Sunday, November 20, 2011

Same Course for Jaradites, Nephites and Mulekites

The Infamous Southern Ocean. As has been stated in many earlier posts, when leaving the southern Arabian Peninsula, and sailing into the ocean Lehi named Irreantum (the Arabian Sea), the currents and winds move southward into the Indian Ocean, not eastward toward India and Indonesia. Once past the storm center of the trade winds that move in a narrow gyre between Australia and Madagascar, the currents and winds bend eastward, moving a sailing ship “driven forth before the winds,” toward and into the Southern Ocean.

In this ocean, the West Wind Drift currents (the Roaring Forties, Furious Fifties and Screaming Sixties) are pushed along at unprecedented high speeds by the winds of the Prevailing Westerlies, a wind and current circulation that moves swiftly and completely around the globe from the west toward the east.

Now when this wind and the currents approach the continental shelf of South America, the northern edges are pushed northward by two thing: 1) the continental shelf itself, and 2) by the north-moving underwater currents that become the Holbolt or Peruvian Current as they continue along the west coast of South America.

The Important Humboldt Current. As the ice cold waters of the Antarctic rise toward the surface, they are pushed northward by the warmer waters of the Southern Ocean. As they move along the coast, the warmer waters push them downward and inward toward the coast. This process, known as Ekman transport, causes a constant flow toward the coast all along Chile and Peru to the upwelling and outflow of the current and along the Peruvian bulge that eventually drives the Humboldt Current either into the coast or pushes it out into the northern branch of the South Equatorial Current as it heads westward back across the Pacific in the southern counter-clockwise gyre.

This Humboldt or Peru Current has its beginning from a welling up in the Antarctic area and moving northward along the west coast of South America. Also called the Peruvian Current, it is the north-moving extension of the West Wind Drift, which is blown clockwise around the globe and was occasionally suggested by anthropologists as being an inviting highway for eastbound migrations across the Pacific. This circumnavigational current is part of the well-known gigantic circulation of surface water in the Southeast Pacific and is a cold ocean current drifting east towards Tierra del Fuego and southern Chile, where part of the water passes south of the Americas and into the extreme South Atlantic Ocean while the other part, blocked by the projecting tip of the South American mainland, is forced in a big circular movement up along the Chilean coast, and brings an extravaganza of fish from the south northward and to the surface, making these waters some of the finest commercial fishing on the planet.

Because of the continual turnover of cold water warming and warm water driving the cold downward and then back up, the flux of movement toward the coast is continually circling, constantly bringing fish up to the surface as it slows along its ocean-side and moves up the coast because of an increasing set towards the west of an upwelling off both Chile and Peru

Thus, there are two points a surface sailing ship would normally be driven to shore along this coast. The first, is along the 30ยบ south latitude, the Tropic of Cancer, where present day Coquimbo provides a protected bay and harbor for a sailing ship, and where winds and currents die down to calm water, and landfall would be a natural inward (toward land) movement. The other is where the Peruvian bulge begins to affect the northward flow and drive it outward. At this point, around present day Lima, Peru, the Humboldt is driven inland in its last circular movement before being dragged outward and into the outflow of the Equatorial Current. A sailing ship at this point, “driven forth before the wind,” could easily make landfall along the inviting beaches.

These are the two landing sites of the Book of Mormon peoples known as the Nephites (Bay of Coquimbo) and the Mulekites (along the coast just south of Lima, Peru).

There is another landing site to consider, since it is possible to reach the northern Ecuadorian coast along this current between May and November when it forces its way far up the coast before it is driven west by the Nino Current. However, most of the currents strike the finger of land just beyond the Bay of Guayaquil, in what today is Santa Elena Point in Ecuador, which juts out into the Pacific, the furthest western point of South America, and where the underwater currents caused by the coastal waters is completely blocked toward shore.

Barges that moved on the surface with currents driven by the winds, and that were so constructed they were at times submersible, moving with underwater currents, would have ended up here—like flotsam moving along the surface and beneath with the coastal currents that eventually brings it upon the shore.

Any weather-driven sailing craft, “driven forth before the wind,” not effecting a landing along the coast from Coquimbo to Lima, would be trapped and pulled back out to sea by the extension of land in a great sweep due west and into the South Equatorial Current and end up in Indonesia, sailing westward into the islands or south toward Australia.

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