We thought this little tidbit of Maritime History was pretty interesting:
The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the
waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia. The
navigator had just finished working out a star fix & brought the master,
Captain John Phillips, the result. The Warrimoo’s position was LAT 0L? 31′
N and LON 179L? 30′ W. The date was 31 December 1899.
“Know what this means?” First Mate Payton broke in, “We âre only a few
miles from the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line” .
Captain Phillips was prankish enough to take full advantage of the
opportunity for achieving the navigational freak of a lifetime. He called
his navigators to the bridge to check & double check the ships position.
He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark. Then he
adjusted the engine speed.
The calm weather & clear night worked in his favour.
At midnight the SS Warrimoo lay on the Equator at exactly the point
where it crossed the International Date Line!
The consequences of this bizarre position were many.
The forward part of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere and the middle of summer. whereas the stern of the ship was in the Northern Hemisphere and in the middle of winter.
The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899 but Forward it was 1 January 1900.
This ship was therefore not only in two different days, two different
months, two different years, and two different seasons and in two
different centuries ? all at the same time!
Thanks Dusty for the ditty.