Weekly winding of clocks.

Mac
30th January 2006, 09:39
I remember well the weekly winding of all clocks in the accommodation.
This was always done by the second mate at "gin" time before lunch on Sunday mornings and if he navigated around the accommodation at the correct course and speed, he would be primed for a good curry lunch.
I often wonder if this custom was continued after everything went digital, and whether it was restricted to vessels in far eastern waters.

Cheers

Mac

John Cassels
30th January 2006, 11:55
Always used to wind the clocks after Sunday inspection as there was
always the chance that when I got to the Master's room I would be
invited to join the seniors for a beer.

JC

Mad Landsman
30th January 2006, 21:09
As a Horologist perhaps I should at least comment.

Yes, Sunday is a traditional day for winding clocks anywhere, both on ships and on shore (Railway staff used to have it on their standing instructions). The reason for weekly winding is that a large proportion of regular clocks have an eight day duration so you wind it before runs down. Sunday is an easy day to remember, generaly there is a bit of free time too.
Nowadays most of the accomdation clocks seem to be quartz controlled electric or even MSF.
I have had dealings with ships which had electric slave clocks from a master clock onboard. Frequently these got out of sync and the Sunday clock round was done by the electrician carrying a U2 battery with wires taped to it. One used this to 'jog' the hands forward, a bit of a pain if it is a minute fast!

And yes, I wind the clocks in my house on a Sunday. (*))

eldersuk
30th January 2006, 21:51
We had a 2nd Mate who, when he was winding the clocks on a Sunday, would move the regulator from 'F' to 'S'. When somebody noticed him doing this and asked why, he explained that 'S' was for Sunday and 'F' for Friday. To prove his point he said that when he came to wind them on Sunday the pointer had moved back towards his imaginary Friday position, not realising that this was because everyone was retarding their fast-running clocks. This explanation caused much hilarity in the bar and the 2nd Mate stormed off infuriated at having the p**s taken out of him.
The joke carried on for quite a while until someone pointed out that this lunatic was navigating the ship.

Derek.

wully farquhar
30th January 2006, 23:50
only time i looked at the clock at sea was coming near the end of the graveyard watch. (Night)

non descript
31st January 2006, 00:38
Going into a shop and asking for Barograph paper with "Sunday Start" usually causes totally disbelief on the part of the sales assistant.... As my learned friend Clockman wisely suggests, there is more time on a Sunday than a Monday to mess about putting in the fresh paper

vasco
5th March 2008, 16:06
On the grand old Cerinthus the saloon clock packed in. The chippy was given the job of putting up the new one. He took down the bulkhead and coutersunk it so it was a flush fit. looked great. Until it had to be adjusted and we found we couldn't open it! The chippy was a lunatic called the Baron(maybe), a Russian or similar. I have a vivid memory of him running down the flying bridge whirling a 6 foot fire axe over his head during a pump room fire. He would have decapitated anyone near. Remember that Steve, Fond Mombin.

David Davies
5th March 2008, 17:10
As 2nd mate on a passenger ship I had umpteen clocks to attend. The secret was insecticide in the key hole. The slow runners got a squirt of Flit from the pump ,which if my memory is correct had a picture of a soldier in a red coat on the container, for fast runners a puff of powder. The correct amount came with experience, but the R/0s didn't agree and would not let me in the wireless shack #, never got round to the chronometers

derekhore
5th March 2008, 17:26
BP always saw the ritual of winding the clocks...along with the bridge chronometer, being carried out by the 2nd mate on a Sunday just before his 12-4 daytime watch.

If I remember rightly, apart from the bridge clocks; there was one in the Masters day cabin, one in the Chief Engineers day cabin, one in the Mates day cabin, one in the Chief Stewards office, one in the radio room, one in the Officers saloon & bar, one in the Crews mess & bar, one in the cargo office and one in the cargo control room.

Total of 11 ... plus the bridge assembly.

When I joined Wallems the ritual was carried on as both the Mate & myself were ex-BP!

slick
5th March 2008, 19:23
All,
When I first joined the RFA I was despatched to the Chart Depot at Devonport to collect the Chart Outfit, Stop Watches Deck Watches, Sextants and other items, also of course the Chronometers, I eyed on the desk adjacent to the Two Day chronometers assigned to the RFA Wave Ruler, two Ulysse Nardin 8 Day Chronometers.
"Those will do I said", "No way", was the stern reply "Those are for the Royal Yacht only".
I was told they were the only Eight day Chronometers in the Royal Navy. It was a salutary lesson to me on the pecking order and my place and the RFA's place on it.
Yours aye,
Slick

commander
2nd November 2010, 16:04
I spent many months as second mate on Blue Funnel's bulker AJAX in the early 70's, when she was new. The clocks throughout were driven electrically from a master clock on the bridge. All well until a the fire alarm was sounded.
The master clock did not like this at all, and would throw its hand (hands?) in. This was eventually traced to an electrical fault.

Pampas
2nd November 2010, 18:52
On the Andes it was done daily by one lecky as a seperate round at 0700 every day. Considered a doddle as one stayed clean compaired with the Fan round.

sheringham
2nd November 2010, 19:26
To this day I still wind my ships clock (bought as a birthday gift many years ago) on Sunday morning....Old habits I guess.

Ron

kewl dude
2nd November 2010, 19:34
US Flag ships I sailed the 2nd mate went around winding clocks after our weekly Fire and Boat Drill. If for some reason F & B drill could not be held -- REALLY bad weather out there for instance -- he would go around and wind the clocks anyway.

