The middle passage was, of course, the voyage from Africa to the Americas. Slaves were bought in Africa and carried in ships to the Americas. This was before the age of steam ships. This meant that all of the slave ships were sailing ships. The amount of time that it took them to cross the Atlantic varied widely. The duration of voyages generally got shorter as time went by and ship technology improved. However, it could still vary greatly depending on the weather. Historians believe that the average journey probably took around two months. It could, however, be as short as one month or as long as six months. By the end of the period of intense slave trading, it is believed that the average journey had been reduced to about six weeks.