The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver
. The navigator had just finished working out a star fix and brought the master, Captain
John Phillips, the result.
The Warrimoo's position was LAT 0º 31' N and LON 179 30' W. The date was 31 December 1899.
"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".
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 & double check the ships position. He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark. Then he adjusted the engine
speed The calm weather
& clear night worked in his favour.
At mid-night 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 & in the middle of summer.
The rear (stern) was in the Northern Hemisphere & 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 in two different centuries - all at the same time.