The Captain and Crew Load Food Supples For the Long Voyage At Sea


San Bernardino, United States

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 18

Artist's Description

Sailors and pirates in the 18th century often ate horrible food. All the crew’s food for the entire voyage had to be packed into the hold and storerooms, and of course there was no refrigeration. Vegetables and meat were pickled or salted, and didn’t taste very nice at all. Cooks had to use lots of spices to hide the taste of each rotten meal. Even flour and sugar would spoil if water got into the hold during a storm. Poultry and livestock were kept in cages on deck so that there were eggs, and cattle or goats to milk or eat. Sometimes the crew caught fish or sea turtles, or even birds.

But after a few weeks at sea, there was usually no fresh food left. No fresh water either – sailors drank ale (although most people didn’t drink fresh water in those days anyway). Ships on long voyages relied on biscuit, dried beans and salted beef. Without proper food, many sailors got sick and died of scurvy.

In the Mediterranean Sea, where ships were never far from a pirate haven, the crew would land as often as possible to stock up on food – and to eat and drink as much as they could while they had the chance.

The ship’s galley, or kitchen, was usually not much more than a fireplace with a few cauldrons and maybe a spit to roast meat. A cook had to be very clever, and very resourceful, to create decent meals for the crew in such difficult circumstances – but if he didn’t, he might live to regret it.

Combined and layered two photos to create this scene. Textures from Shadowhouse Creations, color adjustments, blending, etc. Photos taken with Canon D40.

Artwork Comments

  • CarolM
  • Rhenastarr
  • CarolM
  • Katey1
  • CarolM
  • LauraBroussard
  • CarolM
  • loiteke
  • CarolM
  • Nadya Johnson
  • CarolM
  • © Kira Bodensted
  • WendyJC
  • CarolM
  • debarlene
  • Rosehaven
  • CarolM
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