Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Lord’s Route for the Jaredite Voyage – Part II

Continuing from the last post, we now have two routes to be considered for the Jaredites: 1) The route through Arabia to the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean beyond, mentioned briefly in the last post, and 2) Nibley’s 4,000-mile route east, which is found in four stages—from Mesopotamia northward through almost impassable mountains, across the utterly flat, sea-level Steppes eastward, up over the eastern nearly impassable mountains, across the Gobi desert, and down to the coast of China. 
    So let’s take a look at both routes. The first, would be taking the Jaredites from their Babylonian area homeland and head northward to the Valley of Nimrod. From there, they would travel southeast along the Mesopotamia Valley to the marshlands, an interconnected series of lakes, lagoons, ponds, rivers, swamps and marshes which Moroni called “many waters.” There they built their first barges to transport themselves, their animals and cargo across this large wetland area that, after the Flood, would have been even larger. Warned not to stop at the Sea in the Wilderness (Persian Sea or Gulf), and head down the coast to present day Qatar, then head south along the trade route to the great sea.
The Jaredite travels: 1) Leaving Babylon area; 2) Reaching the Valley of Nimrod (Depression or Valley of Tharthar); 3) Travel in wilderness to the delta area (many waters = Mesopotamia Marshes); 4) Do not stop by the Sea in the Wilderness (Persian Sea); 5) Travel the trade route down the Persian Gulf coast; 6) Turn south around Qatar; 7) Shisar (Urbar); 8) Khor Rori in Salalah
    We have already discussed the Baobab trees, where they were found, how they were utilized and turned into these second  barges and would have very sufficiently enabled the Jaredites to cross the Great Deep unmolested by sea creature, weather, waves, or currents, as well as enable them to be sent beneath the surface as well as float on top of it as the scriptural record proclaims.
    As has been pointed out in these posts over the years, the route from Khor Rori to the Southern Ocean is a rather simple one for a drift voyage, since it involves two, interconnected gyres, one of the sea of Arabia and the other of the Indian Ocean. This path was completely illustrated in the book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica, with the path to the Southern Ocean from the southern coast of Oman, being along the western side of the Arabian Sea, swinging along the current across the Indian Ocean and picking up the Southern Ocean west of Australia and New Zealand--a natural flow of passage for currents in these waters.
    This ocean then swings to the south of the Southern Pacific Ocean toward the Drake Passage, a narrow choke point where Antarctica rises up almost to meet the southern tip of South America. At this point, the northern edge of the Southern Ocean slams into the continental shelf and veers north, forming the Peruvian Current. The Polar Front, otherwise called the Antarctic Convergence, is the best natural definition of the northern extent of the Southern Ocean—a distinct region at the middle of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current that separates the very cold polar surface waters to the south from the warmer waters to the north, and is the northern edge that slams into the South American shelf and veers northward.
    Thus once leaving the southern coast of Oman, little steerage is necessary—the currents carry a vessel along toward this Southern Ocean, then across the Pacific to South America.
Once in the sea, the barges would have been caught up in the Trade Winds blowing the currents off the coast of India and Arabia into the Sea of Arabia and to the Indian Ocean Gyre, and finally into the West Wind Drift (current) and the Prevailaing Westerlies (wind) taking the barges eastward out and across the Pacific Ocean toward the Western Hemisphere
    This Southern Ocean is sandwiched in between the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica, and is a large circumpolar body of water totally encircling the continent of Antarctica, lying between about 40 degrees south latitude and the coast of Antarctica, and encompasses 360 degrees of longitude. It is the world's fourth-largest body of water, and the latest to be defined as an Ocean, having been accepted by a decision of the International Hydrographic Organization in 2000, the though the term has long been traditional among mariners. Prior to that, the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans were considered technically to extend to Antarctica.
    This Southern Ocean is deep, about 13,100 to 16,400 feet over most of its extent with only limited areas of shallow water. The shelf along Antarctica is generally narrow and unusually deep, its edge lying at depths of 1,300 to 2,600 feet (the global mean is 435 feet). The circumpolar current, about 13,000 miles in length, moves perpetually eastward and is the world's largest ocean current, transporting 426 million cubic feet of water per second—100 times the flow of all the world's rivers.
    The path of this ocean coincides with the maximum westerly winds, which perpetually blow at high velocity moving the water and causing continual tempestuous waves, often of great height. This wave system that is observed on the sea’s surface is in fact a combination of many wave trains traveling in the same direction and speed that are constant but slightly different from each other, each with its own height and period.
    These wave trains continually get into and out of step with each other, causing some of these trains to coincide from time to time to produce a series of waves higher than usual, to be followed by relatively quieter water. Every so often, however, a large number of these wave components fall into step with each other and an exceptionally large wave is often the result.
    This King Wave—the result of coinciding patterns of wave trains--can, without warning, suddenly rear up out of a normal sea and crash back down, driving the wave and surface water deep into the depths of the sea. On the other hand a wave meeting a current traveling at only one-quarter of its speed will be stopped completely, its energy then translated into height and an extraordinary wall of water suddenly appears. All of this action is described in the Ether account, having been completely understood by the Lord, leading him to tell the brother of Jared, “I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come” (Ether 2:25).
    In these southern latitude waters, occasionally high giant waves as tall as 120-feet have been observed, and others measured to 100-feet or more. But the seas are more normally 50-feet high and 2,000-feet long, rolling forward in endless procession with an occasional sea of abnormal size towering above the others, its approach visible from a considerable distance. As the Lord told the brother of Jared, “Ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth” (Ether 2:24).
As can be seen from this point of view looking down on the South Pole of Antarctrica. Note the Southern Ocean completely surrounds the Antarctica continent and how close New Zealand is to South America because of this global view rather than a flat map view making this distance around the globe far shorter than that at the equator
    The winds of tropical revolving storms that occur between 10º and 20º on either side of the equator, that reach 125-miles per hour or more, creating an extremely powerful force for destruction, do not reach these southern latitudes, although the Westerlies can engender very bad storms and raise exceptionally high and large seas. And "the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters" (Ether 6:8).

1 comment:

  1. How did they get the barge/baobab vessels to the ocean to launch them? They had to be extremely heavy. Also, why did the Jaredites go north when leaving mesopotamia prior to doubling back and going south, and why would didn't they just just walk around the "many waters" rather than build the 1st barges for crossing the marshes?