Sunday, January 1st, 2012
Where Did Friday 30th Disappear to?
If you are cruising the waters of the southern Pacific then be sure to get your chart correcting pens out to alter where on the world the International Date Line is.
As of now it has been moved to accommodate the desire of Samoa who seek to be in line with Australia and New Zealand for commercial trading reasons.
Samoa skipped a day and jumped from the 29th to the 31st of December and in doing so the country’s 186,000 citizens, and the 1,500 in the nearby three-atoll United Nations dependency of Tokelau, became the first in the world to ring in this new year of 2012, rather than the last to welcome in 2011.
From now Samoa’s standard time will be 13hours in advance of Universal Co-ordinated Time (UTC) and this will apply for the whole of Samoa.
All maps, charts and atlases prepared in Samoa or for the government of Samoa must now accurately depict the International Date Line at 171 degrees longitude west of Greenwich.
No international body mandates the sighting of the International Date Line, but by tradition, it runs roughly through the 180-degree line of longitude. It does however zigzag to accommodate the needs of Pacific nations and how they seek to align their calendars.