We don't know much about the boat. It's possible that the boat had inherent buoyancy (wood under glass fibre, air tanks
, or foam), that the blue box was bolted or secured to the hull, and that any remaining gear
on the boat has now become part of the working capital of the residents of Ebon. And, there could be confusion between swelling/edema versus the appearance of normal weight.
The boat may have traveled somewhat faster than would seem most likely for movement solely by ocean currents, but it has enough surface area/windage that winds would have affected its movement. Possibly someone with forensic weather
talents could dig up a record
of wind history
along the projected track from southern Mexico
to the Marshall's and try to model the combined effect of windage and current
drift, though there would likely be a pretty big error range. If, for a crude example, windage contributed a positive/favorable average 2% of hull speed
(roughly srt 18.5 =4.5 x 1.3 =~ 6 kts/50 = .12 kt x 24 hrs. = ~ 2 nm/day), then the boat might have made something like 10-20% more progress than current
alone would allow. That's assuming currents and winds are somewhat aligned, which seems plausible given historical averages, and that a southward set from about 14 N to 5 N lat also makes sense. (One good storm could make for a chunk of N/S movement to mess up the prediction.) This all would seem to make sense when compared with the discussion of currents a few posts previous.
What are the typical winds for this area of the Pacific at different times of year as you track them from an early winter departure from southern Mexico
? For example, if I read the pilot charts
right, northeasterlies and easterlies seem common in late winter and early spring in the 10/15 N 100/110 W region, but by late summer in mid-ocean, northeasterlies to southeasterlies (s.e.'s more common especially as you move a bit more south closer to the line) seem more prevalent in the 5/10 N 150/160 W region.
If in addition to currents, you take average winds for the departure time and place from your pilot charts
or wind history
, and then for every month add about 400-some nm/7.5 deg. further west, 45 nm/.75 deg. further south, what do you get?