Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff

ON STRAITS AND NARROWS PART 2

YESTERDAY, WE were visiting the troubled Hormuz Strait in the Middle East. Today, we explore two other straits, Gibraltar and Bering, and find that the only hassles in these two concern airliner landings and what day it is.

The Strait of Gibraltar is the Mediterranean’s gateway to the Atlantic Ocean. According to Wikipedia, its 7.7-mile naval choke point handles “half of the world’s seaborne trade.”

Gibraltar. Image by Rob984—Europe.EU.

Gib is a British Overseas Territory, like Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands, to name two others. More than once, inhabitants of this 2.6-sq.-mile enclave have voted whether to remain or join the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. In sort of a Counter-Brexit, they opt to remain.

“Gibraltar News” here at SimanaitisSays offered tidbits of its airborne complication, though nothing as drastic as the seaborne Hormuz matter: Occasionally, Spanish authorities require Gib air traffic to keep out of Spanish air space. And, once through this rigamarole, pilots and Gib street-goers contend with an airport runway bisecting Winston Churchill Avenue. Planes get priority over cars.

The Bering Strait was important in North American immigration, especially when considered in the long term. Once thought to be a land bridge between Asia and the Americas, the Bering Strait separates Russia and Alaska at a point slightly south of the Arctic Circle.

Above, a satellite view of the Bering Strait. Below a map noted to be “a pretty picture; it is not for navigation.” Sources: NASA/GSFC/JPL/MISR and U.S. NOAA Office of Coast Survey, respectively.


The 58.5-mile strait separates Cape Dezhnev, Chunga Peninsula, Russia, from Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska. The latter, according to Wikipedia, is the westernmost point of the North American continent.

There’s an Aleutian Island farther west, making it the westernmost point of the U.S., albeit not of the continent per se.

By the way, Alaska has the easternmost point of the U.S. as well: Another of its Aleutians crosses the 180-Degree Meridian into the Eastern Hemisphere.

Vitus Jonassen Bering, 1681–1741, Danish cartographer and explorer in Russian service.

Unlike the meridian, the International Date Line jags around a bit. Despite the fact that residents on respective sides of the Bering Strait are a day apart (the Russians are already tomorrow), these sparse populations get along pretty well.

Which is more than can be said for those Hormuz folks, even though they’re on the same day. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2019

One comment on “ON STRAITS AND NARROWS PART 2

  1. Gordon Craig
    July 28, 2019

    About 30 odd years ago in my on again, off again analog audio/video editor career I edited helicopter footage for a client of the “Fair Dinkum Isle”. This was a spit of an island in the Bering Sea that would appear/disappear just outside State of Alaska territorial waters, Alaska said it was not an island and a major oil company disputed that claim, of course. I was asked to prepare an edited tour of the “Fair Dinkum” both covered and uncovered by high and low tides as documented by the Helicopter (Hired by the. oil company, of course). The tape was allowed as a visual aid before the 9th Circuit Court of the Supreme Court. The tape, although not allowed as evidence, caused a humorous stir, because even when “uncovered” it barely rose from the Waters washing to and fro.

    I bet “Fair Dinkum” is pretty much exposed year round these days:). bw, gordon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: