What can they do? Take away my birthday?

Published on LSIS Helen Frank (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Honolulu, Hawaii

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02), Exercise RIMPAC

“I think of it as being pretty lucky. I get to stay a year younger,” said Able Seaman Aviation Technician Jack Taylor, who lost his 23 rd birthday when HMAS Canberra sailed over the International Date Line recently. (photo: Unknown)
“I think of it as being pretty lucky. I get to stay a year younger,” said Able Seaman Aviation Technician Jack Taylor, who lost his 23 rd birthday when HMAS Canberra sailed over the International Date Line recently.

The ability to skip a birthday might be considered a dream for some, but for Able Seaman Aviation Technician Jack Taylor it became a reality when he sailed over the International Date Line onboard HMAS Canberra on his way back to Australia from Hawaii.

As 15 August instantaneously became 16 August due to a time zone change, ship's company lost a day, and almost the entirety of Able Seaman Taylor's 23rd birthday disappeared.

Far from being disappointed, Able Seaman Taylor said it was "kind of exciting".

"What are the chances of my birthday falling on the day we cross the International Date Line?" he said.

"It's never going to happen to me again and probably doesn't happen to many people at all."

"I think of it as being pretty lucky. I get to stay a year younger."

The crew of Canberra did not allow the occasion to go unnoticed, organising a birthday cake and a chorus of 'Happy Birthday'. Able Seaman Taylor generously said he didn't even mind the celebrations were a day late.

Canberra was returning from Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) - the world's largest international maritime exercise held biennially off the coast of Hawaii.

Armed forces from 26 nations around the world took part in this year's exercise.

Able Seaman Taylor said one of the highlights of the trip was seeing the US Marine's V-22 Osprey land on the deck of Canberra.

"I also enjoyed working with the American Army, and Hawaii was great," he said.

"It has been a great trip despite losing my birthday."