Relieving the QMOW
Always arrive on station ahead of the scheduled time for relieving the
watch. There is nothing more unprofessional and aggravating than a late
relief. More importantly, you must obtain much information about the
general situation before you can assume the watch. The general pattern
of relief is as follows:
One-half hour before the hour, the relief arrives on station. The relief
will make inspection, read logs and turnover sheets, and obtain other
information from watch standers. Fifteen minutes before the hour,
watch standers are relieved.
When you relieve the watch, make sure you obtain all information the
person you relieve may have for you. Such information includes verbal
orders to the wheel that still are standing, steering peculiarities because
of unusual weather situations, or anticipated aids to navigation.
When you arrive on the bridge, you must assess the general situation.
You should have a good knowledge of what is happening aboard your
ship. How much information you need depends to some degree on the
situation your ship is in at the time. If you are in company with other
ships, you will need much more information than you would if you were
steaming independently. Never relieve the watch until you have been
briefed on the ships position and turning or rendezvous points.
Additionally, you should sight all navigational aids (visual, radar, or
other electronic means) that are being used to fix the ships position.
Look over the Ships Deck Log entries of the previous watch and see if
there is anything pertaining to your watch. Report officially to the OOD
that you have relieved the watch. As previously mentioned, you serve
as the assistant to the OOD. In this capacity, you are very close to
events occurring on the bridge and at other stations. Your nearness
makes it possible for you to observe the watch personnel and the jobs
they are performing. Frequently, the OOD is involved in a problem
with maneuvering or navigation and may fail to notice the omission of
small details in the ships daily routine. The plan of the day or pages
from the ships organization book listing the routine of the day are
available in the pilothouse. It is an important part of your job as
QMOW to remind people concerned when the time approaches for
performing each detail.