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I traveled to, and fro, and afar
And arrived at my starting point,
I stood facing north in the midst of the sea
The farthest from any shore's viewpoint.

I took a full turn and headed that way
From stop to start at the speed of a dove,
I flew and I flew and did not even waiver
Until I reached land and I took a sharp left.

Nothing could stop me, I flew and I flew,
Continuing, soaring, in quite a great hurry,
I never tired, or slowed, or stopped
and kept flying that way for a ghurry.

Where on Earth am I?


NOTES: The answer to this riddle can be a precise latitude and longitude. Since the variables may differ depending on your sources, some latitude (pun intended) will be given to question answerers.

Alternatively, creative answers are also permitted and may be chosen. Best or closest answer wins!

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think the answer is Puzzling Stack Exchage! Welcome to PSE, hope your stay here is good :). Please be sure to take the tour if you already haven't done so! $\endgroup$ – North Jan 30 at 23:06
  • $\begingroup$ By a full turn, do you mean a 180 degree turn? $\endgroup$ – Embodiment of Ignorance Jan 31 at 6:16
  • $\begingroup$ If you start from the position in the first paragraph, you can't go back to it if ice counts as land and you go straight south. $\endgroup$ – Nautilus Jan 31 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ @EmbodimentofIgnorance that's part of the puzzle ;) $\endgroup$ – Riddler Jan 31 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ Has a correct answer been given? If so, please don't forget to $\color{green}{\checkmark \small\text{Accept}}$ it. If not, some responses to the answerers to help steer them in the right direction would be helpful. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Mar 7 at 4:48
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I traveled to, and fro, and afar
And arrived at my starting point,
I stood facing north in the midst of the sea
The farthest from any shore's viewpoint.

This is Point Nemo in the South Pacific, the farthest point from land on Earth.

I took a full turn and headed that way

This could be 360 degrees, but in that case why mention the turn at all? So I'm interpreting this as a 180-degree turn, meaning we're flying south.

From stop to start at the speed of a dove,

Depends on the bird, but I'm using the top flight speed of the mourning dove which is 88 km/h.

I flew and I flew and did not even waiver
Until I reached land and I took a sharp left.

The first land we come across when flying south is Maher Island just off the coast of Antarctica. From here we turn left, so we're flying east now.

Nothing could stop me, I flew and I flew,
Continuing, soaring, in quite a great hurry,
I never tired, or slowed, or stopped
and kept flying that way for a ghurry.

A ghurry is 24 minutes. (Or sometimes it's an hour? Why??) So after 24 minutes flying at 88 km/h, we are 35 km from the starting point.

Where on Earth am I?

From what I can tell, 35 km east from Maher Island is just open water. The coordinates are approximately 72.98° S, 125.23° W. Doesn't seem like a great destination, so maybe I've taken a wrong turn somewhere...

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My answer

Point Nemo is the furthest point from land, in the South Pacific at

48.87666°S, 123.39333°W

I fluttered around and had a bit of a lark, and like an alouette, I
did a pirouette and ended up facing the same way: north.

I resolutely and undeviatingly headed north and after a long flight I
arrived at the coast of California, as my satnav told me, at

38.63666°N, 123.39333°W

From here I turned sharp left and headed west.

Now, if I had followed the same latitude for 24 minutes (a ghurry), at
88 kph (supposed speed of a dove), I would have flown 35.2 km and
ended up at

38.63666°N, 123.79860°W

But, I would have had to fly in a curve to the right to stay on the same
latitute. By flying straight and resolutely undeviating I followed a
Great Circle course and ended up slighly further to the south-east at

38.63583°N, 123.79583°W

There is no land here and no name was asked, but I unpacked
Nemo's Nautilus and did a bit of diving to discover I was near the
edge of the continental shelf and from here is a sharp drop west into
the deep Pacific Ocean.

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  • $\begingroup$ HINT: You my friend have done a great job,... if you call an island a shore;... another solution awaits you ahead,... but for sure you are getting more warm. $\endgroup$ – Riddler Feb 1 at 1:11
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(Approximate/Partial Answer)

1) "I stood facing north in the midst of the sea. The farthest from any shore's viewpoint."

Starting point. Nemo (-48°53", -123°24")

2) "I took a full turn and headed that way"

Southwards movement

3) "From stop to start at the speed of a dove,"

I will take it to be the speed of the bird: 88 km/h (= 1°15"/h) Like Jafe's answer, but still pondering whether it has to do with a boat named `Dove' of Robin L. Graham)

4) "I flew and I flew and did not even waiver"

flying not surface bound and friction-less ("not even waiver"), my answer would take into account the earth's rotation, of 15° (long) per hour.

5) "Until I reached land and I took a sharp left."

In direction (-1°15",15°), according to first approximation, I am land-bound somewhere near Park Rio Leon in South-America (-52°53",-72°14"). From there I move eastwards.

6) "and kept flying that way for a ghurry."

24 minutes = 0°24" eastwards. I would end up somewhere around Entre Vientos in Argentina (-52°53", -71°50")

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