22° North 72° West Confluence Visit

This page describes a 'confluence visit' as suggested by confluence.org. A confluence is a point where a line of integral latitude meets a line of integral longitude. There are about 25,000 on or near land. We happened to be within reach of one while on holiday and thought it would be a satisfyingly pointless adventure. Here is the confluence.org entry.

We set off from 21° 53' 02" N 72° 05' 14" W, the marina half way along the channel between Pine Cay and Fort George, on the North Western side of the Caicos Bank, Turks and Caicos Islands.

We were able to find a gap in the breakers on the reef around 21° 53' 05" N 72° 06' 50" W, and reached the confluence by speeding along outside the reef using the breakers as a guide. It's not always easy to spot breakers from behind so we had to be a bit watchful not to steer into them. The sea was quite calm but as we headed round to the confluence which is about two and a half miles North of the Northernmost shore of North Caicos, a place known as the Prospect of Whitby, we emerged from the shelter of the islands and the swell grew steadily to around 10 feet. At a guess, the wavelength was 50 yards odd, so we powered over the hills and into the vales in thrilling swoops with a few crest falls and splats until we reached the confluence. From a small whaler in the trough of a ten foot swell the looming waves seemed ominous. It was hard to grasp the scale of the vast water, heaving gracefully by, and there was an eerie quiet as the distant land sunk out of view and rose again. These things were hard to capture in a photograph:

The journey took about half an hour, and Google Earth measures it to be around 12.5 nautical miles / 14 statute miles.

GPS Reading

We manoevred around trying to get a perfect reading. With a breeze nudging the boat towards the West, it took about twenty minutes, but we eventually got 22° 00' 00" N and 72° 00' 00" W. Call us fussy, but we hadn't brought fishing tackle and there wasn't much else to do at 22°/72°.