Life at Sea

---> HOME

Life at sea was one great bore for pirates. Sailing meant weeks of boredom just sailing around searching for prey. Then there would be a sudden burst of excitement as victims were sighted. The victim would be chased, boarded and then plundered.

All the rest of the time, there was nothing much to do. With nothing to occupy the attention of bloodthirsty pirates, fights were common. It was at such times that the captain would control his men with either fear or respect. The captain did not have the last word, as in many cases the pirate vessel was run democratically, with everyone on board having a say.

As with any long voyage in those days, pirates found it very hard to stop their food on ship from rotting or going bad. Pirates would stock up on bottled beer before a long trip, as water would soon become undrinkable, due to its salty taste.

The pirates mostly ate hard tack (long-lasting biscuits); although for longer voyages limes would be provided as a source of vitamin c, to stop them from getting scurvy. If they were lucky, the pirates would have a few hens on board the ship, which would give them both fresh eggs and meat. The pirates used to eat a lot of the turtles that lived in the Caribbean. As well as being delicious, these turtles were easy to catch.

(back to top)