The Royal Navy perceives that personnel undergo a “culture shock” on going to sea for the first time, and that this contributes to them leaving the organisation. A deployed ship is an isolated and confined environment, where normal work and living boundaries are blurred. This exploratory study investigated the expectations and feelings of a group of junior personnel. It identified how the expectations and feelings changed over time and with experience of different parts of the organisation. The psychological contract is an a-theoretical concept that is commonly used to assess people’s understanding and expectations of their relationship with their employer. Aspects of psychological contracts were explored in this context, and the possible relevance of affordances, the theory of planned behaviour and the affect heuristic were also explicitly investigated as means of explaining the processes that were occurring. The “environment” investigated covered physical, social and organisational aspects of life in the RN and at sea. A range of data collection methods were used to identify the best way of obtaining information from this group, which had low literacy. These were one-to-one interview, structured card sorts, critical incident, word association, and participant-generated and pre-prepared questionnaires. It was found that a combination of environmental aspects led to personnel deciding to leave. An immediate “culture shock” did not appear to be a major cause. It was more due to an increasing “disenchantment” over time; caused by changes in individuals’ expectations through experience of the environment, and changes in their perceived individual needs. Violations of the perceived contracts were part of participants’ decisions to leave, as was the wish to “settle down” and have a stable social life. The physical environment seemed to act as a “dissatisfier”, becoming more of an issue as people became less enchanted with their job and lifestyle. The findings were consistent with other work on isolated and confined environments, with people finding the confined social and work space lead to stress. Alcohol was widely used as a coping mechanism, as was the use of cues for privacy. Participants were most positive about their personal and social spaces on the ship, despite the poor physical environment. The work generally upheld assumptions about psychological contracts, in that they largely consist of information given by the organisation rather than individuals assumptions prior to joining. Also, that psychological contracts appear to evolve over time in response to experience of the organisational environment. Participants expressed strong preferences for the structured card sort and word association exercises, both of which have a strong verbal element in the data collection. They were also found to be the most effective methods by the interviewer for managing the interview content. A consistent difference was found between the results of structured card sort and a questionnaire which asked an identical question. Respondents said that they felt they were more accurate in the structured card sort, as it enabled them to recall more information. This difference should be explored further. A model is presented showing how affordances, combined with the affect heuristic and the theory of planned behaviour, explain the findings of this study.