Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hey, ho, here came JoJo

Our trip up the Thames crossed (actually re-crossed) the Greenwich Meridian. The Meridian separating east from west and is inextricably linked with Greenwich Mean Time, and the Royal Observatory in Greenwich is where east meets west at Longitude 0°. 

A bit of history: In 1884 the Prime Meridian was defined by the position of the large 'Transit Circle' telescope in the Observatory’s Meridian Observatory. The cross-hairs in the eyepiece of the Transit Circle precisely defined Longitude 0° for the world (as the Earth’s crust is moving very slightly all the time the exact position of the Prime Meridian is now moving very slightly too). The world had become smaller in the 19th century with the vast expansion of the railway and communications networks (sound familiar?) and the worldwide need for an international time standard became an imperative. Since the late 19th century, the Prime Meridian at Greenwich has served as the reference line for Greenwich Mean Time as prior to this, there were no national or international conventions which set how time should be measured. 

And, at the behest of crew-mate in abstentia Ben Ellison, due respect to England's history and to the Greenwich Meridian was provided, albeit a bit late as our eyes and hands were busy avoiding skinny or hard floating objects, and obeying rigorous vessel transit regulations.

As we approached the St. Katherine Dock lock, the shard was sighted and then Tower Bridge was on the bow:

Once through the Dockyard lock, I was offered one option...a spot that required a shoehorn, for entry...

 and managed somehow to squeeze in without harm. Still not sure how I did it!

And yesterday of course was a great day, as I picked up Johanna at the airport. Her journey was disrupted at the very outset due to protests and closure of the SFO international security gate - necessitating bus transfer to and from another terminal to pass through security. Aside from the early confusions and angst she experienced, the trip was otherwise reasonably uneventful and I was eagerly awaiting her arrival at Heathrow. We took the tube back to St Katherine Docks, and are settling in, beginning with a quick walk along the Thames:

So much to see...

1 comment:

Chris said...

hi bill,

i would like to contact you whilst you are in london, as you are living my dream...would be very informative for us to talk to you.

i hope that you are enjoying london and we would be more than happy to help you in any of your visits in the uk.

my address email is


i hope i will hear from you

many thanks