Officer Bells Changing Time

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Officer Bells Changing Time

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Bobby Neely [1]. Officer Bell: Okay. As clocks came in and time zones became popular, ships started keeping watches on zone time rather than local sun time, but the watch bells and names of the watches assume that the watch time will be more or less in sync with the local sun. The Captain decides when to change the clock between zones and does so in a perfect world in a way that is fair in the long run to both watches. Does this explanation "ring a bell" Har, Har? Are you convinced that an attempted mutiny is at the real root of the tradition? Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 10 Jan PST I'm doing more digging, and I must say, getting more skeptical about the mutiny story. Here's a description of naval time-keeping taken from an article written in The captain's orderly keeps the time on board a man-of-war At 8 o'clock in the morning the orderly reports to the officer of the deck "Eight bells, sir".

The officer replies, "Report to the captain eight bells and chronometers wound. The report, "Eight bells and chronometers wound," is intended as a check upon the navigating officer, to whom the chronometers are confided Every half-hour the bell is struck until noon, when an observation is taken, the formula repeated and eight bells again struck, and the position of the ship on the chart defined. There is a curious little deviation from the rule in the British navy.

Anterior to the naval mutiny at the Nore in There's no mention of any traditions stemming from a US naval mutiny, although the British tradition regarding the mutiny at Nore is common knowledge, and is often mentioned. Instead, reporting to the captain and seeking his OK is essentially in deference to his authority as the master setter of the clock, especially at noon, when position is plotted and "corrections" can be made for solar noon. I'd be interested to hear what your thoughts are on all this.

Mean time, I'm still searching. The boatswain stands near the break of the forecastle, with his bright silver call, or whistle, in his hand, which ever and anon he places just at the tip of his lips, to blow out any crumbs which threaten to interfere with its melody, or to give a faint " too weet! The boatswain keeps his eye on the group of observers, and well knows when the " sun is up," by the stir which takes place among the astronomers, or by noticing the master working out his latitude with a pencil, on the ebony bar of his quadrant, or on the edge of the hammockrailing; though if he be one of your modern neat-handed navigators, he carries his little book for this purpose.

In one way or other the latitude is computed, as soon as the master is satisfied that the sun has reached his highest altitude in the heavens. He then walks aft to the officer of the watch, and reports twelve o'clock, communicating, also, the degrees and minutes of the latitude observed. The lieutenant proceeds to the captain, wherever he may be, and repeats that it is twelve, and that so and so is the latitude. The same formal round of reports is gone through, even if the captain be on deck, and has heard every word spoken by the master, or even if he has himself assisted in making the observation. The captain now says to the officer of the watch, "Make it twelve. The complete lack of sympathy in these accounts for the plight of the seaman is notable.

I suppose it? The more I look, the more I become convinced that the? It very much seems a tradition that stemmed from the overwhelming importance of timekeeping on board a ship, and from the acknowledgment that the captain must have the opportunity for the final say-so on setting the clock. Since you asked for an? I did want to let you know my rationale, however. There are two rather detailed accounts of the mutiny readily available on the web, and several others that I read in newspapers from and afterwards.

There is nothing in these accounts about eight bells or any other time as a specific signal to begin a mutiny. In fact, the accounts state that the mutiny was to begin during some unspecified watch, by sailors staging a fight to attract a senior officer to the deck, who would then be subdued and thrown overboard. The main document I consulted was? The Mutiny of the Somers? Here is the passage describing how the mutiny was to begin: The affray was to be commenced some night when Spencer had the mid-watch.

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