Hawaii/South Pacific: Sea Day #7

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Why would I interrupt a good nap to see a presentation filled with math, physics, and politics? Because as we sail southward, we are skipping Saturday, March 12 and going to straight to Sunday, March 13.

The International Dateline was established 180 degrees from the Prime Meridian, the reference point of time zones, in Greenwich, United Kingdom.  The date line runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and marks the Western and Eastern Hemisphere divide.

However, it is not straight but curves around landmasses and national borders. For example, it leans towards the east at the Bering Strait between Asia and North America, leaving Cape Dezhnev in Russia a day ahead of Cape Prince of Wales in Alaska even though they are only 50 miles apart.

In our case, Kiribati and Hawaii are on different sides of the date line. People asked why are we changing since we are not stopping in Kiribati any more due to their COVID outbreak. Apparently, it is some sort of maritime law that ships must be able to communicate on the same time and time zone as the countries they pass in case of emergencies. Okay.

Other interesting facts:

Every day between 10:00 and 11:59 UTC, three different calendar dates are in use simultaneously on Earth. – For example, March 12 at 10:30 UTC, is 23:30 (11:30 pm) on March 11 in American Samoa (UTC−11), 06:30 (6:30 am) on March 12 in New York (UTC-4), and 00:30 (12:30 am) on March 13 in Kiritimati (UTC+14).

The International Date Line was sketched over 130 years ago and is the line that officially divides two different days on the calendar. The date becomes one day later when you move to the west from the International Date Line.

The IDL is used as a plot device in Jules Verne’s book Around the World in Eighty Days (1873). In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout strive to move around the world in 80 days on a bet set by his friends at the Reform Club.

Ceremonies aboard ships to name a sailor’s or passenger’s first crossing of the Equator or of the International Date Line are a deep-rooted tradition.

The speaker said if we were still confused just look at the floor mats in the elevator and they will tell you what day it is. I do appreciate the crew changing these floor mats daily because I have gotten my days mixed up before while cruising.

We went to the Sea View pool area to have a pre-dinner drink. The sea view pool was as wavy as the Lido pool. I believe the crew knew something we didn’t because they were clearing the outside tables and stacking chairs much earlier than I have seen on this cruise. Could be we were in for some rougher weather. The waves were definitely getting higher as I needed a second Bonine and some ginger ale. First time this trip I’ve needed a double dose.

We had a table for two at dinner in another different section. Tonight’s dinner was a Culinary Council dinner. The executive chefs in the Holland America fleet choose an appetizer, main course, and dessert as their special offering. I had the zucchini bisque, coconut shrimp salad, and Chuck had a double order of the crab cakes. We each had the grilled halibut as our main course. Excellent meal.

The Dance Band had a night off, so we went to BB King. It was abnormally warm in there and the motion of the ship made it hard to dance. It was just getting to be too much, so we decided to skip the main stage show – a classically trained guitarist and go on to the room.

When we got back to the room we found a letter from Guest Services indicating that everyone would have to relinquish their passports on Sunday for the French Polynesian government. I hate giving up my passport but it does save time if the ship can handle the transaction instead of each person meeting with a Custom’s agent individually. We will get our passports back once we leave the islands.

So, when we woke up, yes, according to the elevator mat, today is Sunday. I’m glad we will pass back through the dateline to get our day back before we reach the islands. It would make for some confused people because we’d get our tours mixed up.

After a late breakfast in the Lido, it was kind of cloudy, so we decided to relax on the veranda in case of rain. Did sprinkle on us a little but it passed quickly.

While we were out there, we heard the alarm and the call for the medical emergency team. I hope someone has not had a stroke, heart attack, or any broken bone. The waves are still high and it is still difficult to maneuver the hallways. Would be really easy to fall in the shower if you are not holding to the safety bars.

Not sure what they will do if the emergency is very serious. I think we are in a spot that is too far from Hawaii to turn back and not far enough to French Polynesia to get there quickly. Don’t know if we could even dock in Kiribati given their limited medical resources.

I have seen videos of helicopter evacuations but luckily have never experienced one. Not even sure if a helicopter could reach us from anywhere. I always buy travel insurance with extra medical evacuation coverage just in case. But you have to remember that it could be a reimbursement. You’d need a credit card(s) with limits that could handle the upfront expenses.

I also found out it was 29 degrees and snowing back home so I checked in with our pet sitter. Yes, it was snowing but all is well. I am glad we have someone who is so reliable.

My goal today was to catch up on my blog posts from Hawaii. Didn’t work out so well. The Internet is still spotty. I can still read emails and save the blog narratives but getting any photos to upload is a non-starter. Guess I can’t expect any better from somewhere in the Pacific. I hope when we reach the islands, the satellite connection will be better.

Pool is still too rough for swimming so Chuck took the opportunity to play some three-card poker.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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