#TravelThursday continues, and in this edition we visit Fanning Island – part of the Republic of Kiribati. I’ve never been south of the Equator, but on this visit to the island it’s as close as I got to it – just below 3.9° north latitude. That’s about 250 miles north of the Equator.
I visited during the first week of March of 2006 as part of a 10-day NCL cruise with my family out of Hawaii – about 900 miles due north of Fanning Island. (Back then NCL had to sail to Kiribati and back in order to legally operate a Hawaiian Islands cruise under the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886.)
It’s the only time in my life that I crossed-over the International Date Line. The local time on Fanning Island is exactly 24 hours ahead (GMT + 14) of Honolulu (GMT – 10). Although the International Date Line straddles the 180TH meridian – it extends way to the east near the Equator so that all of Kiribati’s scattered islands are within a few hours of each other. Fanning Island is thus on the most advanced time zone on Earth, so it celebrates each new day first.
Kiribati has about 120,000 residents, and that includes about 2,500 scattered among 8 small villages on Fanning Island’s 13 square miles. The island is actually an atoll – a narrow strip of land that completely or partially encircles a lagoon.
I did not take pictures of anything before about 11 years ago. Luckily my brother had a camera at the time, and he documented our vacation back then via hundreds of photos – including our day across the line on Fanning Island:
YES – That’s me in that final photo from 15½ years ago. #DearYoungerMe
Join me next #TravelThursday as we visit another location on the face of this earth.
They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear. You will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap. (Proverbs 3:23-26 NLT)
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