Beagle Channel

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(Redirected from Canal Beagle)
The Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan crossed by Ryan Stramrood (South Africa), Kieron Palframan (South Africa), Toks Viviers (South Africa), Andrew Chin (South Africa), Pedro Ordenes (Chile), Randy Perkins (USA), Rachel Golub (USA), Cristian Vergara (USA/Chile), Scott Lautman (USA), Mark Lautman (USA) [wetsuit], Rafal Ziobro (Poland), and Gustavo Oriozabala (Argentina)

The Beagle Channel (Spanish: Canal Beagle) is a strait separating islands of the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago, in extreme southern South America. The channel separates Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego from the islands Nueva, Picton, Navarino, Hoste, Londonderry, Stewart Islands and other smaller to the south. Its eastern portion is part of the border between Chile and Argentina, but the western part is completely within Chile.

The Beagle Channel, the Strait of Magellan to the north, and the open ocean Drake Passage to the south are the three navigable passages around South America between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. The Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan are both very narrow passages which severely limit the size and types of ships that can safely use them, hence, most commercial shipping is done through the Drake Passage.

The Beagle Channel is about 240 kilometers (140 nautical miles; 150 mi) long and is about 5 kilometers (4 nautical miles; 4 mi) wide at its narrowest point. It extends from Nueva Island in the east to Darwin Sound and Cook Bay in the west.


The Yaghan people settled the islands along the Murray Channel approximately 10,000 years before present. There are notable archaeological sites indicating such early Yaghan settlement at locations such as Bahia Wulaia on Isla Navarino, where the Bahia Wulaia Dome Middens are located.

Naming and Darwin visit

The channel was named after the ship HMS Beagle during its first hydrographic survey of the coasts of the southern part of South America which lasted from 1826 to 1840. During that expedition, under the overall command of the Australian Commander Phillip Parker King, the Beagle's captain Pringle Stokes committed suicide and was replaced by captain Robert FitzRoy. The ship continued the survey in the second voyage of the Beagle under the command of captain FitzRoy who took Charles Darwin along as a gentleman's companion, giving him opportunities as an amateur naturalist. Darwin had his first sight of glaciers when they reached the channel on 29 January 1844, and wrote in his field notebook "many glaciers beryl blue most beautiful contrasted with snow".



The 5-mile Lynne Cox route in the Beagle Channel is between Port Navarino and Port Ushuaia, first accomplished by Lynne Cox and currently organized by Cristian Vergara and Julieta Nuñez of PatagoniaSwim.

Open Water Swimming

Ice Sevens

American ice swimmer Jaimie Monahan completed the first documented Ice Sevens in history with the following Ice Miles:

1 in Europe on 2 April 2016 in Reykjavík, Iceland in 4.60°C water (4°C wind chill + 5.6°C air) in 45 minutes 0 seconds in the sea with 12 km/hr wind speed
2 in Asia (Ice Zero Mile) on 18 December 2016 in Tyumen, Russia in -0.04°C water (-41°C wind chill + air) in 40:20 in an ice pool cut into a frozen lake
4 in Africa on 14 February 2016 in Aguelmame Sidi Ali Lake, Morocco in 4.9°C water (-0.5°C wind chill + 4°C air) in 42:18 in a mountain lake with 14 km/hr wind speed
4 within Arctic Circle on 4 March 2016 in Mikkelvik Brygge, Karlsøy, Norway in 2.46°C water (-4.5°C air) in 42:09 in the sea with 4 km/hr wind speed
5 in North America on 9 March 2016 at M Street Beach, Boston, USA in 4.64°C water (6.1°C wind chill + 9°C air) in 26:16 in the sea with 20 km/hr wind speed
6 in Oceania on 15 May 2016 in Tasman Lake, Aoraki Mt. Cook, New Zealand in 2.46°C water (14°C air) in 26:44 in a glacier lake
6 in South America on 2 July 2016 in Ushuaia, Argentina in 4.66°C water (5.9°C air) in 29:05 in the Beagle Channel

External links