Ship's Bell. The ship’s bell is used to regulate the watches. The strikes of the bell (known as a “bell”) to not indicate the number of the hour; instead, there are eight bells, one for each half-hour of a four-hour watch. Bells are struck every half-hour, in pairs to make counting easier, with any odd bells at the end of the sequence. For example, one bell would be “ding,” two bells would be “ding-ding,” three bells would be “ding-ding…ding,” and so on until eight bells would be “ding-ding… ding-ding… ding-ding… ding-ding.” Eight bells would indicate the end of a four-hour cycle and a new cycle would begin.
Relieving the Watch. When relieving a watch, the new watch stander reports 15 minutes prior to the start of the next watch, reviews any information pertinent to the watch, receive a briefing about current and expected events of the watch, and then relieves the watch. Watch changes are entered into the watch log.
Watch Log. Most watches have a log book in which entries are made about things that occur during the watch. Entries include, changes of the watch, rounds being completed, course changes, gauge readings, etc.
Uniform for Watch. The uniform required for a watch may vary from the working uniform to the full-dress uniform. In any case, the watch stander should report to the watch properly groomed and wearing a clean, complete uniform that is in good repair.
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