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Walkabout - The Day That Never Was

S18:35 W173:52

After crossing the equator a couple of months back, we have now crossed another of those invisible lines that straddle the earth - The International Date Line!!

In theory, if the Greenwich Meridian (0 degrees of longitude) is the foundation of measuring time, then the international date line should be at 180 degrees West (or East - depends which way you are heading). But the IDL is not a straight line. It zig zags down through the Pacific, tip toeing its way through all sorts of national and political interests along the way. So after some research we discovered that between Niue and Tonga, the IDL is at 172 degrees 30 Minutes West.

Celebrations were hastily organised, and at 19.51 last night we crossed the line. Advisedly, I say 'last night', as who knows what day it was!

So with our beer and Pringles we also celebrated the shortest day of the year. Potentially the shortest day of our lives. Tuesday became Wednesday all of a sudden. For one brief moment we were the first people in the world to live through 1952 hrs on Wednesday 12 July 2023. Then at midnight it became Thursday. (Hope you are keeping up.) Our Wednesday lasted just over 4 hours. That’s what happens when you travel West.

If you recall the book/film ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’, Phileous Fogg (no relation) travelled East, and thought he had failed - until he pulled the rabbit from the hat - realising that he had gone back in time, living through the same day twice. And victory was his.

I hope all that is making sense to people! It has taken a while for us and others in the fleet to get our heads around it all. Another quirk is that we have gone through a time zone change - and not changed the time - just jumped 24 hours forward.

In other non-calendar related news….
Land Ahoy!! We are in sight of Tonga this morning.
Some things never change - the weather forecast for the last 24 hours was nothing like reality. We should have had wind, but ended up motoring through the night. We are back sailing again now.
The Catering Club has been busy. We have eaten well on this passage. Chocolate cake by Bron, and Thai curry by Traci - all very nice. Secret night time snacking on the chocolate cake by Tom was not very secret given the crumbs everywhere on the work surfaces!
Fishing Club has not been so successful this time.

Then the big news…
This is Tom and Bron’s last passage with us. Traci and I clocked up 15000NM on the passage. Tom has done over half of those miles with us. When you look at Longitude - Tom has sailed nearly one third of the way around the world. What an achievement.
We will miss them both very much.

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