Originally Posted by PCP
Just to see if NCC320 is right with this possibility: Has anybody any means to determine the overground speed the Bounty was making SE immediately before turning to SW?
Perhaps even more revealing would be a time plot of track with positions of the hurricane and the Bounty, with windspeed and direction at each ship position. Traditionally, these storms most often come ashore on the southeast coast of US (Florida, Georgia, S. Carolina, N. Carolina) and lose much of their force in doing so before continuing north, either on-shore, or off -shore. But this storm was different, both in track and size. Bounty may have not yet reached the point to where it could no longer maintain a SE course before changing to SW...it could have been that the captain realized with additional weather reports that the storm was bigger than anticipated and that the track was holding more northerly at that point before turning west to go ashore. If so, then he may have realized what was going to happen regarding wind direction...i.e. on east side of track the winds would start shifting more to SE, S, and against direction of travel. Also, if ship could not gain sufficient eastward position, then the ship was going to be in the NE quadrant close to the eye, where winds are usually the highest...the most dangerous semicircle and dangerous quadrant. So perhaps better to change early and go for the SW before the situation got increasing worse, and making adjusting sails even more dangerous. Hurricanes are consistent in wind rotation (except for localized tornado action within the storm), and if ship got on the east side of the eye, then they would be increasingly against head winds on southerly course.