Wednesday, February 20, 2019

February 21, 2019     Sea Day   We lost February 20.   41/183

We went to bed on February 19, and woke up on Feb. 21.  How does the International Date line crossing work anyway?

When travelling West, you lose a day. ie. As you cross the 180th degree of longitude, you move ahead 24 hours, with exceptions that I will try to explain. 
When travelling East, you gain a day so you actually spend 48 hours on the same date. 

To complicate matters, this imaginary line zigzags to avoid cutting countries into two separate days.  Also, to further complicate the issue, every day between 10:00 and 11:59 UTC  (Coordinated Universal Time, formerly GMT) three different dates on the calendar are in use:

At 10:30 UTC on May 2, it is:

- 23:30 (11:30 PM) on May 1 in American Samoa (UTC - 11)
- 06:30 (06:30 AM) on May 2 in New York City    (UTC -  5)
- 00:30 (00:30 AM) on May 3 in Kiritimati             (UTC+14)

Kiritimati celebrates New Years before any other country!

Simple, hey....right!!!

Who has heard of Kiritimati? (Formerly called Christmas Island)  It is part of the former British territory now called the Republic of Kiribati which gained independence in 1957.  Actual land mass of all the islands is about 800 square kilometres (310 sq. mi.) but is dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres(1.3 million square miles).  

British nuclear tests were carried out on a atoll somewhere in Kiribati in 1957 and 58 and US tests in 1962.   Bikini atoll, where the USA tested 23 nukes between 1946 and 1962, is located about 4400 km from Kiritimati atoll. (Kiritimati is the biggest atoll in the world)

Roger gave another rousing talk: this one on the various battles in the Pacific during WWll.  Major credit due to the Navajo code talkers and the trick that disclosed the Japanese plan to attack Midway.  Read the book - Joe Rochefort's War: The Odyssey of the Codebreaker Who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway."


  1. When we went to New Zealand I had exactly the same issue. Some how I was short changed by a day. Everyone said I would get it back when I flew home but I never did get it back. Although a lot of people say I am living in the past.

  2. Christmas Island is confusing and is probably one of the reasons why the local indigenous population name was re-adopted. There is another Christmas Island which is an Australian Territory since 1958. The Island is closer to Indonesia than Australia. It still retains the Christmas Island name.It is mostly used as an illegal immigrant processing centre although the local population of around 1,800 would prefer that not to be the case although it brings wealth and employment.


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