Transit the English Narrows

On the long Messier Channel between the huge Wellington island and the Chilean mainland, the English Narrows is a natural, eight-mile obstacle consisting of a scattering of islands constricting the passage to a width of as little as 200 yards. It presents no hazard to a skilled navigator under most conditions, but at spring tides the current runs as much as six knots, and wind conditions may also make navigation risky. The narrows transit is a good time to be on deck, to keep an eye out for birds such as diving petrels or steamer ducks, and possibly the small, rare dolphins that are sometimes seen in remote areas like this.