Drake Passage, also called the Drake Strait, is a stretch of ocean between the southern tip of South America, beyond Tierra del Fuego, and the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. It is 640 km (400 miles) wide and about 800 km (500 miles) long. It is through the Drake Passage that ships travel when they round the notorious Cape Horn. It is a stormy region with the prevailing winds and currents both travelling from west to east. This makes the eastwards passage of sailing ships through the Drake Passage difficult. It was named after the English seaman Sir Francis Drake, who discovered it during his circumnavigation of the globe in 1578.
When you cross the Antarctic Convergence, you arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area you may meet Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black-browed Albatrosses, Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson's Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, you may glimpse the first icebergs.
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