Winds and currents in the Pacific flow predominantly from East to West. Above the equator Pacific Ocean trade winds blow from the northeast. Below the equator they blow from the southeast. By taking advantage of the different (north and south) directions of the east-flowing winds, traditional Polynesian navigators could sail eastward ( into the wind) north of the equator and let the winds and currents push them southwest once south of the equator. In this way Polynesians could navigate the 2,250 nautical miles from Hawai'i to Tahiti, by taking advantage of the different orientation of the prevailing trade winds north and south of the equator.