Time as marked by the bells

The use of the bells to mark the time stems from the period when seamen (1) could not afford a personal time piece (i.e. - a watch) and (2) even if they could, they had no idea on how to tell time with such an instrument. The bells mark the hours of the watch in half-hour increments. The seamen would know if it were morning, noon, or night. Each watch is four hours long and the bells are struck thus:

Mid

Morning Forenoon Afternoon Dogs First
0030 - 1 bell 0430 - 1 bell 0830 - 1 bell 1230 - 1 bell 1630 - 1 bell 2030 - 1 bell
0100 - 2 bells 0500 - 2 bells 0900 - 2 bells 1300 - 2 bells 1700 - 2 bells 2100 - 2 bells
0130 - 3 bells 0530 - 3 bells 0930 - 3 bells 1330 - 3 bells 1730 - 3 bells 2130 - 3 bells
0200 - 4 bells 0600 - 4 bells 1000 - 4 bells 1400 - 4 bells 1800 - 4 bells 2200 - 4 bells
0230 - 5 bells 0630 - 5 bells 1030 - 5 bells 1430 - 5 bells 1830 - 5 bells 2230 - 5 bells
0300 - 6 bells 0700 - 6 bells 1100 - 6 bells 1500 - 6 bells 1900 - 6 bells 2300 - 6 bells
0330 - 7 bells 0730 - 7 bells 1130 - 7 bells 1530 - 7 bells 1930 - 7 bells 2330 - 7 bells
0400 - 8 bells 0800 - 8 bells 1200 - 8 bells 1600 - 8 bells 2000 - 8 bells 2400 - 8 bells

Note: The end of the watch is considered at 8 bells, hence the saying "Eight Bells and All Is Well."

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