Very Superstitious, Writing’s on the Wall…

October 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

There has to be rules and procedures on a boat.  There has to be order in case something untoward happens so everyone knows what to do, and the pliers, or knife, or bolt cutters have been put back in the correct place, and the quick release knot has been correctly tied on the liferaft etc.  Efficiency (and safety) on a boat is mostly about procedures and tasks being correctly completed (skills), proper maintenance (discipline), and planning for the unforeseen (strategy).

But at sea there is much that you can’t control, and anyone who ever spends any time at sea will gain a deep sensitivity to the raw fickleness of the elements, and just how quickly it can change. I guess to help regain some sort of sense of control, sailors were (are?) a superstitious lot.

I find these old superstitions rather fascinating… And there are lots! I’ve put this list together:


Sailing Superstitions


But how did these seemingly rather random superstitions come into existence? Presumably someone once did one of these ‘things’, and then something bad happened, and the ‘thing’ got the blame. That’s my logic anyway, and it gives me a vivid image of someone sinking after taking the vicar round the bay for a Sunday afternoon jolly.

The observant amongst you will notice that there is one very well known one missing.  But how can I possibly have ‘No women aboard‘ on here?

Have I missed any others? Do you know any more?