Jeremy Lindquist you have it exactly right. The Nephites would have left in the fall of the year (think November) when the monsoon winds blow south west along the east coast of Africa. The Indian Ocean currents move counter clock wise all year long, so the Nephites would have had both the winds and the ocean currents in their favor. Philip Beale in his 600 BC replica Phoenician ship found that both the Atlantic ocean currents and the winds would take him to the Americas. The Nephites would have landed in the Gulf of Mexico. It is time that scholars took a more careful look at the winds and ocean currents. Thank you Jeremy Lindquist for your insightful comments!
I appreciate Jeremy's comments about ancient voyaging. To answer his comment about the Phoenicia expedition, this article was intended merely as a comment on the possibility of a new timber source (the coconut) being available to Nephi, nothing ele. I have dealt with aspects of the Phoenicia sailing in other pieces, notably in the Meridian article titled Sailing with Nephi.
I really like Warren's research on the Old World evidences for Lehi's trail and his findings around Nahum (Nahom) Temple site, etc. and I look forward to more of his breakthrough research. Thank you Warren. Great work!If I may express a slight degree of puzzlement however, I am curious to know how it is that in writing this article on Nephitish Bountiful-based ship buildings and embarkations you could fail to mention what might be considered the most obvious modern example of sea-faring in Nephi's day: That is the Voyage of the Phonecia? (www.phoenicia.org.uk) How is possible to put forward an article dealing with the topic of 600BC sailing without producing what some consider the most powerful exhibit ever put forward in support of Nephi's journey to date?For those who are not aware, former Royal Navy Captain Philip Beale, reconstructed a 600BC Phoenician (Israelite) ship (based upon a design retrieved form the bottom of the Mediterranean sea) and attempted to prove that such a vessel could circumnavigate the African continent and find its way back to the Sidon and Tyre in the Mediterranean. What he learned in the process, however, was that it was actually much easier and more likely to end up in the Gulf of Mexico than in the straights of Gibraltar.Remarkably, Mr Beale sailed his ship down the Red Sea and then into the exact same Omani waters that Nephi would have set sail into at the same season of year. I.e. the fall season of the year - after the harvest and after gathering "much fruits and meat from the wilderness, and honey in abundance (and seeds). 1 Ne 18. They set sail and were "driven before the wind" or in other words the same direction that the wind blew. The way the wind blows in the fall of the year in that area is always the same: Southwest. That means any ship that sets forth in or around the harvest time (which for Nephi was also determined by the Law of Moses) will always travel in the same direction (which is around the Cape of Good Hope and into the Atlantic Ocean.) All of this is written about in detail in Mr Beale's book "Sailing Close to the Wind." Gulf of Mexico)But of all the points that could be omitted by Warren regarding possible evidence for Nephitish Sea Travel in 600BC, this omission is beyond startling, because according to Phoenicia's own log book, Warren was a one-time member of the ship's crew! (www.phoenicia.org.uk/educating-photo-gallery_Warren%20Aston.htm) What possible reason could there be to forget to mention this "elephant" in the living room? Could the reason for the omission be because the Phoenicia did in fact, circumnavigate the cape and from there head straight for the Gulf of Mexico?But even so, why would that be a problem? Hopefully, Warren will answer this mystery in a future article. Until then we will wait with bated breath.
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