Given that today is Halloween, boat enthusiasts may find the following myths and superstitions interesting:
- To name the boat with a word ending in “a” is bad luck.
- Avoid people with red hair when going to the sea to begin a journey.
Red heads bring bad luck to a boat, which can be averted if you speak to the red-head before they speak to you.
- Whistling – One widespread and universal superstition forbids whistling anywhere on board for that matter. Whistling on board will raise a gale, hence “whistling up a storm”. The only exception to this rule was for the cook, as the rest of the crew then knew he wasn’t stealing the food if he was whistling while cooking.
- It is bad luck to name a boat after an engaged woman – this will make the ship jealous.
- NAME CHANGE
It’s bad luck to change the name of a boat. but if you have to: write the soon-to-be-exorcised name on a piece of paper, fold the paper, and place it in a small cardboard or wooden box. Burn the box. Scoop up the ashes and throw them into the sea on an outgoing tide. If you live on a lake, do it at night and only during a new moon. River dwellers should send the ashes downstream.
- A black “sea bag” is bad luck for a seaman.
- Women onboard a boat distract the crew and place her in peril. (probably true)
- Tattoos and piercing are said to ward off evil spirits – for sailors to wear gold hoop earrings was good luck
- It’s good luck to spit in the ocean before you sail.
- Pouring wine on the deck will bring good luck on a long voyage.
- Horseshoes on a ship’s mast will turn away a storm.
- Swallows seen at sea are a good sign, as are dolphins swimming with the ship.
- It is unlucky to start a cruise on a Friday.
This is the day Christ was crucified on.
*The reluctance of seamen to sail on a Friday reached such epic proportions, that in the 1800s the British Government decided to take strong measures to prove the fallacy of the superstition. They laid the keel of a new vessel on Friday, selected her crew on a Friday, launched her on a Friday and named her HMS Friday. They then placed her in command of one Captain James Friday and sent her to sea for the first time on a Friday. The scheme worked well, and had only one drawback … neither ship nor crew was ever heard from again. HMS Friday is an urban legend and believed to be false