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  1. #1
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Freak of navigation

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    FREAK OF NAVIGATION

    The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of

    the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia. 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 0ş 31' N and LON 179ş 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”. Captain 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 and 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 and clear night worked in his favour. At midnight 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 and the middle of summer. The rear (stern) was in the Northern Hemisphere and in the middle of winter. The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899. Forward it was 1 January 1900.
    This ship was therefore not only in two different days, two different months, two different seasons and two different years, but in two different centuries – all at the same time!








  2. #2
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: doug sinclair)

    The Warrimoo back story.

    http://mastermariners.org.au/2014-01...the-ss-warimoo

    Who knew?

  3. #3
    Director Tim Orr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: doug sinclair)

    Good evening, all!

    Except that someone rigorous about dates would point out that 1900 is the last year of the 19th Century (same century as 1899). The 20th Century didn't begin until January 1, 1901.

    Cracking good story however!

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr

  4. #4
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: Tim Orr)

    Having all gone through the fear of the Millennium 16 years ago, am I incorrect that the new Millennium began on Jan. 1, 2000, but rather Jan. 1 2001 ? Jan. 1, 1900 seems to me to be the beginning of the new Millennium. Just asking!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: doug sinclair)

    I agree with you, Doug A "Millenium" (with a capital "M") is simply a form of common usage, and under common usage, each new Millenium begins when the first digit of the (four) digit year changes.

    A "millenium" (with a small "m") is a period of exactly one thousand years, and one could commence that period at any date, for example April 17th, 1246, in which case the millenium would terminate on April 18th, 2246. But if one were to commence a millenium at the birth of Christ (although when that numbering system was introduced some 500 years after the event, there must have been a great deal of guesswork involved!) then the first millenium would mathematically end on December 31st, 1000 ... but my bet is that Christians celebrated the end of the (First) Millenium on December 31st, 999 After all, the Millenium (capital "M") was their invention, and they could do whatever they liked with it. They had neither dictionaries nor mathematical books in those days

    If we assume that they did that, then the Second Millenium ended on December 31st, 1999 ... under both common and mathematical usage ... and you and I, Doug, are historically correct in our usage

  6. #6
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: MartyR)

    Thought so! Thanks Marty!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: doug sinclair)

    Has any one here ever crossed the Equator on a ship before. They have a shellback ceremony when you cross the line the equator. I crossed the line at Latitude 00000 Latitude and Longitude 84o 40' E in the Indian Ocean when in the Navy one ceremony I don't care to repeat were your transformed from a Pollywog to a Shellback. Wonder if they did it on that ship back in 1899.
    A little info on crossing the line.
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-in...n-the-U-S-Navy
    Last edited by River rat; 07-28-2016 at 10:25 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: River rat)

    Quote Originally Posted by River rat View Post
    Has any one here ever crossed the Equator on a ship before. They have a shellback ceremony when you cross the line the equator. I crossed the line at Latitude 00000 Latitude and Longitude 84o 40' E in the Indian Ocean when in the Navy one ceremony I don't care to repeat were your transformed from a Pollywog to a Shellback. Wonder if they did it on that ship back in 1899.
    A little info on crossing the line.
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-in...n-the-U-S-Navy

    I've never done it but it is still a regular ceremony on the ships I've sailed on that do cross the equator. I've only joined them in one hemisphere or the other.
    Nick, lots to learn, late starter.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: novicetimekeeper)

    Quote Originally Posted by novicetimekeeper View Post
    I've never done it but it is still a regular ceremony on the ships I've sailed on that do cross the equator. I've only joined them in one hemisphere or the other.
    I was on a Sub tender the USS Proteus AS-19 that had machine shops were the shellbacks created all kinds of devices to torment us wogs with like medieval stocks built for three the royal devil had a pitch fork with cattle prod with us wet with salt water they spayed us with fire hoses made a good conductor of electricity and they had cut 3 foot pieces of fire hoses to hit us with. It now watered down so not as bad in todays Navy this was back in the 1980's they hazed us real good back in those days. Got my Grandfathers shellback book from the USS New Mexico a battle wagon in the 1930's they had it real bad in those days from the photo's in that book. If any one interested I can post photo's from that book.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: River rat)

