Study Guide

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Ship's Time

By Avi

Ship's Time

  • This section explains how time works on a boat and how the crew's shifts are divided.
  • The first watch was commanded by Mr. Hollybrass and the second by Mr. Keetch (then later Mr. Johnson).
  • The watches are divided into two- or four-hour shifts.
  • On a typical day, a sailor would work alternating shifts. This is known as "watch and watch."
  • The "watch and watch" schedule meant that no one on the ship would have more than four hours of sleep at once.
  • Time was tracked by a bell that rang every 30 minutes.