Sailing from Cabo Verde to Suriname – Day 4 (Time Zone at Sea)

(December 25, 2017) So far, we have seen only three ships on our SHIP tracking device (AIS system) since we started sailing. It looks we are the only boat in this part of the Atlantic Ocean. We have about 70% of the total distance to go to our destination, about 10 more days.

Before we left Cabo Verde, we spoke to a couple from the USA. We first met them in the Canary Islands and then saw them again in the Cabo Verde. They are just about completing the last route of sailing around the world, and are now going home to the USA via the Caribbean. When they left Cabo Verde two days before us, we scheduled a HAM radio talk daily at 8 PM, UTC (Coordinated Universal Time = GMT: Greenwich Mean Time). The talk is usually for about 5 minutes checking each other’s GPS positions, any issues, and etc. Talking to another boat makes us feel a bit less alone in this stretch of the sea.

I am currently tracking five different time zones: UTC, Suriname (UTC-3), Cabo Verde (UTC-1), Miami (UTC-5), and Seoul (UTC+9). Sailing West, our UTC time doesn’t sync with reality. It is still dark at 8 AM (UTC). In a couple of days, it may still dark at 9 AM (UTC). We don’t really know the actual time.

One of my former Chinese co-workers told me that China uses only one time zone. I wondered how the work schedule is set in East and West regions of China. I am curious if the working schedule of 9-5 in Beijing also applies in the West part of China. Do they get up at 9 AM and it is still pitch dark outside? Not having an internet connection at sea, I cannot Google but I am curious.

Kay Chung @0600 UTC on Tuesday, December 26, 2017
GPS Position @N14.28/W34.21

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