Friday, January 28, 2011

FTV 1/28/11

As we mentioned earlier, the ship has recently crossed into a new timezone that required us to turn the clocks an hour forward. The concept of timezones was created in the late 19th century to end confusion around each communities' local time. As means of travel increased and became faster, the need for standardized timezones increased as well. In 1883 a number of railroads adopted the timezones, but not until thirty years later did the U.S. declare the timezones official.

Today there are 24 different timezones across the world. These zones were separated equally at first, over time the inhabitants have caused the zone boundaries to shift around. Each zone is divided at the center longitudinally at every 15 degrees. For example the center of our current timezone is 75 degrees west. This gives it a Zone Description of ZD +5. ZD +5 means that the zone is 5 hours to the west of the central timezone. The central timezone is located on the prime meridian. The central zone is known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). For example, if we were to travel east the zone description would be ZD-5.

Another consideration is daylight savings time. If a zone is on daylight savings time, it means that the zone description is +1. For example ZD+6 goes to ZD+7. Keep in mind that not every country recognizes daylight savings time. As mariners we change timezones very often. This requires us to have extensive training in navigating the timezones and understanding the boundaries. The different zones also help us calculate our estimated time of arrival for each port. Only one more timezone before we reach Barbados.


1) What are the four timezones that are in the United States?
2) During what months does daylight savings occur?
3) What zone description is Barbados in?

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