Heading south along the Antarctica Peninsula, our ship passed through the Lemaire Channel. The Lemaire Channel extends between Booth Island and the Peninsula. It measures less than 7 miles long, is nearly 500 feet deep, and at its narrowest point is barely 2000 feet wide. You can hear clearly as the many small icebergs and berglets crash and bang into the port and starboard sides of our ship’s hull. An ominous sound to those choosing to sleep in a little.
Turn up the volume to get the true experience
Throughout this narrow stretch of Antarctic wilderness, we witnessed rugged snow- and ice-covered peaks rising to 3,280 feet. Calving glaciers can send their icebergs into the channel, and can possibly block it completely, we were fortunate. A calving glacier would've assuredly caused huge waves within the channel, possibly damaging the rudders or propellers.
In 1898, Adrien de Gerlache, a 19th century Belgian explorer first navigated this treacherous channel. He named it in honor of Charles Lemaire, who never actually explored Antarctica at all. Lemaire’s late 1800’s explorations were mostly the tropical forests of the Congo.