Originally Posted by ForeignStreet
Hopefully, I wasn't just missing something obvious.
This is from Wickipedia
This route ran from England down the east [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Ocean"]Atlantic Ocean[/ame] to the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equator"]Equator[/ame], crossing at about the position of [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Peter_and_Paul_Rocks"]Saint Peter and Paul Rocks[/ame], around [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20th_meridian_west"]20 degrees west[/ame]. 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 [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intertropical_Convergence_Zone"]doldrums[/ame].
The route then ran south through the western South Atlantic, following the natural circulation of winds and currents, passing close to [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trindade_and_Martim_Vaz"]Trindade[/ame], then curving south-east past [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tristan_da_Cunha"]Tristan da Cunha[/ame].
The route crossed the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Meridian"]Greenwich meridian[/ame] at about [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/40th_parallel_south"]40 degrees south[/ame], taking the clippers into the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roaring_Forties"]Roaring Forties[/ame] after about 6,500 miles (10,500 km) sailed from [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth"]Plymouth[/ame]. 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 [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceberg"]icebergs[/ame]. Safety would dictate keeping to the north edge of this zone, roughly along the parallel of [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/40th_parallel_south"]40 degrees south[/ame]; however, the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_circle"]great circle[/ame] route from the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_of_Good_Hope"]Cape of Good Hope[/ame] to Australia, curving down to [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/60th_parallel_south"]60 degrees south[/ame], 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 [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney"]Sydney[/ame], for example, would cover around 13,750 miles (22,130 km); a fast time for this passage would be around 100 days. [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutty_Sark"]Cutty Sark[/ame]
made the fastest passage on this route by a clipper, in 72 days. Thermopylae
made the slightly shorter passage from London to [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne"]Melbourne[/ame], 13,150 miles (21,160 km), in just 61 days in 1868-69.