Friday, July 1, 2011

The All-Important Winds and Currents

It has been written by numerous Land of Promise theorists that Nephi left us no clues about his sailing and destination. This is usually stated to allow these theorists to place their Land of Promise in obscure areas despite the fact that sailing vessels in 600 B.C. and, indeed, for two thousand years afterward, could not sail those sealanes.

It simply cannot be ignored that winds and ocean currents (which are driven by the winds) played an all-important role in the sailing of vessels until steam-driven ships plied the oceans—and even then, the ocean currents still played a huge role in destinations. No sea captain, navigator, pilot or sailor from the time that ships first appeared until steam provided more options, would ignore the winds and currents in planning a voyage. Even Columbus knew he could not sail against these winds and currents, but learned to drop down to the south to pick up the North Atlantic gyre that took him west across the Atlantic.

Irreantum—“many waters”

To think that the Lehi Colony in the ship Nephi built could have sailed against winds and currents is simply foolhardy and far from legitimate scholarship.

Now, did Nephi tell us where he sailed? Yes! He told us three times his ship was “driven forth before the winds.” Thus it can only be understood that Nephi sailed with the winds and currents, with the wind at his back, sailing forth across the oceans where the winds and currents took him. Thus, we can easily understand where Nephi traveled, and in so knowing, to understand where he landed since the winds and currents from the Arabian Peninsula into the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean actually would take a deep-water sailing ship, capable of crossing the ocean, in one direction.

Winds and Currents starting with Irreantum

Please note that the winds and currents overlaid on this world map shows exactly where they blew and moved in 600 B.C., in 1000 B.C., and in 1400 A.D. and today. There has never been a difference in these winds and currents because they are based upon the gravitational spin of the Earth, the draw of the Moon and Sun, the placement of the land, and the temperatures of the globe.

By explanation, the small solid yellow arrows move from the east to the west. This shows that these winds blow across the middle Pacific and through Indonesia, and into the Indian Ocean in a constant, direct manner—in the opposite direction so many theorists claim Lehi sailed!

The small, solid red arrows show the same movement, from east to west, in the opposite direction of the theorists’ suggested route.

The small, solid blue arrows show movement in the far north and in the far south moving from west to east—basically the only way to be “driven forth before the wind” across the Pacific from the west to the east.

The wider, fainter red and green arrows show ocean currents, which move south and then southeastward through the Indian Ocean to the southern latitudes where they bend and merge into the Southern Ocean (dark blue lines) and move across the Pacific Ocean toward South America, where the current and winds are turned upward, along the South American coast. If landfall is not made along the Chilean or Peruvian coast, the winds and currents would take a sailing ship “driven forth before the wind” back out into the Pacific and back across toward Indonesia and Australia.

This is not brain surgery, or rocket science. It is simply an understanding of oceanography and winds and a knowledge of where these winds and currents have moved throughout the history of the world.

(See the next post about where the winds and currents died down to effect a landing along the coast of the Western Hemisphere for a ship “driven forth before the wind”)

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