The ship is a society with its own rules. You are together 24 hours per day in a rigid hierarchy with the captain at its top.
What did the crew do, how were the ships furnished, and where did people sleep? Was there any privacy at all? What did the sailors do in the limited free time they had when they weren’t sleeping? What was the food like? The exhibition Aboard shows the development of ship life from the sailing ships of the 1800s to the motor vessels of the 1960s.
The tasks on board
Four model ships illustrate how sailing ships, steamships and motor vessels were organised with a captain’s cabin, mess and crew quarters. The tasks of the different crew members are described, from the seaman on a sailing ship raising the sails, to the stoker’s toil in the stokehold and the motorman’s maintenance of the deafening diesel motor.
Food and free time
The food and free time of those at sea is another story, and the exhibition describes what the crew ate, from the dry ship’s biscuits on sailing vessels to the more normal and nutritious food on motor ships. We’re also witness to how seamen relaxed when they were off duty.
The exhibition Aboard invites visitors inside the ship – the sailor’s second home and workplace.
”The ships’ hulls towered dark and vast in the wet night, their bellies filled with many things, pregnant with possibilities…”
-Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen; “The young man with the carnation”, Winter adventure, 1942.