Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Amazing Humboldt Current Course

It is interesting that after so much modern information becoming available over these “last days,” where the Lord is continually revealing new and more accurate information than what we have so-far developed, that so many people, especially those pursuing the historical viewpoints such as archaeology, anthropology, geology, etc., seem to either miss or conscientiously ignore.
The earth’s oceans are part of the Earth’s system of rotating ocean currents, winds and other unchanging factors, such as gravitation, the Coriolis Effect, land formation, etc., that all interact to provide a constant, unchanging earth along with its terrain, climate and weather

There are certain facts involved in scientific disciplines, such as oceanography, anemology, montology, geography, and geology, that cannot be ignored, nor changed to make them fit a pre-determined opinion. As an example, Nephi’s ship could only sail where the winds and currents took it; Mountains, once lifted up, do not significantly change or disappear; or ocean currents, which are based on gravity, terrain, Coriolis effect, etc., do not change over time.
    Yet despite this and numerous other measurements that remain constant, theorists continue to ignore knowledge that is inconsistent with their opinions and beliefs.
    As an example, Samuel the Lamanite tells us there were mountains in the Land of Promise, but there are none in the Heartland or Great Lakes theories areas—though both are still heralded by those who promote them; there are no ocean currents or winds that blow from the South Arabian Peninsula directly to the lands of Mesoamerica, though Nephi tells us he was “driven forth  before the wind” to the land of promise, yet Mesoamerican theorists continue to claim Lehi made the voyage; Mormon tells us the Nephites had plants that cured people of deadly fevers, yet there is only one place on the planet that had such plants available in 600 BC-421 AD, and that was Peru in South America with the Cinchona tree that produced quinine, the only treatment for malaria until synthetics were invented, yet, theories abound whose locations do not have such plants; Nephi tells us that when arriving in the Land of Promise, they planted seeds brought from Jerusalem which grew exceedingly and provided an abundant crop, yet Jerusalem seeds in 600 BC would only have grown in a like climate, that is, a Mediterranean Climate, which does not exist in Mesoamerica or the Heartland or Great Lakes, yet all three theorists continue to promote their models and locations.
Island-Hopping across the Pacific would have presented all sorts of problems for the inexperienced crew of Nephi’s ship with hidden shoals, barely submerged rock formations and other unseen hazards

Another odd claim is the one by John L. Sorenson, and other theorists, that Lehi had to island-hop across the ocean to the Land of Promise to refresh water, food, and other supplies—yet Columbus sailed across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa to the Bahamas in the Caribbean without stopping anywhere; Thor Heyerdahl completed a 101-day non-stop drift voyage of 4,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean from Peru to Polynesia, and arrived with excess drink and food aboard the Kon-Tiki.
    When taken as a whole, it is hard to understand why none of these theorists have considered South America where all these scriptural points existed at the time.
    It is also of interest to note the environment of Lehi’s landing. Nephi lists four things that existed where they landed and first settled:
1. Location where they could immediately settle and put up their tents;
2. Ground with nearby water where they could till and plant their seeds;
3. A nearby forest large enough where both wild beasts and feral animals could both exist;
4. Abundant gold, silver and copper ore, presumably on the ground in plain sight.
    Such an environment does not exist in either Meosamerica, the Heartland, or Great Lakes models.
    Another point of interest is that being “driven forth before the wind” along a current and with a wind, they were able to disengage the fast moving currents and find a landing site that would enable them to find safe harborage and a safe way to land the people and their possessions.
    For this reason, we have written before about the surprising current off the western coast of South America, a truly rare sea that provides several necessary things for a coastal settlement as Nephi describes. One of those important points is this current off the coast is one of the best fishing areas in the entire world. This current has its beginning from a welling up in the Antarctic area and moving northward along the coast in a north-moving extension of the West Wind Drift—another unusual current that is blown clockwise around the globe by the Prevailing Westerlies, sometimes referred to as the Roaring Forties. It is 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 southern Chile and Tierra del Fuego, where part of the water passes south of the Americas through the Drake Passage and into the extreme South Atlantic Ocean while the other part, blocked by the projecting shelf of the South American mainland, is forced in a big circular movement up along the Chilean coast and becomes the Peruvian or Humboldt Current.
    Any wind driven vessel running along the northern half of this West Wind Drift and Prevailing Westerlies current would automatically be turned north into the Humboldt Current and sail upward or northward, along the west coast of Chile until it reaches about the 30º south latitude, where the current and winds drop to a bare minimum, inviting withdrawal from the current and steering the vessel into the upwelling flow toward shore at an area today called Coquimbo Bay in Chile. Coquimbo means “peaceful” and is both a safe harbor and protected from ocean currents, and shallows along a beach where easy access to and from the ship would have been likely.
As the surface water moves offshore, upwelling of nutrient-rich water surfaces in a never-ending cycle of displacement due to the Earth’s rotation

