The shipboard day is divided into 6 watches, each 4 hours long. The day begins at noon. The traditional names of the watches are:
|afternoon watch||Noon to 4 pm|
|evening watch (but see below)||4 pm to 8 pm|
|first watch||8 pm to midnight|
|midwatch or middle watch||Midnight to 4 am|
|morning watch||4 am to 8 am|
|forenoon watch||8 am to noon|
The evening watch was formerly divided into the first dog watch, from 4 pm to 6 pm, and the second dog watch, from 6 pm to 8 pm. This made 7 watches instead of 6, so that those having the forenoon watch one day would have the afternoon watch the next, and so on.
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Last revised: 1 September 2004.