The International Date Line – Part I

Just how far of a timezone change is my trip to New Zealand.  Right now as I am writing this post it is 1:32 PM in Virginia Beach on March 10th, 2014.  However, in Auckland, NZ it is 6:32 AM on March 11th, 2014.  So Auckland is 17 hours ahead.  Initially, I thought this would be quite the time change to adjust to.

But my body will only need to adjust to a 7 hour time change.  Why? – the International Date Line – something we learned about in 4th grade that I completely forgot about.  As I fly West, I lose an hour per time zone I cross.  For example, if I flew to Honolulu, Hawaii from Virginia Beach, I would lose 6 hours.  As I am writing this sentence, it is 7:32 AM March 10th, 2014 in Honolulu.  Amazingly, New Zealand is only one time time zone west of Hawaii, so since Hawaii is 6 hours behind us here in Virginia Beach, one would expect New Zealand to be 7 hours behind (6:32 AM on March 10th).  But it is actually 6:32 AM March 11th in Auckland New Zealand. 

The reason is the ‘International Date Line’.  If I took a hypothetical flight from Honolulu, Hawaii to Auckland, New Zealand, I would cross the International Date Line and gain 23 hours despite the two places being only 1 time zone apart.  To my body, it would only be a 1 hour change, but for my calendar it would be 23.

Crazy stuff..  Question – why do we have an International Date Line?  I will answer this in a future  post… I need something to think about on the plane..







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