Mouths to Feed

The galley aboard HMS Victory, in 2008. Author photo.

Location: Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth, England

The galley is arguably the most important part of the ship, at least as far as the crew is concerned. If you can't feed your crew, at best they won't have the energy to operate the ship, and at worst, they'll starve to death.

On a warship, such as HMS Victory, the galley would have to churn out thousands of meals each day. However, they caught something of a break, since the crew would eat in shifts, so not all of one meal would need to be completed at once. Modern ships employ machines to aid the process, and civilian shipping tends to have small enough crews that they don't have nearly the requirements of a warship.