Obviously, I forgot to mention two (2) things in m previous post,
for which I certainly apologize ...
1. The universal and old seaman's adage, applicable to so many
posts appearing on this List, i.e., "Different ships, different long
splices.', meaning many things are done differently on different ships,
in different Companies, and with different Unions..
2. The Radio Shack clock, which may not be applicable to many
modern ships not carrying a Radio Operator. As traffic lists were
scheduled by GMT, it was necessary that the RO be aware of GMT - his
clock was sometimes set to GMT, sometimes a dual handed special
manufacture clock, and sometimes he just kept track of the time
difference. On single operator ships, he ususally arranged his work
hours independently to coincide with traffic list broadcasts - otherwise
the "auto alarm" kept watch for distress calls. It is perhaps
interesting to note that in the early days of radio one of the deck
officers, usually the 3rd Mate, acted as the radio
operator. Again, however, "differnt ships, different long
Jeremy has otherwise amply and well filled us in on procedures
applicable to the modern "all electronic" ship". I rather suspect that
his interest in clestial navigation has made him into somewhat of an
"enigma" to his compatriots. I have now discovered that the USCG
apparently issues a special certificate, or endorsement, as a
"Qualified Celestial Navigator" - can this really be true?
--- On Sun, 11/15/09, Anabasis75@aol.com
10692] Changing Zone Descriptions at Sea
Date: Sunday, November 15, 2009, 3:12
I will add to Henry's description of how time is changed at
sea. He is correct, the MOST ships still maintain the three
20-minute changes during the evening watches. I do have one
captain who defies tradition, as is his derogative, and changed it one
hour at a time. The trick was that he would switch watches that
this was done on as we entered each new time zone. For example,
for the first change the 8x12 would do it at 2200 hours. For the
next zone the 12x4 would do it at 0200, and finally the 4x8 would
do the third change at 0500. This makes all time
changes outside of the work hours of all but the two people on the
bridge and would not cause major confusion (usually).
The reason for the 20 minute changes is indeed to spread
the pain or sleep bonus among the three watches. The normal
times are 2200, 0200, and 0600 so as not to interfere with people's
work schedule. To be frank, typically the watch officer hits the
"advance" or "retard" button on the master clock when he wants
to. For example, when I do it on the 4x8 watch, i do it soon
after I arrive, so between 0400 and 0430. It doesn't really
matter at that point.
The navigational time it is COMPLETELY different. The
DR's, fixes, all of that, are retarded the WHOLE hour at 0200 on the
2nd Mate's watch (he's the navigator.). He usually also does the
bridge clocks (not hooked up to the ship's master clock) at this time
as well. So you will see either no 0200 fix, or two 0200 fixes
depending on what direction we are traveling, as well as a note in the
deck log book about advancing or retarding the clock 1 hour to conform
to a particular time zone.
I suspect that this may have been done on the 4x8 watches
in times past due to the fact that the 4x8 were traditionally the 2nd
mate watches. Perhaps Henry can weigh in on that
For some very fast ships, I have also heard of 2 hour
changes in a night. I have no personal knowledge on how that is
done. I suspect 40 minutes per watch.
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