    Quote Originally Posted by River rat View Post
    I was on a Sub tender the USS Proteus AS-19 that had machine shops were the shellbacks created all kinds of devices to torment us wogs with like medieval stocks built for three the royal devil had a pitch fork with cattle prod with us wet with salt water they spayed us with fire hoses made a good conductor of electricity and they had cut 3 foot pieces of fire hoses to hit us with. It now watered down so not as bad in todays Navy this was back in the 1980's they hazed us real good back in those days. Got my Grandfathers shellback book from the USS New Mexico a battle wagon in the 1930's they had it real bad in those days from the photo's in that book. If any one interested I can post photo's from that book.

    These are sailing ships, I think the idea is to have a lot of fun so it is a very good natured affair.
    Nick, lots to learn, late starter.

  11. #11
    Registered User richiec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: novicetimekeeper)

    My father endured being put in a box and thrown overboard and dragged during WWII, he never complained, somewhere my brother has a picture of him emerging from the box.

  12. #12
    Director Tim Orr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: MartyR)

    Good evening, all!

    The reason the millennium is said to have ended on December 31, 2000 is that there was never any year "zero." The dating system went from 1 BCE to 1 CE. So, for 2000 years to have passed, it would take until the end of the year 2000. Still, as Martin says, it is merely a convention.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr

  13. #13
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: Tim Orr)

    By that very logic, it would seem as though ther was no year 1,000, or 2,000. I don't remember there being a universal flap and hand wringing about our collective futures as of Dec. 31, 2,000 at 23:59!

  14. #14
    Director Tim Orr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: doug sinclair)

    Good evening, Doug!

    Not sure I understand how that logic would suggest that there would not be a 1000 or 2000.

    In any event, the flap and hand-wringing was about the fact that from the time electronic computers became prevalent until December 31, 1999, only two digits needed to be encoded to signify the year (There weren't any electronic computers prior to 1900, and the "19" part of 20th century years could be assumed.). As of January 1, 2000, you now needed as many as four digits to encode the year, so that you would not confuse years beginning in "19" with those beginning in "20." Computer people worried that computers would get confused and do strange things. As it happened, problems with "Y2K" proved to be largely a non-event.

    I moved from Kansas City to Nashville on December 31, 1999. I sat up that night, watching television, to see if anything untoward happened. At midnight, the lights didn't flicker, nor was there any disturbance in the TV program. I figured all was OK, and went to bed.

    Over the years, I remember seeing old paper forms that had a date blank that began "19__" and even "195_" or other variants. Similar concept. A form that had a date field "195_" became useless on January 1, 1960.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr

  15. #15

    Default Re: Freak of navigation (By: Tim Orr)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Orr View Post
    In any event, the flap and hand-wringing was about the fact that from the time electronic computers became prevalent until December 31, 1999, only two digits needed to be encoded to signify the year. As of January 1, 2000, you now needed as many as four digits to encode the year ... Computer people worried that computers would get confused and do strange things. As it happened, problems with "Y2K" proved to be largely a non-event.
    The only "event" that occurred was that vast numbers of "computer people" made vast sums of money out of people who were fooled by the computer people into believing that there was a problem

    I have very many friends who left their full-time jobs and went freelance in 1998. They became "Year 2000 specialists". Many of them earned enough money in two years to retire (or so they thought) and most of them continued in business as consultants for years after 2000.

    As you said, Tim, the "Millenium Bug" never bit. It was a classic conspiracy - a theory which was vaguely credible to lay people, and instantly recognisable to experts as a massive opportunity to benefit from their own expertise at the expense of those who knew not.

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