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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sarmiento Channel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sarmiento Channel is a principal Patagonia channel, which extends in a
north-south direction. It is the southward continuation of the Angostura
Guía and is located in Magallanes y Antártica Chilena Region. The kawésqar
people sailed its waters from around 6,000 years ago until end of 20th
century, as they inhabited its coasts.

The channel is named after Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, who was a Spanish
explorer who navigated the region's waterways between 1579 and 1580.

This elongated water passage begins immediately south Angostura Guía at
50°47′00″S 74°25′00″W and terminates at the southern tip of Victoria Pass at
52°02′50″S 73°46′00″W where it joins to Smyth Channel. During the first 65
nautical miles, it runs in a general south-southeasterly direction, and is
flanked by Chile mainland on the east and the islands Esperanza, Vancouver
and Piazzi on the west. Then it turns abruptly eastward for about 4 nmi,
where the channel's name changes to Farquhar Pass. It then resumes its
general SSE course, merging with Collingwood Strait for approximately 8 nmi
and finishing at Victoria Pass, a 5 nmi long channel that joints it with
Smyth Channel.

The islands that border the channel are mountainous with summits that reach
457 m. There is a chain of mountains in the middle of Esperanza Island with
elevations between 300 and 1,067 m. To the east of Collingwood Strait, rises
the Cordillera Sarmiento, which is a heavily ice and snow covered mountain
range with majestic glaciers descending to the sea. There are several bays
on its coast, which can be used for anchorage of large ships.

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