Posted by: Dan Sprague | May 18, 2012

The Dog and I share the first dog watch!

The Dog and I share the first dog watch, but abandons me for the second!

I like the bells on our ships clock. It lets me know what time it is without having to wear my watch. (I kill watches so I only get real cheap ones anyway). A ships clock rings a bell in the hour and the half hour and counting the number of bell tones you know what time it is.  The 24 hour day is broken up in to six working periods or watches. The watches were all 4 hour watches except for the two dog watches which were only two hours each. On a ship, a sailor would stand or work one watch then would be off two watches. Having 6 watches, your shift would slowly rotate so you did not get stuck on the same watch every day.

The two short two watches were from 16:00 to 18:00, and 18:00 to 20:00 hr. These are the dog watches. The origin of the term is in dispute. Some say it was linked to “dodging” or “dog-ing “ the daily routine, and others say it comes from the fact that the evening star, Sinus known as the “Dog Star” will appear between 16:00 and 20:00. Navigators would watch for the dog.

When we are out on the boat, the dog and I will work the dog watches. That lets my wife make these great gourmet meals for us. (I do not know how she can make great meals in the small galley.) The dog and I share the first dog watch, but he abandons me on the second one to help in the galley as clean up helper to the cook. Bosco would Cur Tail his help with me for extra food in the galley.


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