leslie's guiding traditions

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Ships Times/Watches


Sea Rangers tried to run their 'ships' in as nautical a way as possible.  So they divided their crew into 'watches' rather than Patrols, and where possible sourced a ship's bell in order to sound ship time during their musters.  


On board ship, the watch changes every 4 hours, hence the ship's day is broken into 6 sections, and crew members would usually work two watches per 24 hours.  They are:

Middle Watch - Midnight to 4am

Morning Watch - 4am to 8am

Forenoon Watch - 8am to Noon

Afternoon Watch - Noon to 4pm

Dog Watch - 4pm to 8pm

First Watch - 8pm to Midnight.


The day is divided into 4-hour 'watches', each watch is divided into eight equal half-hour increments.  Bells are rung starting with the first half-hour after a watch begins.  The striking pattern is:

First half-hour: 1 bell

Second half-hour: 2 bells

Third half-hour: 2 bells, pause, 1 bell

Fourth half-hour: 2 bells, pause, 2 bells

Fifth half-hour: 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 1 bell

Sixth half-hour: 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 2 bells

Seventh half-hour: 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 1 bell

Seventh half-hour: 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 2 bells, pause, 2 bells.