Strange Seafarer Superstitions

Old sailing superstitions make for fascinating reading, and one can only wonder how any ship or sailor ever went anywhere in the olden days without meeting a watery end.

Goodbye and Good Luck: Preparing for a Successful Sea Voyage

Have you ever been wished ‘good luck’ when departing for a charter? You must quickly draw blood to reverse the curse. You must punch the well-wisher in the nose, post-haste! 

If a person says ‘goodbye’ as you’re about to leave? Well, your voyage is eternally cursed and you now cannot safely leave on that yacht at all. Quit and find another job. 
Flat-footed people are terrible luck to encounter as you board your yacht. Luckily, flip flops make these cursed types easier to spot and avoid.  
More ominous yet are the redheads, who are renowned to cause fiendish luck on a boat.

Solution? If you see either a flat-footed person or a redhead approaching (we cannot imagine the calamity if the person is both) when you’re about to set off on a sea journey, you must quickly speak to them before they say a single word to you.

Vicars are a problem too. But as there’s not normally an abundance of vicars found wandering along the quay, you should be safe on that count. 
If you do spy a man of the cloth marching down the quay towards you, be sure to speak to them before they can utter a sound.

What foot do you step onto the passerelle with? It had best not be your left, or disaster will surely follow!

Do not start a crossing on a Friday, and try to avoid Thursdays due to a propensity for thunder and lightning, (very very frightening!). 
Sunday is a pleasing choice.

Having women onboard brings ghastly luck. But if you do happen to have one on board, you’d better hope they are pregnant, birthing a ‘son of a gun’ on the gun deck (sundeck!) without delay. If it’s a girl-baby? Yeesh.
Black luggage onboard is the harbinger of death. Louis Vuitton will be fine.

Having flowers onboard brings a side order of death. Apparently.

And absolutely no bananas. Not even for smoothies.

All At Sea: Navigating Superstition Underway

Don’t look back to port once the boat has left. 
It shows a lack of nerve, that you are not truly committed to a life at sea, and your snivelling wimpishness shall bring misfortune.

Dolphins swimming with the ship bring good luck. But this one is obvious, for even the frostiest of charter guests can be slightly thawed with a dolphin sighting.

It is deathly unlucky to kill an albatross or a gull. They are considered to hold the souls of dead sailors. 
Cutting hair or nails on a boat is devilishly bad luck — Neptune will become angry and smite your fine vessel. 
Yacht beauticians, stay tuned for some alterations of your duties.

Do not name a boat ending in the letter ‘a’. 

Pouring wine on the deck will bring good luck. (Every stewardess ever just smiled a little. Got that covered.)

Do not whistle. You’ll ‘whistle up’ a great and dangerous wind. And also, whistling is fairly annoying to all but the person doing the whistling. 
Of course, if you need wind to escape the doldrums or there’s a regatta the boss wants to win, whistle away.

Do not mention your destination, or you shall never reach it. 
This makes it complex to radio the port to let them know you’re coming in, but you’ll find a way. Semaphore maybe.

Are You Superstitious?

Of course, these old sailing superstitions are all poppycock. Complete hogwash. Bald-faced balderdash. 

But who doesn’t love a bit of balderdash now and then?

Are there any superstitions still active on your yacht? 
And are there any superstitions you still live by, whether it’s avoiding walking under ladders or throwing salt over your shoulder to blind the devil?

It’s fun to find out superstitions from different people and nationalities, so ask around the crew mess table and report back to us!