The double Tuesday

Tonight is the time for time-travel! At midnight, the day will start over. Today is Tuesday May 24th; tomorrow is also Tuesday, May 24th. Tomorrow becomes today…

For the last few days, the Sonne has been in a timezone that doesn’t really exist. The shipboard time is currently exactly 12 hour before the current time in Germany, starting at midnight, we’ll be exactly 12 hours behind the current time in Germany. Shortly after our equator crossing, we also crossed the international date line between 180 W and 180 E, so actually we have been in the future for far too long…

This double-Tuesday is a bit surreal. Our current week will have 8 days, May 2016 will have 32 days. And the year 2016 will have 367 days – a leap-year with an extra Sonne-Day.

What does this mean for our work on board the ship? We have one extra day for our work aboard ship, which is very helpful. But we have to track our samples very closely to make sure we know on which of the 24ths of May we collected our samples: whether bacteria grow in 2 or 3 days can make a big difference in our experiments.

For dates that are continuously recorded, such as water temperature and salinity, the double-24th-of-May is not a problem: since the beginning of our trip, they have been recorded using a different time. All of the oceanographic data are collected using UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). This time is currently 2 hours behind the current time in Germany, so it is 14 hours after our current shipboard time, and starting at midnight, 10 hours ahead of shipboard time.