Life aboard ship was governed by the weather and was punctuated by a series of watches. When there was no wind, a ship could remain becalmed for several days. Although accounts of life at sea often mention music and dancing as ways for the crew to pass the time, the archives provide no information about the daily life of sailors. The data gathered at the Natière site thus sheds precious light on the crew's leisure-time activities, including the presence of a pet – a young macaque aboard the Dauphine. Excavations also revealed the presence of a black rat (Rattus rattus) on the same ship.
Wood was omnipresent, and is the dominant material in the inventory of finds from the two wrecks – accounting for more than half of all objects collected (excluding structural elements and animal bones). Ever to hand, wood could be reused ad infinitum and was easily repaired. Wood-carving was thus practiced by anyone who possessed a knife, and it was the source of some of the extraordinary finds aboard the Dauphine.