With Thanksgiving just around the corner, our thoughts turn to the pilgrims and their voyage across the ocean. What could have made the trip easier?
The voyage of the Mayflower took place in 1620, lasting 66 days. Two people perished during that journey. Could the ship have traveled faster?
The answer is yes. Had ocean currents been discovered before 1620, it could have shortened the trip. However, it wasn’t until many years later that an American navel officer and oceanographer discovered the ocean currents.
Matthew Maury (1806 – 1873) began his career as a naval officer in 1825. But in 1839 an accident rendered him partially disabled. Three years later, he became the superintendent of the US Naval Observatory and of the US Depot of Charts and Instruments in Washington.
Maury, a devout Christian, pondered why some ships came into port quicker than others when these ships left the same destination and traveled under the same weather conditions Having read Psalms 8 ‘ ... whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas...’, Maury knew if God said it, it must be true. So he set out to find the pathways in the oceans. Between studying old ship’s logs and setting adrift weighted bottles, he soon discovered these paths of the sea, just like the bible said. He also wrote the first textbook on modern oceanography, The Physical Geography of the Sea and Its Meteorology.
If the captain of the Mayflower had had a copy of that book, he would have known to avoid the North Atlantic Drift. A current that flows eastward (the Mayflower was traveling westward). Had the captain done so, he might have been able to shorten the pilgrim’s travels by a week or two.
“It is often claimed that the Bible is not a scientific textbook. Yet the Bible’s accuracy when touching on scientific subjects has led many great scientists, including Matthew Maury, to some outstanding scientific discoveries.” (AIG, Creation Magazine, 1989)
May you all have a delightful Thanksgiving!
Many blessings upon you and your family,