Time By Ship’s Bell

In the days before clocks became a common item on board, a vessel would carry a chronometer. It was the duty of one person to strike the ship’s bell to indicate the time and the changes of the watch. 8 bells would signal the end of the watch

The bell strikes would be as follows:

0000 8 bells 1200 8 bells
0030 1 bell 1230 1 bell
0100 2 bells 1300 2 bells
0130 3 bells 1330 3 bells
0200 4 bells 1400 4 bells
0230 5 bells 1430 5 bells
0300 6 bells 1500 6 bells
0330 7 bells 1530 7 bells
0400 8 bells 1600 8 bells
0430 1 bell 1630 1 bell
0500 2 bells 1700 2 bells
0530 3 bells 1730 3 bells
0600 4 bells 1800 4 bells
0630 5 bells 1830 5 bells
0700 6 bells 1900 6 bells
0730 7 bells 1930 7 bells
0800 8 bells 2000 8 bells
0830 1 bell 2030 1 bell
0900 2 bells 2100 2 bells
0930 3 bells 2130 3 bells
1000 4 bells 2200 4 bells
1030 5 bells 2230 5 bells
1100 6 bells 2300 6 bells
1130 7 bells 2330 7 bells

The strike for the hours were done as two quick strokes so 6 bells would sound like dingding, dingding, dingding and likewise 7 bells would be:
dingding, dingding, dingding, ding

See Nautical Clocks on Gift Ideas For Boaters


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