The duty roster

In order to sail a large ship such as the Sea Stallion from Glendalough many hands are needed on board. Their tasks are to look after sheets and braces, set the tack in the turns, keep lookout, row, steer at the helm and much more.

On board the Sea Stallion there is a crew of 65 volunteer hands. They are organised into six sections which are delimited by the thwarts or benches on which the oarsmen sit. Each section has a foreman, who makes sure that the crew in their section carry out their duties, keep their watches and report back to the skipper. Just like in Viking times the crew are included in the watch teams. The watches are called port and starboard after the two sides of the ship.

- According to the sources there was a very strict division of labour on board the ship. Why was this? Could the crew just take it in turns and swap over when they wanted?

- Compare the watches on a warship in Viking times with the duty roster onboard the Sea Stallion. Find out which watches there were onboard a warship in Viking times.

- Find out what kind of watches there are onboard the Sea Stallion on the expedition to Dublin in 2007.

- Make a duty roster for a warship – all the posts on the ship need to be manned, but people also need to eat and sleep in order for them to be able to work.

The duty roster

This exercise contains problems and suggestions for written work.

It deals with topics such as:

  • Life on board/the organisation of the ship
  • The Sea Stallion then and now
  • Physical performance

The following articles may help in solving the exercise: 

Logbook and diary notes (see for example under the rooms' diary), as well as news from the ship's voyage to Dublin and Armchair comments may also provide inspiration.

It is obvious to link this exercise with themes about life on board and the Sea Stallion then and now: Skipper's law, Sea fare, Sailing, Stories aboard and Games.

Subjects: History, Science and Technology.

Suitable for age: 10-15 years