At night, seamen sleep in hammocks slung between beams or at least, half of them do. For the crew is divided into two "watches" (teams). One watch sails the ship from 8pm to midnight, then sleeps for four hours while the other watch works. Tomorrow, the two watches swap over their duties. Shouted orders and pounding feet echo through the ship all night, but the sleeping sailors do not wake. Their work is so exhausting that they slip into a deep slumber as soon as they tumble into their hammocks.
Sailors lived by the bell aboard Constitution as it was linked to their responsibilities at sea. The ringing of the bell was a simple way to inform the entire crew to change watch (shift). When the sand in the half-hour glass emptied, it indicated 30 minutes had passed. A sailor struck a bell, and he added an additional strike every half hour until he reached eight, signifying four hours had passed. That indicated the watch (shift) was over. Visit the All Hands on Deck mathematics supplement, “Computing Time and Creating a Schedule” and show students the Bell from HMS Guerriere placed on Constitution after the battle to replace her damaged bell.