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‘The Impossible Row’ across Drake passage

Date: 30 December 2019 Tags: Geography & Environment

Issue

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.

 

Background

The six men rowed for 12 days, 1 hour and 45 minutes, making it the first completely human-powered crossing of the passage.

 

Details

  • The project was dubbed “The Impossible Row”, for which the team departed from Cape Horn in Chile on December 13 and arrived at Primavera Base on San Martin Land on the Antarctic Peninsula on December 25.

  • 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. The team also included the youngest and the oldest person to row on the Southern Ocean.

Drake Passage

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

  • The passage is named after Sir Francis Drake, who was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe.

  • 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.