This region is also noted for extremely calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, or are light and shifting. Hurricanes originate in this region. Because of the unpredictable weather patterns, the Doldrums became notorious with sailors because this region's periods of deadly calm could trap ships for days or weeks on end as they waited for enough wind to power their sails.
Even today the doldrums have a nasty reputation and may cause unexpected delays for the circumnavigators. Yachts may get stuck to the intertropical convergence zone for days for seeking suitable winds.