“The Spirit-Spout” opens some time after the events of the Pequod‘s first lowering. Ishmael tells us:

Days, weeks passed, and under easy sail, the ivory Pequod had slowly swept across four several cruising-grounds; that off the Azores; off the Cape de Verdes; on the Plate (so called), being off the mouth of the Rio de la Plata; and the Carrol Ground, an unstaked, watery locality, southerly from St. Helena.

The ship is now in the South Atlantic off the coast of Africa:

[Source: Google Maps]

Ishmael describes the seas here as