Was navy life really that bad?

Lt-Cdr Ian Latimer with the stained glass window he made for Haslar Hospital

THIS WEEK IN 1984: Stained glass gift for Haslar Hospital

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Whenever I read about food served to sailors in the days of sailing ships all I hear of is maggot-infested meat and weevils in the biscuits. I wonder if this is really true.

Men who had to climb high in the rigging to furl the sails, sometimes in storms and spent perhaps hours at their stations firing cannon in battle had to be fit.

If they were eating food like this, surely everyone would have been as sick as dogs and have been as weak as new-borns?

I have been down in the hold of HMS Victory and although not freezing it is cold and must have been more so when at sea below the waterline. Surely some of the food was able to be kept edible at that temperature?