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Friday, 31 August 2001 did not exist for Herself and I.

We boarded Air New Zealand Flight 9 in LAX about 21:30, and left the ground soon after heading west, out over the Pacific. Something like 12 hours later, we arrived in Auckland, New Zealand around 04:00 on 1 September, 2001. That wonderful bit of magic, an imaginary line mostly following the 180 degree longitude line except for some zigs and zags to avoid landmasses of various sizes and shape is responsible. It's magical, and avoids landmasses, for the same reason; here on the globe, Yesterday becomes Tomorrow and Today never exists.

We probably slept through the exact moment the magic happened.

That line is on the 180 degree of longitude because the 0 degree runs through Greenwich, Great Britian. At some when in time a group of people agreed that this would be the starting point for determining longitude. While I'm not sure that the point of a bayonet and the muzzle of a gun played a direct role in this agreement, I am sure they played a role. Something about the British Royal Navy, and things. It's a pleasant co-incidence that 180 degrees opposite Greenwich is mostly water, being the Pacific Ocean and all. But the International Date Line does its zigging and zagging to avoid what land masses do fall on this line, or come close to it. I guess we wouldn't want anybody waking up Yesterday and strolling to work on foot to Tomorrow.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 31st, 2007 01:53 pm (UTC)
An FC1 on my first ship lost his birthday two out of three years because he was deployed and crossed the dateline in a most infelicitous manner. I always adored the magic of the dateline, except for the part where I tried to call home from in port and had to pause and figure out what day and time it was there.

Out of curiosity, were you overseas when 9/11/01 happened?
Aug. 31st, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
Yes. Yes to both the magic, and we were in Dunedin, New Zealand. We planned our trip to last the month, so flights resumed before we needed to fly home. The ANZ 747 was nearly full on the flight over, and mostly empty on the flight back.

Not sure these links will work, but they point to entries in my LJ related, on either 9/11 or (mostly) 9/12 for the past few years:



I tend to commemorate the events on 9/12. These entries will explain why.

One of Herself's cousins was First Officer aboard USS Sacramento at the time. They'd been quite liesurely cruising with their carrier task group towards WestPac...
Aug. 31st, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
I think it's Asimov who has a mystery short story set on Mars, the solution of which revolves around their version of the International Date Line...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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