Weems & Plath, who we all know as the maker of fine nautical instruments, recently unveiled a free iPhone/iPad app. Our iPhones can already do amazing things, from telling us what planet we’re looking at to pinpointing our location on a nautical chart. Now the iPhone can transform itself into a ship’s bell.
Install the app on your iPhone and you’ll get a full explanation under the About menu of the history of the ship’s bell. To summarize, mariners used to have a 30-minute sandglass that they’d turn over every half hour to help them know what stage their watch was in. With every turn of the hourglass the helmsman would sound the ship’s bell. One bell would be struck at the end of the first half hour, two at second, and so on until the end of the four-hour watch (eight bells and all is well!).
For those of us who aren’t really on watch and don’t necessarily want to be awakened by the sound of the ship’s bell going off throughout the wee hours, the Weems & Plath app lets you define a silence period under Settings. You can also completely turn off the chime, or just use the silence feature of the iPhone itself to shut off the bell.
The main screen of the app is a wonderful clock face that mimics a shiny brass clock with hour and second hands. All in all, this is a fun app. Weems & Plath describes the sound of the app’s tone as “the rich, beautiful chimes of a ship’s bell.” We agree. After a while, you not only grow accustomed to the half hour sounding of the bell, you anticipate and look forward to it. For those of you who work in an office setting, the ship’s clock app is a great way to perplex colleagues. With your iPhone tucked away in a pocket or a purse, your co-workers will be looking up and down and all over the place to figure out where that beautiful, rich ship bell’s sound is coming from. And only you will know!
Enjoy the app and join us on the Virtual Dockside to post your objective reviews of the marine services you’ve used and to read reviews posted by fellow boaters.