This Peruvian or Humboldt Current, which once past 30º latitude, picks up momentum and sweeps along at a considerable speed, continues up the shoreline of Peru then is shoved outward by the extension of land in a great sweep due west and into the South Equatorial Current. Weather-driven craft that are “driven forth before the wind,” not landing along the coast of Chile or Peru, would become trapped in this current and on the ocean side automatically conveyed from South America westward to Polynesia, or on its inland side, into the South Equatorial Current and driven swiftly back across the Pacific toward Indonesia.
    This Humboldt Current slows along its ocean-side as it moves up the coast because of an increasing set towards the west of an upwelling off both Chile and Peru. If a weather-driven boat does not set to shore along this point, where the winds and currents die down to allow inland movement, it will be swept further westward along the current as it moves northward and finally, trapped by the current's westerly march into the Pacific.
Winds and currents of the Humboldt Current (Peruvian Current), slow dramatically as they reach the Tropic of Capricorn at 30º South Latitude, then pick up again beyond and flow into the South Equatorial Current of the South Pacific Gyre. (Red Arrow) Lehi’s course up the South American coast to the 30º South Latitude and the Bay of Coquimbo where he landed

It is possible to reach the Ecuadorean coast along this current between May and November when it forces its way far up the coast before it is driven west by the Niño Current. However, from December to April, the warm rain-accompanied Niño dominates the entire coast of Ecuador and inhibits northward travel by sea from Chile-Peru. Thus, a trip that typically takes six days by sail with the wind and currents could, if going against these currents, take as much as 15 to 20 days, and sometimes as much as 70 to 80 days to fight its way into Ecuadorian waters. Under normal conditions, it would not be possible to sail this current north to Mesoamerica. Only a narrow-draft coastal vessel hugging the shore could make such a voyage.
    The unique upwelling of this amazing current brings marine life to the western shores of South America, providing some of the most bountiful fishing anywhere in the world. It also provides a reduction in speed of transport from 25 miles an hour down to less than five miles per hour as it crosses the area of the 30º south latitude, before increasing its speed back up to join the South Equatorial Current of the South Pacific Gyre. This latitude of coastal South America is known as the Coquimbo region and lies at 30º0’S 71º24’ W. in the area of the Horse Latitudes—a region known for calm winds and little precipitation. It is common in this region of the subtropics for winds to diverge and either flow toward the poles (known as the prevailing westerlies) or toward the equator (known as the trade winds). These diverging winds are the result of an area of high pressure, which is characterized by calm winds, sunny skies, and little or no precipitation.
    This region of light and calm winds lying in the belt of high pressure near the Tropic of Capricorn in Southern Hemisphere is known as Calms of Capricorn. This calm area is dominated by the subtropical high an area of high pressure which suppresses precipitation and cloud formation, and has variable winds mixed with calm winds. At this point the speed of the South Pacific Gyre slows considerably, providing an easy course into land for a sailing ship dependent upon wind directions, which at this point is the semi-arid Coquimbo Bay. This bay is quite calm, with limited current movement, providing excellent anchorage and easy loading and offloading of anchored ships.
    This makes Coquimbo Bay one of the best anchorages along the entire West Coast of South America. A perfect place for Lehi to disengage from the strong currents that drove his ship and move toward land and into a safe anchorage. Interesting of all places on the globe, and of South America, Frederick G. Williams in the 1830s in western New York along the American frontier named this location as to where Lehi landed.

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