends east from the Pacific Ocean between Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and the Olympic Peninsula, Washington, to Haro Strait, San Juan Channel, Rosario Strait, and Puget Sound. The Pacific Ocean boundary is formed by a line between Cape Flattery and Tatoosh Island, Washington, and Carmanah Point (Vancouver Island), British Columbia. Its northern boundary follows the shoreline of Vancouver Island from Carmanah Point to Gonzales Point, then follows a continuous line east to Seabird Point (Discovery Island), British Columbia, Cattle Point (San Juan Island), Washington, Iceberg Point (Lopez Island), Point Colville (Lopez Island), and then to Rosario Head (Fidalgo Island). The eastern boundary runs south from Rosario Head across Deception Pass to Whidbey Island, then along the western coast of Whidbey Island to Point Partridge, then across Admiralty Inlet to Point Wilson (Quimper Peninsula). The northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula forms the southern boundary of the strait. In the eastern entrance to the Strait, the Race Rocks Archipelago is located in the high current zone half way between Port Angeles, Washington State, and Victoria, BC.

Successful crossings

Sanctioned crossings by the Northwest Open Water Swimming Association of the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Vancouver Island, British Columbia (north) and Washington, USA (south) by NOWSA include:

1. Bert Thomas - 8 July 1955 (11 hours 22 minutes)
2. Cliff Lumsdon - 17 August 1956 (11 hours 35 minutes)
3. Amy Hiland - 18 August 1956 (10 hours 51 minutes)
4. Ben Laughren - 18 August 1956 (10 hours 17 minutes)
5. Marilyn Bell - 23 August 1956 (10 hours 38 minutes)
6. Vicki Keith - 10 August 1989 (14 hours butterfly)
7. Fin Donnelly - 17 August 1994 (10 hours 15 minutes) (not recognized by NOWSA)
8. Andrew Malinak - 6 September 2015 (6 hours 59 minutes)
9. Melissa Blaustein - 16 September 2017 (7 hours 41 minutes)

External links