On 31 December 1899, 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 and brought Captain John DS Phillips the result. The Warrimoo's position was LAT 0º 31' N and LONG 179 30' W. "Know what this means?" First Mate Payton broke in, "We're 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 and double check the ship's position. He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark. Then he adjusted the engine speed. The calm weather and clear night worked in his favor. 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 (bow) of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere and in the middle of summer.
The rear (stern) was in the Northern Hemisphere and in the middle of winter.
The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899.
In the bow (forward) part it was 1 January 1900.
This ship was therefore not only in:
Two different days,
Two different months,
Two different years,
Two different seasons,
But also two different decades (but not centuries)
- all at the same time!
This was written after 31 years of marriage:
Thankful for my best friend, my husband – my desire and dream.
Some days we really are each other’s best friends, and then some days …
we are each other’s worst enemies!
But, it has been good to share the ride with him.
He still makes me laugh, and sometimes makes me cry.
I still feel a tingle when I hear his voice.
Still thrill to his touch.
Guess we will “keep” one another!
Too stubborn to give up?