A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2016 Apr 29, 09:06 -0700
Here's a tall tale about a ship navigating near the equator-dateline intersection. Naturally this is a joke, a tale of whimsy, a fish story, and it should not be taken literally. But suppose we do take it literally. How many problems can you find? The origin of this millennial story dates back to at least 1990, and probably earlier, but it's modelled on a yarn by Mark Twain. Twain sailed the globe in 1895/96 and published his book "Following the Equator" in 1897. He makes a couple of whitty comments about the equator and dateline, e.g.:
While we were crossing the 180th meridian it was Sunday in the stern of the ship where my family were, and Tuesday in the bow where I was. They were there eating the half of a fresh apple on the 8th, and I was at the same time eating the other half of it on the 10th and I could notice how stale it was, already.
Note: the version of this more modern tale posted today by Jackson MacDonald was corrupted, so I am re-posting another copy (attached, below) which was sent by Gary LaPook last summer.