The storms of Drake Passage

It’s known as the roughest patch of ocean in the world ever since English privateer and
explorer Sir Francis Drake gave it his name in 1578. Drake Passage is a stretch of water 800 kilometres (500 miles) wide from the southern tip of South America to the frosty islands that surround Antarctica.

These seas are rarely anything less than choppy and are frequently challenging even the most seasoned navigators and sailors. The wind in alternate passages from the southern Atlantic into the Southern or Pacific Oceans is
often too strong to make any headway against, so Drake Passage is usually chosen as the lesser of two evils despite its treacherous waters.

The Antarctic Circumpolar Current that travels swiftly through Drake Passage is made rough by the high winds that move from west to east at this latitude, creating waves that are frequently ten metres (32 feet) or higher