Re: "Central NC is about 6,600 km from London and central India is about 7,700 km"
It's still a longer ship journey around Africa...
But you'd not be going 'around Africa' at all. While crossing the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden you'd have Africa to the West, and the Arabian Peninsula, which is part of Asia, to the East.
BTW, here is a map showing travel times from the UK to Somewhere Else, in 1914. Most parts of India could be reached in less than 20 days; the eastern half of the US would take 5 to 10 days. At that time the Germans were involved in building a railroad from Turkey to Baghdad and the Iraqi sea port of Basra, which would have significantly shortened their travel time to what is now Tanzania; the Suez canal was not an option being under British control. WW1 put a stop to that, and the railroad was only finished, with British, French and some US involvement in the 1930's. Regular airline routes to India and beyond were getting established at that time but you'd still need the best part of a week to get there, with lots of intermediate stops; for instance Calcutta would take five days.