Greg Hayden

trotterdotpom
2nd November 2010, 23:18
All,
When I first joined the RFA I was despatched to the Chart Depot at Devonport to collect the Chart Outfit, Stop Watches Deck Watches, Sextants and other items, also of course the Chronometers, I eyed on the desk adjacent to the Two Day chronometers assigned to the RFA Wave Ruler, two Ulysse Nardin 8 Day Chronometers.
"Those will do I said", "No way", was the stern reply "Those are for the Royal Yacht only".
I was told they were the only Eight day Chronometers in the Royal Navy. It was a salutary lesson to me on the pecking order and my place and the RFA's place on it.
Yours aye,
Slick

You were give a couple of pointers in protocol, Slick.

Derek Roger
3rd November 2010, 01:31
Didnt need a clock in the engine room ; just went by the bells which were rung by the Tail Wahalla ( Oiler ) and he didnt even have a watch . How did that work ??

I Guess he sneaked at the one by the telegraph ; and to be correct that was the only clock that the 2nd mate did not correct or alter on the ship ; lazy Bugg-r ; I think he thought he might melt when we were in the Red Sea .

A Biased View Derek

vasco
3rd November 2010, 03:41
I Guess he sneaked at the one by the telegraph ; and to be correct that was the only clock that the 2nd mate did not correct or alter on the ship ; lazy Bugg-r ; I A Biased View Derek

I used to think that all those who had clocks in their cabins lazy Bugg rs.
As 2/O I never adjusted the ER Clock because they moved it 20 mins each watch.

Even when it was controlled from the Master clock. This only happenned once, the 3/E insisted the clock was not a slave and was out of the control room when i put it back 1 hour from the bridge. He was furious to find out he had done an extra hour,

surfaceblow
3rd November 2010, 17:57
I was a watch Third Assistant Engineer (12 - 4 watch) on a LNG Ship in the late 70's when the Second Mate woke me up during my prime sleeping time. The Second Mate wanted me to get him a screw driver so he could set time on the Simplex Clock slaves. I laughed and use abusive language at him for my troubles I had to have an audience with the Captain. After the Captain was finished he decided that it was not a logging offense, I asked him what codes do I put on the overtime sheet for the deck department wasting my free time.

About a week later none of the Simplex slave electric time pieces were working. All of the time pieces that I looked at had stripped gears from having the hands moved by an outside force, a lot of the hands were also bent, along with cross threaded screws.

Joe

Klaatu83
3rd November 2010, 23:14
I always wound and set all the ship's clocks on Sunday morning, just after coming off the 4-8 watch. None of them kept perfect time but the most inaccurate one was invariably the one on the galley. I presume the heat, humidity and grease probably had a lot to do with that.

R798780
4th November 2010, 00:55
Didnt need a clock in the engine room ; just went by the bells which were rung by the Tail Wahalla ( Oiler ) and he didnt even have a watch . How did that work ??

I Guess he sneaked at the one by the telegraph ; and to be correct that was the only clock that the 2nd mate did not correct or alter on the ship ; lazy Bugg-r ; I think he thought he might melt when we were in the Red Sea .

A Biased View Derek

I was always of the opinion that the clock would be synchronised by the ringing of "end of passage" and "full away", the time of which was always 'previously advised'. As third mate I was instructed to 'tell the engine room that full away will be at 'hh.mm'. Always the time was in a multiple of six minutes.

And melt in the Red Sea............................Tank cleaning Lumen and Luminetta south bound at 14 knots from Jeddah with a 14 Knot north wind, the engine room actually felt a lot cooler. (working on the range, particularly on the Black Four was always going to be an exception.)

Cheers - - - happy days.

A Tongue in Cheek view !!!

surfaceblow
4th November 2010, 02:33
All of the ships I sailed on the Bridge and Engine Room Clocks were synchronized when the gear was tested for Arrival or Stand by.

I was on a car carrier that the Japanese charter instead of using .1 of an hour (six minutes) required their abstract to use .083 of an hour (5 minutes) for the voyage west from Japan. The abstract also used the time of arrival and departure for the calculation of time in port. The Captain in his wisdom would only arrive and depart on the half hour so there was no duplication of effort to complete the voyage abstracts for the company and the two charter parties that shared the ship.

Joe

M29
4th November 2010, 15:12
Hi All
As an R/O, looked after the radio room clocks, which were corrected every day, also, rated the error of the Bridge Chronometer by time signal at least once per day. The 2/O would wind the Chronometer a precise number of turns, so as not to "overwind" it. One C/O I sailed with, always used his own "Omega" for star sights as he rated its accuracy highly and to annoy the 2/O! He refused to use the Chromometer, that the 2/O felt duty bound to defend, as it was of course his responsibility. Further annoyance to the 2/O was the apparant accuracy of the C/O's calculated positions. I personally believe that the C/O was checking his watch against the BBC time signal just before coming on watch!!

We used to have a "clock book" that the cadet would carry round to each department to notify of clocks being advanced or retarded but I don't remember the 2/O having to physically go round and adjust clocks himself but memory not so good.

The worse "clock" ships for me personally were the Dart Container vessels, that had an electronic master and numerous slaves. Because the master was electronic, the R/O got the job of making sure all the clocks were correct. As someone said earlier, the slaves would often fall out of "sync" especially when there was a lot of vibration. When clocks were advanced or retarded some slaves would get left behind, so I always had to nip around the ship every morning to sort them out. We were crossing the Atlantic at over 23 knots so usually had an hour change every day. These ships also had an electronic chronometer used for navigation but we also had the traditional one just in case.

Best Wishes
Alan