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    Re: International Date Line
    From: Howard G
    Date: 2021 Dec 31, 14:57 -0800

    Hi Frank

    Read Einsteins take on time for confusion.

    As you say it is just a crude map makers representation of a division - but it is a peg in the ground from which we can all relate to some sort of standard( though it is not that) - but it is a datum! - spare a thought for the RNZAF long range patrol navigators - I was one - area of concern was as far north as the equator - as far East as Pitcairn (we had a squadron navigator (Kevin Young from Pitcairn) related to a crew member on The Bounty mutiny - we flew over Pitcairn.) as far West as mid way between Australia and NZ and as far south as the South Pole - though we seldon went there 

    As I was saying - our patrol area was huge - crossing back and forth in a single patrol the international date line numerous times - and eventually landing somewhere West or East of the date line and setting our local time by asking the time when we fist contacted the airfield we were nighting at - which could be - Cooks, Tonga, Fiji, or somewhere in the islands that could take a P3BOrion - we had a high wheel loading which limited where we could land. When I was on Bristal Freighters we could land on any air strip anywhere - but we never patrolled in the freighter just delivered supplies - often emergency.

    Those were the days you either wore 2 watches - a dual time watch was an expensive thing   - a navigators dream and accurate - keeping very very accurate time. No auto synch to GPS satellites then. We would tune into GMT time signal.

    I would then just set my watch to local time as we landed. If you didn't you ran the risk of missing a crew brief time based on local time!!! - and reset to GMT once at briefing in flight planning - air traffic always ran a GMT clock to set to.

    Nowadays I still talk 24 hr - and easily can convert to and from GMT to local - juxtaposing the different times  - however, with auto synch watches and GPS - the mental maths is unnecessary. 

    I ALWAYS have a chuckle over the confusion that surrounds daylight saving in and out - with most people just allowing their auto-synch gadgets to 'GET IT RIGHT'.

    Dam I am getting old!

    Howard G 

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