Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Winds and Currents: Where Would They Take Nephi’s Ship?

When Nephi telles us his ship was "driven forth before the wind to the promised land," perhaps it is important for us to understand his meaning. That is, the winds and currents that drove his ship. In the last post, the following two point were shown as a guide to knowing where Nephi’s ship landed:

3. Studying the winds and sea currents from the south Arabian coast and where they would take a weather driven (sailing) ship in 600 B.C.

4. Following these currents and winds to their idle point where a ship, “driven forth before the wind” would be able to disengage from the currents and winds and effect a landing.

The failure of most scholars and theorists in trying to determine a location and a map of the Land of Promise is that they fail to take into consideration the natural winds and currents that propelled ships in 600 B.C., and in fact, all the way up to the time of Columbus and afterward.

Those winds and currents are clearly shown in any Marine Atlas or diagrams of the Seas. This is not open to interpretation since winds and currents are constant and always have been because they are driven by natural forces that have not changed, such as gravitational pull of Moon and Sun, winds blowing across the oceans, and the various effects, such as the Coriolis Effect, caused by the Earth’s rotation and its effect on the seas.

In the following map of these currents, notice how the currents move from the Arabian coast. Also note how they move from east to wet through Indonesia and across the Indian Ocean toward Arabia (the course that all scholars claim Nephi’s ship sailed—into those winds and currents—which was an impossible task in 600 B.C. and for 2,000 years afterward. Any weather-driven ship with sails in 600 B.C., would have been moved along the currents shown in this diagram and is clearly spelled out by Nephi when he said they “were driven forth before the wind to the promised land” (1 Nephi 18:8, 9, 22-23).

Note the ocean current and wind tracks moving south from the coast of Arabia across the Arabian Sea and into the Indian Ocean where they turn eastward and move south of Australia and New Zealand, across the Pacific Ocean (in what is actually called the Southern Ocean), and turn upward along the west coast of South America, then turn outward, back into the Pacific about the area of Ecuador into the southern gyre of the Pacific Ocean. This is the only course a ship, “driven forth before the wind” could have taken—even today all drift voyages from that area follow this course.

Also note, that the winds and currents across the Pacific, move in a direction from east to west, against any course scholars and theorists like to use for the Nephi ship to sail across the Pacific to Mesoamerica.

The following map is one supposedly showing the courses taken by the Lehi Colony, the English Gentiles and the Spanish Gentiles to the Western Hemisphere. All three courses shown in black are against winds and currents (the white course shows where the winds and currents actually move and where these three groups would have had to sail in weather-driven (sailing) ships of their era. Of course, the Columbus and later Spanish and English voyages are well documented as having to travel south from England, Spain and Portugal to the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa before they could turn west and pick up the winds and currents blowing across the Atlantic (white line). In fact, their return voyage had to pretty much follow the black line (to the north on the map) for the English Gentiles to return to Europe.

Simply put, one cannot just draw a line across a map and say this is where any group went. The above map shows three such lines (in black and labeled), all completely wrong, and would not have taken any sailing ship in the direction shown along that route. Maps must follow passable terrain on the ground, and flowing currents and winds on the seas for any era prior to about the later 19th-century.

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