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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Doctor John Sea Shanty Jargon (34) Sea Shanty Jargon 17 Jan 00


I know you seafarers out there can answer. I guess "eight bells" is the end of a four hour "watch" or shift. Do one, two ... etc bells mean anything? Also what were (or are) the duties of the first, second, third mates and the bo'son on a ship? Songs snd shanties from Navy and merchant ships suggest the crew were very harshly treated but whaling songs complain about the nature of the job, weather etc; did the crew get a better deal on these voyages, such as a share in the profits? Probably simple questions but I don't rightly know the answer. Dr John


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