6. Specific characteristics of the western area of the Strait of Magellan (from Cabo Pilar to Cabo Froward)
The bad weather conditions prevailing in the South Pacific have made it a common practice for almost all ships to navigate the western channels of Patagonia, which are conveniently marked with lighthouses, beacons and luminous buoys to allow night-time navigation with the required safety (see C.- "NAVIGATION ROUTES IN CHILEAN CHANNELS, STRAITS AND FJORDS (Chacao Channel to Cape Horn)".
a) Winds : The general regime in this area is of an overcast sky, both at night and during the day. The storms of the Southeast Pacific are also felt inside the Strait, although with less intensity than in the open sea, with gusty wind and without significant waves. The wind, whether its main direction is NW or SW, will be received by the navigator in all directions within the 3rd and 4th quadrant, depending on the orientation of the creeks that will be faced.
b) Tides and currents : The tidal range in the western region of the Strait of Magellan rarely exceeds 2 m and the intensity of the currents is generally negligible, at least for ships of medium engine power. The only place to watch out for is Paso Tortuoso near Cabo Crosstide.The current near Cabo Pilar takes the direction of the Strait of Magellan at its estuary, meaning, a general SE direction, which makes a ship drift on the S coast of this strait. This current in calm and smooth sea conditions has an intensity between 0.5 and 1 knot. The ocean current increases when it meets the flow current. Both currents shall be considered by the navigator who, for a safer track, must calculate the tide in order to know its influence on the advance and/or leeway of the vessel.
c) Anchorages:The extent of anchorages in the western region of the Strait of Magellan is generally very limited. It should be noted that the anchorages indicated on nautical charts with the relevant symbol are a recommendation based on experience. The navigator will select the appropriate anchorage taking into consideration the size and draught of the vessel, the existing depths and the available swinging space (see B.- NAVIGATION IN THE STRAIT OF MAGELLAN, 2.- GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE STRAIT OF MAGELLAN; l) Anchorages in the Strait of Magellan).
d) Prevention During night-time navigation through the Strait of Magellan, caution should be taken with water or snow showers that produce closures that prevent the lighthouses and the coast from being seen. Particularly in this regard are Paso Largo, Paso Tortuoso and Paso Inglés where extreme precautions must be taken to prevent the vessel to go off course leading to risky situations.