An Irish friend of mine once said something was “so far east it’s west” which I’d never heard before, but it made perfect sense. Like something being so bad it’s good, or so embarrassing it becomes funny, or so insane that it’s genius. And today – I am so far west I’m east. Because this afternoon I crossed the International Date Line.
I didn’t really mean to. I’d rather hoped that I would manage to cross the IDL and the Equator at the same time. Of course, I might still do that, if I wiggle back east a little bit, to reach that magical intersection, but it would have been fun to cross them both for the first time at the same time. But ah well, the weather has long since shown her utter contempt for my plans and schemes, and today was no exception.
The day had been still and calm until about 2pm, when the clouds came over and a strong wind blew up from the south, sending me off on a sudden westwards trajectory – heading straight for the IDL. There wasn’t much I could do about it. No matter how hard I rowed, I was still heading west, whether I liked it or not. If I rowed I would only get there even faster.
So I decided to sit it out and watch the countdown on my GPS from the dry refuge of my cabin, so I hunkered down, watching the numbers tick away on the little screen as the distance narrowed between me and tomorrowland.
It’s funny – you imagine that you ought to be able to feel something when you cross over the IDL. Like in a Hollywood movie when someone steps through the mirror into an alternative reality, there ought to be some kind of strange ripple effect like a tremor passing across a pool of still water. Or at the very least there ought to be a big black line across the ocean, stretching away into the distance towards the North and South Poles.
But no – there’s nothing. The GPS goes from 179 59.999W to 180 00.000E – and that’s it. No chorus of angels (or mermaids), no special effects, nothing. Just another gust of wind and another heavy spatter of raindrops. And the weather in tomorrow is remarkably similar to how it was in yesterday (cloudy, rainy, and windy).
Just goes to show – there’s no point putting off until tomorrow what you can do today – because from someone on the other side, I can tell you that tomorrow is not so different. The world (and I) are just one day older. So you may as well do it today, because you’ll rarely regret doing something sooner rather than later.
[Photo: For the record, I crossed the line at 15:57:02 Hawaii time – and here is the proof.]
Note: I am going to continue using Hawaii time for the remainder of this crossing – otherwise it will get too confusing trying to figure out when I am due to record podcasts, call Nicole, or whatever. So I’ll continue to post weather reports as at Hawaii time. FYI, the sun now rises at 7:59am my time, and sets at 8:07pm.
Another note: apologies for the problems with the Tracker. Solaradata, who provide my tracking unit, have been conducting a server transfer and it has evidently generated some random location points. Apparently the issue was that positive latitudes between 0 and 1 were being displayed as 0 to –1. Evan has been working closely with them and assures me the issue is now resolved. To be sure, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time – just as my lat and long are getting interesting! Thanks, Evan, for getting it sorted out so quickly.
Yet another note – and this is the IMPORTANT one! I’ve come to a decision on Island X. But I’m not going to post it on this blog just yet. If you want to know NOW what I’ve decided, check out today’s video RozCast on YouTube. You can locate it via the RozTracker – or maybe Nicole or Evan can post a link to it as a comment on this blog. Yes, I’m trying to get more of you to view my RozCasts!
And final note: you might observe that in the photo the distance to Tuvalu is excessively optimistic. This was based on incorrect lat and long – an error which has now been corrected.
Apparently I need to think of a gift AND a sacrifice to offer to Neptune when I cross the Equator. I’m not feeling very inspired. Any ideas? I thought of sacrificing a cuddly toy, but that would leave some very upset schoolchildren somewhere. I realize you don’t know what I have on board, but maybe some suggestions as to generic kinds of gifts or sacrifices that Neptune might find acceptable?
Commiserations to Peter Bray, a former British commando who was attempting to row the North Atlantic. His attempt had to be called off when Hurricane Bill threatened his safety. His boat is apparently only 3 metres long – or about 10 feet. That is TINY! I hope that he will get over this setback, and better luck next time.
Eco Champ of the Day is Judy: “Oh Gosh, Roz, there are a lot of us lurkers out here. I featured you on my blog over a month ago, and I know some of my readers are following you. As for your purpose … we’ve switched to reusable grocery bags, we already own two hybrid cars but now we are grouping our errands to use the cars more efficiently. Of course, we recycle. And we’ve raised the thermostat for the house during the day to 79F, and are trying to wean ourselves from it on all but the most humid days. It’s a small token, we know, but the consideration of eco-saving is now one of our “household words”. I’m not much of an athlete, but I’m a champion rooter! Ra! Ra! Roz! Judy”
Thanks, Dale, for your message. Your granny sounds like quite a lady! Do feel free to contact my team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walt – a good estimate on the crossing of the IDL. But we both reckoned without the squall!
Amy – thanks for spreading the word. Nice to hear about fellow Rozlings meeting up!
Jennifer – those links sound interesting. Thank you. I can’t follow them up from here (I have email only – no internet browsing capability) but will try to find time to take a look when I’m back on dry land.
Doug – thanks for your suggestion about the solar kettle – but my kettle only has one orifice, and that is the very small water spout. I have been using a thermos mug to rehydrate my meals, and that works just fine, thank you. As I said, the ambient temperature is extremely warm!
Achates, Seattle Dave and Meg – thanks for the tips. Will see if I can resurrect the stove when I get back to dry land. As I said, I’m really not missing it for now, so will spend my energies on rowing rather than stove maintenance! As I said, I really don’t need any advice or suggestions, as I still have plenty of those left over from my stove-less state on the Atlantic!
Texino – now THERE is a novel approach for solving the overpopulation problem. Cannibalism. Can’t think why the global leaders aren’t pushing that one…!!!
Position at 0850 HST: 00 47.061N, 179 58.950E
Wind: very light this morning, 0-5kts E. All over the shop this afternoon, 20+ kts from S or SE mostly.
Weather: hot, sunny morning. Heavy cloud and frequent rainshowers throughout the afternoon and evening.
Forecast is for wind to back to the East, and drop to almost nothing by Monday.