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International Date Line

By Kate “Bob” Addison

Position 18-40’S 173-1’W, and we’re motor sailing in fair winds to get as far east as possible before we lose these favourable winds and the more usual SE’ly trades resume. We even had some sunshine today, though it’s a bit rolly.

We got up this morning in Tonga on Thursday May 2nd, but then at midday we had crossed back over the international date line and put our clocks back by exactly one day to midday on Wednesday May 1st. Which means we get Wednesday twice this week, to make up for losing a Wednesday that we lost crossing the other way last week, and we’re back to being 11 hours behind London instead of 13 hours ahead. May Day came twice this year! It’s a bit funny that we cross the date line before 180 degrees west – that’s because the line bends around countries for convenience rather than slicing straight through them, which would cause all sorts of confusion if it was two different days on the two sides of the same island…

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