The Anchor Light: When the ship is at anchor, we raise a marker from the fore mast. Its light shines at night (seen above), and during the day the marker is visible as a black ball. This anchor light is standard maritime practice. At night, it alerts passing vessels to our location, and regardless of the time of day it informs other vessels that we are at anchor and are thus stationary. During the night, the Anchor Watch teams must keep an eye on the anchor light to ensure it does not go out.
Fire & Bilge: During voyages, the crew must continue regular fire & bilge inspections around the clock.
On this voyage, the students have also enaged in several research projects:
Celestial Navigation: Anchor watch tracked the Moon's course through the sky each night of the voyage. We also monitored air temperatures throughout our time on board.
Current Patterns: During our layover at East Haddam, the crew also measured height of tide and the speed and direction of the river's current.
If anything unusual does occur in the night, the Anchor Watch immediately informs the senior crew (usually Mr. Mangrum, who is typically up and working in the great cabin), who can then react accordingly. At the end of each team's hour-long shift, they must wake their replacements -- and ensure that said replacements really are awake and alert -- before they are free to return to sleep. Thus, Anchor Watch both safeguards the Half Moon and ingrains its crew with a standard of discipline and responsibility.