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William Falconer's Dictionary of the MarineReference Works
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WATER-LOGGED to WAY of a ship



Reigning WIND



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For air that is cool and dense, will force the warm and rarified air in a continual stream upwards, where it must spread itself to preserve the equilibriurn: so that the upper course or current of the air shall be contrary to the under current; for the upper air must move from those parts where the greatest heat is; and so, by a kind of circulation, the N. E. trade-wind below will be attended with a S.W. above; and a S. E. below with a N. W. above: And this is confirmed by the experience of seamen, who, as soon as they get out of the trade-winds, generally find a wind blowing from the opposite quarter.

5th. In the Atlantic ocean, near the coasts of Africa, at about 100 leagues from shore between the latitude of 28 and 10 north, seamen constantly meet with a fresh gale of wind blowing from the N. E.

6th. Those bound to the Caribbee islands, across the Atlantic ocean, find, as they approach the American side, that the said N. E. wind becomes Easterly; or seldom blows more than a point from the east, either to the northward or southward.

These trade-winds, on the American side, are extended to 30, 31, or even to 32 of N. latitude; which is about 40 further than what they extend to on the African side: Also, to the southward of the equator, the trade-winds extend three or four degrees further towards the coast of Brasil on the American side, than they do near the Cape of Good Hope on the African side.

7th. Between the latitudes of north and 4 south, the wind always blows between the south and East. On the African side the winds are nearest the south; and on the American side nearest the east. In these seas Dr. Halley observed, that when the wind was eastward, the weather was gloomy, dark, and rainy, with hard gales of wind; but when the wind veered to the southward, the weather generally became serene, with gentle breezes next to a calm.

These winds are somewhat changed by the seasons of the year; for when the sun is far northward, the Brasil S. E. wind gets to the south, and the N. E. wind to the east; and when the sun is far south, the S. E. wind gets to the east, and the N. E. winds on this side of the equator veer more to the north.

8th. Along the coast of Guinea, from Sierra Leone to the island of St. Thomas, (under the equator) which is above 500 leagues, the southerly and south-west winds blow perpetually: for the S. E. trade-wind having passed the equator, and approaching the Guinea coast within 80 or 100 leagues, inclines towards the shore, and becomes south, then S. E. and by degrees, as it approaches the land, it veers about to south, S. S. W. and when very near the land it is S. W. and sometimes W. S. W. This tract is troubled with frequent calms, and violent sudden gusts of wind, called tornadoes, blowing from all points of the horizon.

The reason of the wind setting in west on the coast of Guinea is, in all probability, owing to the nature of the coast, which, being greatly heated by the sun, rarifies the air exceedingly, and consequently the cool air from off the sea will keep rushing in to restore the equilibrium.

9th. Between the 4th and 10th degrees of north latitude, and between the longitude of Cape Verd, and the easternmost of the Cape Verd isles, there is a tract of sea which seems to be condemned to perpetual calms, attended with terrible thunder and lightnings, and such frequent rains, that this part of the sea is called the rains. In sailing through these six degrees, ships are said to have been sometimes detained whole months.

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© Derived from Thomas Cadell's new corrected edition, London: 1780, page 320, 2004
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