(6) Regulations respecting officers, crew, &c. [[41-42]]
[] When the decks are washed, it is customary to exercise the seamen in the use of the great guns. For this purpose the drum beats to quarters; when all repair to their several stations and, under the instruction of the several officers, go through the ordinary operations attendant upon that branch of discipline. No persons of whatever description, females excepted, are exempted from being appointed to some post where their services may be efficient.
The military officers are allotted to commands on the poop, fore-castle, waist, &c.; having under them such cadets and recruits as may be on board, the whole acting as marines. The surgeon, with his mates, those of the sick who are incapable of taking an active part, together with all females, descend to the cock-pit; which, being below the level of the water-line, is tolerably secure from danger; though sometimes a shot, between wind and water, will find its way even to that apparently safe retreat.
The crew are always portioned into two watches, except when very numerous. Then, and during the time a vessel [] is in port, they divide them, including recruits, &c., into three watches. The chief mate commands the starboard-watch; the second mate commands the larboard-watch; and when there are three, the other, called the mid-watch, is commanded by the third mate. It is customary to relieve the watch every four hours, except in the interval between four and eight o'clock in the evening, which is divided into two reliefs, of two hours each, called "dog-watches."
But for the intervention of these, there would be no change in the times of coming upon duty; as each of the starboard and larboard watches would, respectively, come on at the same hours daily. This would be the same even if a mid-watch existed: whereas, dividing the evening-watch occasions an odd number, and changes the tour, or series, every day.
Where fresh supplies of provisions are not attainable, it necessarily
follows that each person on board can receive only a stipulated allowance
of meat, water, &c. This does not always affect those at the captain's
table; though it is generally recommended to the passengers to be economical
in their expenditure of water for washing, shaving, &c. In some ships
they are restricted to a quart daily; and if the crew are upon short allowance,
which is understood to be the case when each man receives less than two
quarts, the passengers and officers have little or no fresh water allowed
for the above purposes; but their beverage at table is rarely limited,
except under the pressure of actual necessity.