Ship's Time

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"…a life in which it was natural and inevitable that all hands should be piped just before eight bells in the middle watch and that sleepers should start from their hammocks to the muster and then to scrubbing of the decks in the first light of dawn; that all hands should be piped to dinner at eight bells in the forenoon watch, that this dinner should consist of cheese and duff on Monday, two pounds of salt beef on Tuesday, dried peas and duff on Wednesday, one pound of salt pork on Thursday, dried peas and cheese on Friday, two more pounds of salt beef on Saturday, a pound of salt pork and some such treat as figgy-dowdy on Sunday, always accompanied by a daily pound of biscuit; that at one bell dinner should be followed by a pint of grog, that after supper (with another pint of grog) all hands should repair to their action-stations at the beat of the drum, and that eventually hammocks should be piped down so that the watch below might have four hours of sleep before being roused again at midnight for another spell on deck."[1]


  1. O’Brian, Patrick. The Mauritius Command. ©1977. William Collins Sons & Co., Ltd., St. James’s Place, London: p. 44
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