Originally Posted by ForeignStreet
Hopefully, I wasn't just missing something obvious.
This is from Wickipedia
This route ran from England down the east
, crossing at about the position of
. A good sailing time for the 3,275 miles (5,271 km) to this point would have been around 21 days; however, an unlucky ship could spend an additional three weeks crossing the
The route then ran south through the western South Atlantic, following the natural circulation of winds and currents, passing close to
, then curving south-east past
The route crossed the
, taking the clippers into the
after about 6,500 miles (10,500 km) sailed from
. A good time for this run would have been about 43 days.
Once into the forties, a ship was also inside the ice zone, the area of the Southern Ocean where there was a significant chance of encountering
. Safety would dictate keeping to the north edge of this zone, roughly along the parallel of
; however, the
route from the
to Australia, curving down to
, is 1,000 miles (1,600 km) shorter, and would also offer the strongest winds. Ship's masters would therefore go as far south as they dared, weighing the risk of ice against a fast passage.
The clipper ships bound for Australia and New Zealand would call at a variety of ports. A ship sailing from Plymouth to
, for example, would cover around 13,750 miles (22,130 km); a fast time for this passage would be around 100 days.
made the fastest passage on this route by a clipper, in 72 days. Thermopylae
made the slightly shorter passage from London to
, 13,150 miles (21,160 km), in just 61 days in 1868-69.