Saturday, September 30, 2023

Greetings from the future

 We did it! We crossed the International dateline and traveled into tomorrow. While I can't give you tomorrow's winning lottery ticket number, I can tell you the answers to tomorrow's Wordle or tomorrow's New York Times Crossword puzzle. I am reading tomorrow's news while you are still in yesterday.

We crossed the dateline out at sea somewhere between American Samoa and Tonga. We were sailing along, enjoying our Tuesday when, out of the blue, it was suddenly  Wednesday. I looked for the dotted red line in the water marking the change, but I didn't see anything, I just don't understand. We did, however, see a complete double rainbow just after we crossed the line.

Unfortunately I didn't have the camera ready to catch the entire spectacle,  but nonetheless it represented a portal into the future, into the next day. 

The dateline is a funny thing. It twists and turns around countries and messes with the time zones. When we were in American Samoa our timezone was UTC -11 and here in Tonga we are UTC +13. What does that mean?  UTC stands for Coordinated Universal Time, also sometimes referred to as GMT or Greenwich Mean Time. Technically GMT is a timezone while UTC is the time, in practicality they refer to the same thing, so both terms are used. 

But wait- why is it UTC and not CUT? 

Politics.  Coordinated Universal Time would normally be abbreviated as CUT, but the French name, Temps Universel Coordonné, would be TUC. So, as a compromise, UTC is used, making sense to no one.

So, what does that mean for time differences to us? When we were in American Samoa we were 4 hours earlier than the West Coast of the US, 7 hours earlier than the East Coast. Here in Tonga it is the same, only a day ahead. Meaning if it is Saturday noon on the West Coast it is 12 - 4 or 8 AM on Sunday here. It can get a little confusing to us when we are planning communications with people in the US.  What time is it there? What day is it? We may not have a time machine, a DeLorean or a TARDIS but we do have a sailboat crossing the dateline allowing us to travel into tomorrow. 

Next stop- The Kingdom Of Tonga.

We love to hear your comments.

Anita Motard said...

Hello from yesterday here in Dallas, Texas. Even though it is officially fall, today’s temperature will top 90 degrees Fahrenheit! I love following your adventures and am so glad we met in Bonaire. Sarah, you kicked my butt at Mexican Train domino games but made me a better player. Now I’m the person no one wants to sit after!! :)
Safe travels to you and Bob

Sarah said...

Well Hello back at you in the past! Here in Tonga it is now officially spring and the temperatures are rising. We no longer need a comforter at night! I miss playing Mexican Train Dominos, you were probably one of the last I played, I haven't had a chance to play since Bonaire! So glad you are following our journey, thanks.