Bellot Strait

Bellot Strait

Bellot Strait is a passage of water in Nunavut separating Somerset Island from Murchison Promontory on the Boothia Peninsula, the northernmost part of mainland North America. The 2 km (1.2 mi) strait connects the Gulf of Boothia and Prince Regent Inlet with Peel Sound and Franklin Strait in northern Canada's Arctic.

The north side of the strait rises steeply to approximately 450 m (1,500 ft), and the south shore to approximately 750 m (2,500 ft). The current in the strait can run at up to 8 knots and often changes its direction. It is also often filled with small icebergs which pose a danger to ships in the strait.

In 1852, Captain William Kennedy became the first European to sight the Bellot Strait while searching for John Franklin's lost Arctic expedition. It was named after Joseph René Bellot, who accompanied Kennedy. The strait was first crossed by the Hudson's Bay Company ship Aklavik in 1937, piloted by Scotty Gall, who travelled from the western shore to the eastern.

The Fort Ross trading post, on the northern shore, was established in 1937.


Web sources

Book sources

  • Chambers World Gazetteer: An A-Z of Geographical Information (published August 1988)''

Further reading

  • Finley, K. J., and W. G. Johnston. An Investigation of the Distribution of Marine Mammals in the Vicinity of Somerset Island with Emphasis on Bellot Strait, August - September 1976. Toronto: LGL Environmental Research Associates, 1977.

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