14 & 16 February, no 15 February, 2019 – International Date Line

While we are at sea for two more days, the calendar says three days. However, we cross the International Date Line today and when we wake up tomorrow we will have skipped February 15. A funny phenomenon of our imaginary concept of time. Oh, BTW – Happy Valentine’s Day to all our family and friends❤️💕❤️

Today’s morning devotional so appropriate to how you feel, especially when you are floating out in the Ocean and looking out at a spectacular sunrise.

The Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and all those who live in it; for He has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.” – Psalm 24: 1-2

Lecture time today: Dr. Denny Whitford, the professor from University of Maryland, lectured on “Who Owns the Oceans?” He described his experience charting the ocean bottom on the USNS Chauvenet in Southeast Asia, looking for another route to travel not through the Straits of Malacca. Key reasons for the ownership of the ocean is for food (as in fish, seaweed, etc.) and deep sea mining (oil, gas, diamonds, minerals etc.). The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that 158 nations signed clearly describes what are Internal Waters (3 nautical miles), Territorial Waters (12 nautical miles), Continguous Zone (24 nautical miles), Exclusive Economic Zone (200 nautical miles) and then beyond is called High Seas. If you can prove your continental shelf is attached to your landmass, you can declare also that the ocean land is your country’s. Thus, the battle in the Arctic Basis with the Russians who claim the Continental Shelf is attached to mountains in Siberia. Yes, the South China Sea disputes include China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Philippines. Turning reefs into islands does not give them rights per the UNCLOS agreement. Guess what -? -China doesn’t care. And the Philippines went to the UN’s Permanent Court of Arbitration for a ruling and won but they didn’t want to fight China so they signed agreement with China to share ownership.

This is good background on what is happening – the next territorial wars. Yikes!

Meanwhile, we are floating in the Pacific and crossing the Equator today at 1:51 PM. For this you will be recognized as either a Pollywog (never crossed the Equator) or Shellback (have crossed the Equator before). Guess which we are? There is a ceremony for the Pollywogs later where they are doused with slimy stuff and have to jump in the pool.

We will also be crossing the International Date Line later today. The Captain said he made the decision to not skip Valentine’s Day for those who wish to celebrate. Lots of activities on the ship for Valentine’s Day – starting with a requirement for Gala Evening Attire! The ship is also ‘pushing’ Godiva chocolates everywhere. Each night we receive two Godiva chocolates on our turned down bed. How’s that for a daily treat!

This lovely poster commemorates our crossing the Equator. Now that we are in the Southern Hemisphere we will play our music for sailing here – “Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills and Nash.