The “waterproof” watch

I tried to get through my first Level 1 course without a watch. When I’d sailed before, this hadn’t been a problem. There were clocks and we were woken up when it was time to come on duty at the start of a watch. (Why can the word “watch” have so many different meanings, at least in a nautical sense?) On the course, this did not work. There were no clocks on board except in the navigation (nav) station and we were expected to get ourselves up for watch. As a result I was sometimes late on watch. I hate being late for watch – years ago after someone was late relieving me at 4am, I resolved that I would never do the same to anyone else.

So for my next course I bought a watch. It was:

  • Purple
  • Waterproof
  • Had an alarm
  • Vastly expensive: £4

At least it said it was waterproof.

Clothes, and Eric, drying out over lunch

Clothes, and Eric, drying out over lunch

On our team building weekend at the start of August, we spent the Saturday dinghy sailing. We managed to capsize in the morning. I was at the helm! The screen of the watch misted over, and when you could eventually read the screen it had switched to showing the date as the 8 March! It dried out over lunch, as did most of our clothes, and reverted to showing the time.

However in the afternoon session I lost count of how many times we capsized. We seemed to spend more time in the water than in the boat. And I was not always at the helm when we did so.

Again the watch screen misted over and reverted to showing the date. However it didn’t dry out, at least not quickly enough for me so I started fiddling with it. It set off the alarm – which when asleep was too quiet to wake me up, but awake – for several hours at a time – is extremely annoying.

I left it in the ladies’ until bedtime. It was still going off. So it met an untimely death. I asked Kevin to stamp on it. The result? It was quiet!

Waterproof watch

Waterproof watch, after Kevin’s tender loving care!


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  1. Anna on 29 August 2013 at 15:38

    Poor purple watch. Will you return it and ask for your money back? Anyhow, I suppose you may have to spend a bit more to get a properly waterproof watch. Good luck.



  2. Anna on 29 August 2013 at 15:39

    In fact thinking about it, does Dame Ellen have one you can borrow?



    • bbllr87 on 29 August 2013 at 16:09

      Buying the watch was really a trial. At the time I bought it I didn’t know whether I was going to pass the training so didn’t want to spend too much on it. Have bought a proper one since. The alarm even wakes me up!



  3. puffinld on 4 September 2013 at 13:55

    Just don’t tread on it!!



    • bbllr87 on 4 September 2013 at 17:34

      If it gets trodden on, I’ll have more serious problems than a broken watch – I don’t intend taking it off!



      • puffinld on 5 September 2013 at 23:55

        Don’t get it wet in the shower – you know those luxurious places you [don’t] have on the boat!!