What Time is It?
I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life when I’ve been juggling so many different time zones. But as we’ve neared Saint Lucia, we’ve recognized that arriving there with our ship and internal clocks still set to UTC - a difference of 4 hours - could make for some unwelcome jet, or rather, boat lag. I find myself wondering how other boats are handling this and wish I’d taken the time to ask a few other cruisers.
So with all this thought of time - I’ll pass along this cheesy joke I made up in the middle of a sleepless night: what is a sailor’s favorite time piece? The answer is at the end of this blog. Or just ask a nearby kid - they’ll likely know it in a second!
So, back to the question of time. To help with the time change between Las Palmas and Saint Lucia, the crew decided to change the ship time by moving our ship’s clock and devices back 3 hours. Since our watch shifts are 3 hours, there was no complication in the schedule. But meal times are now at combat with our bellies- they frankly don’t care what time it is. Hunger answers to no clock.
Our boat time remains UTC when it comes to our SSB check in calls and log books so we can avoid all the adding and subtracting of hours as we calculate the difference - that’s time consuming in itself.
And then there’s the actual time in Saint Lucia, which I alone have set my phone clock to in the hopes that as we approach our destination, we’ll drop our clocks back another hour to align with island time.
Lastly, but certainly not least, is the time for my standing morning call to my Dad back in Texas. I confess I missed the correct call time yesterday as my iPad, phone, and ship’s clock all read different times. Each day I make the call at 10:30 Texas time, which turns out to be 16:30 UTC, 1330 ship time, 1230 Saint Lucia time, and nap time for my body clock. Phew. Who knew I’d be such a time traveler! All I know is it’s time I figure this out as my father probably ages a lifetime in anxiety every minute I’m late.
I won’t even get into the difficulty of the time change on the sleep cycle of the crew. Last night, my husband and I crawled into bed at what felt like the appointed hour for sleep, only to see on my phone that it was only 1830 island time!
We’ll adjust. No matter which way the hands of the clock are pointing, as long as the wind points us west, we’ll be just fine.
Haven’t figured out a sailor’s favorite time piece? A watch!image1