Gerlache Strait Antarctica. Between the Palmer Archipelago and the Danco Coast—on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula—runs the sprawling waterway of Gerlache Strait. The channel is almost 200 km long (124 miles). On the northern end, it gets as wide as 50 km (31 miles) and at the southern end as narrow as 10 km (6.2 miles). De Gerlache originally named it “Belgica Strait” after the ship he used in his expedition, though later the strait was renamed in honor of de Gerlache himself. Sailing the ice-jeweled channel south, the strait slowly narrows. Far-off mountains grow on the horizon, showing off their jagged peaks, glacial spouts, glassy ice walls. Bergs are as numerous here as the whales, feeding on swarms of krill that swim the channel. Within moments it’s easy to see why many call Gerlache the most beautiful area in the Antarctic.