Diamantina – Lower Seaman‘s Mess

Diamantina – Lower Seaman‘s Mess 2017-09-11T14:41:35+00:00


This compartment is being set up to display conditions in a mess deck. About 50 sailors lived here. Sailors would eat their meals, ten to a table. From each table, the “cook of the mess” would go to the galley and collect the food for his colleagues. At the end of the meal, each sailor would wash his plate and utensils. The “cook of the mess” would clean the communal items, dispose of the food scraps and washing water and clean down the mess tables.

A sailor was issued with a hammock 56 cm (22 inches) wide and 1.8 m (6 feet) long, complete with a thin mattress and a blanket. Hammocks were slung about shoulder height, “fore and aft” and a sailor would grab hold of a pipe or similar on the deck head and swing himself into his hammock. They allowed for a comfortable sleep, as they gently rocked to compensate for the roll of the ship. When not in use, he would roll up and lash his hammock and place it in the storage bin provided. This allowed for more space in the mess.

Later in Diamantina’s career, hammocks were replaced by bunks, which folded up when not in use. The port side of the ship has been set up to display this.

Each sailor was assigned a small locker for the storage of his uniforms, work clothing and personal effects.

Below this deck and accessed through a hatch is the ship’s refrigeration.