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What makes Cape Horn so dangerous is the water depth. The average depths of the Drake Passage are 2500 to 4000 metres, until you get within 100 miles of the Cape. Then it comes up sharply to a shelf of less than 100 metres deep. Waves crossing the Southern Ocean have nothing to affect their path as they surge relentlessly around the earth until they squeeze around Tasmania, or squeeze through the Drake Passage. When the underwater mass of a wave hits this shelf near Cape Horn it causes the waves to steepen, and shorten the gaps between them. You can feel the change in wave action miles out from the shelf.

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Q: Why are the seas so rough near cape town?
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