Rainbows and Time Zones

Rainbows don’t seem that uncommon with all the squalls that seem to be bouncing around. But they are different. I’m not sure if it is because of the latitude, the time of day, or being at sea but they tend to be higher in the sky than I am accustomed to. I’m used to rainbows low in the east in the late afternoon. This morning’s appearance was much closer to a full circle, maybe missing a 90 degree arc at the bottom where it ran into the sea, much closer than the horizon. Of course, I was on my morning constitutional and I didn’t have a camera. It won’t happen again.

The bigger issue at the time was we are steaming about 17 knots into a 25 knot wind so coming around the bow on the starboard deck was a challenge; going down the port deck was a challenge of a different sort.

The time zones are working very nicely because we are sailing west. Assume we start from the prime meridian and travel west along the equator a little faster than 20 mph. Then every day is 24 and one half hours long. Every midnight (i.e., 2400) we should set our clocks back to 11:30 (i.e., 2330.) After 24 days, we will have accumulated 12 extra hours; When we get to midnight Sunday morning, it will be noon Sunday in Greenwich. Then we get to the International Date Line.  

Midnight Sunday becomes Midnight Monday. They take the 12 hours we had accumulated plus 12 more we won’t recover completely until we get back to the Prime Meridian.

 Of course, none of this is true, which is the beautiful thing about mathematics. We didn’t start quite at the Prime Meridian; we aren’t going quite west; we aren’t exactly following the equator, and we are stopping along the way. But the arithmetic is easier my way. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to work out if our cruise is really 108 days or just 107 days and what happens when you sail east.

2 thoughts on “Rainbows and Time Zones

  1. Ron and Dore, I am thinking of you both and sent you a regular email. Miss you and love hearing everything about all your adventures.


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