Watch Rotation

Watches (Assuming a three-man crew, designated A, B, C):

Rotating Schedule: Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Last Watch: Helm 0000-0400. Off 8 hours. C A B
Morning Watch: Helm 0400-0800. Make breakfast, take sun-sight, off 8 hours. A B C
Forenoon Watch: Helm 0800-1200. Make lunch, off 6 hours. B C A
Afternoon Watch: Helm 1200-1600. Take noon-sight, off 4 hours. C A B
First Dog-Watch: Helm 1600-1800. Make dinner, sleep 6 hours. A B C
Last Dog Watch: Helm 1800-2000. Sleep 8 hours. B C A
First Watch: Helm 2000-2400. Sleep 8 hours. C A B
Ship’s bell. 8 bells signals the end of a 4 hour watch.

Ship’s bell. 8 bells signals the end of a 4 hour watch.

  1. Using this schedule, no one is stuck with a bad watch over and over. For instance, using A as an example:
    1. Day 1 (Lots of day time to relax, go to bed early for a midnight shift):
      1. Early morning wakeup for 0400-0800 helm, then make breakfast and take the morning sun-sight.
      2. Off for 8 hours in the daytime to relax, read, nap, eat lunch.
      3. Take the helm back in the afternoon (1600) for a couple hours, make dinner then go to bed.
      4. Sleeps 6 hours until his midnight shift at the helm.
    2. Day 2 (Mostly helm duty, then a full night’s rest):
      1. After helm duty from 0000-0400 goes right to bed.
      2. Sleeps for 8 hours through the morning, then gets up in time to take the noon sight, eat lunch, then helm duty.
      3. Off at 1600 for an afternoon nap before next helm duty after the sun goes down.
      4. Off at midnight for a full 8 hours rest.
    3. Day 3 (Recovery Day):
      1. Wake up when the sun rises for 0800 helm duty until lunch.
      2. Make lunch for the crew, clean up, then free for 6 hours.
      3. After a quick 2 hour helm as the sun goes down, eat dinner and go to bed for another full night’s rest (albeit with an early 0400 wakeup).
    4. And the 3 day cycle continues.

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