HMB ENDEAVOUR: Mess Deck tables

Here are some images of the mess deck where up to 60 sailors live, sleep and socialise every day and night.

1. Click on the play button in the bottom left to hear interesting facts about each image.

2. Click on the transcript button in the bottom left to read some interesting facts about each image.

3. Click on Next button in the bottom right to move to next image.

Sea chests being used as benches for eating in the mess.

Three long wooden chest painted white extending from the walls in between wooden tables hanging by rope from the ceiling.
© State of NSW DET

Transcript of audio file:

The Navy gives you one of these sea chests to store your things in. You have to supply your own clothes, bowl, spoon and mug.

A wooden table with set for a meal.

A wooden table supported at one end by ropes and at the other on a wooden rail attached to ship's side. the table has food, wooden cups and eating utensils.
© State of NSW DET

Transcript of audio file:

On ship, lunch is the main meal of the day. Six sailors sit at each table and choose someone as ‘cook of the mess’ who takes the tables’ rations to the cook to prepare. He brings the food back and serves. See those things that look like rope hair? That’s what you use to wipe your face and hands. Once a week we get a boiled raisin pudding, it’s my favourite.

Other image of mess tables

A row of wooden tables and chests with buckets at end to catch slops.
© State of NSW DET

Transcript of audio file:

Do you notice anything strange about these tables? That’s right; they are hung by ropes instead of having legs. This leaves more room underneath and also helps to keep them stable in rough seas. We have square plates here – square plates for three square meals a day.

The ship's cat asleep

A large ginger cat curled up alseep on a canvas jacket.
© State of NSW DET

Transcript of audio file:

What’s that cat doing there asleep? Someone give him a prod so he gets about his business of catching a few rats in here!

one of the seamen's hammock - a hanging bed

A hammock with a folded blanket and pillow.
© State of NSW DET

Transcript of audio file:

Each sailor has a number where he slings his hammock (that’s a bed hung from the ceiling). The Master of the Watch can find any sailor in the middle of the night by these numbers. So the mess is also a bedroom for the crew.