I don’t know if it’s just me but I bet some of you Escapees also have a little trouble wrapping your brains around this International Dateline business. It’s like, “Hey, what happened to my Thursday?” I mean do I get a mulligan or something? Can I get it back later? Is this Thursday or Friday, or is this passage really taking 9 or 10 days? Is time just a convention, a desperate attempt to carve a little order out of chaos? Well it’s not helping me much. I’m just hanging on, folks.
So as it turns out, our 20 knot winds have abandoned us, leaving us with a nice consistent seven knot breeze wafting over the transom from behind, which leaves us in the 3 to 4 knot speed range, and we’ve begun to do the math shuffle, you know the oh I don’t think we’re going to make it before dark unless we can motor sail at 8.35 knots for twenty three hours. As if!
At the midnight change of watch there was some discussion about sail trim but I don’t think EV could pickup an extra five knots by tweaking the jib so I say slow and steady wins the day. The only question is what day and does somebody owe me another hour of sleep because sometime this dawn we turn the clocks back one hour plus advance it twenty four hours, losing a whole day, a day I might like to keep in my pocket. To make matters more confusing, our world clock tells us that in Pittsburgh it’s now yesterday. Wait, what?
False dawn found us adjacent to a huge French blue push-pin looking thing. They give us very few options for marking things on our electronic chart, and this one is marking our crossing of the dateline. I felt nothing. I went out into the cockpit, nothing in evidence, seven knots from behind, 3.6 knots through the water, course, same as it ever was.
The Kingdom of Tonga is dead ahead somewhere out there in the gibbous moonlight dancing across the big black Pacific. I turned and stepped back into our main saloon thinking of Peggy Lee. If not today, maybe tomorrow or whatever day that’s supposed to be.