The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was knifing its way through the waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia. The navigator finished working out a star fix and brought it to the master, Capt. John Phillips. The Warrimoo’s position was LAT 0º 31′ N and LON 179 30′ W. The date was 31 December 1899.
At midnight the SS Warrimoo lay on the Equator at exactly the point of crossing the International Date Line. The consequences of this bizarre position were many:
- The bow of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere and in the middle of summer.
- The stern was in the Northern Hemisphere and in the middle of winter.
- The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899.
- In the bow it was 1 January 1900.
Therefore, the ship was not only in two different days, two different months, two different years, two different seasons; but it was in two different centuries – all at the same time.