Albatros (Flickr)
Blog Words : Weird@Wanderlust | 26 April

24 daunting sailing superstitions

Sailors are a superstitious lot. Here's how to keep them onside the next time you're out at sea

Earlier this week,  Kate Reeves from Essential Sailing gave you practical tips on how to sail. What she didn't tell you was just how superstitious your fellow sailors are. Here are a list of a few things to keep in mind next time you step aboard a boat. Preferably with your right foot first.

Things that will bring bad luck at sea:

Killing an albatross. They host the souls of dead sailors, apparently.


Black travel bags. Black is the colour of death and a reminder of the depth of the sea.

Red heads. But the bad luck can be averted if you speak to them before they speak to you.

Stepping onto a boat with your left foot first.

Flowers. They are used in funerals.

Saying the word 'drowned.'

Killing a dolphin.

Whistling in the wheel room. You'll be whistling up a storm.

Changing the name of a ship.

Looking back once a ship has left port. It shows you're not ready for the rigours of the sea.

Losing a mop or bucket overboard.

Cutting your hair or nails at sea.

Crossing an area where another ship has sunk.

Naming a ship with a word ending in an "a".

A shark following the ship. Death is inevitable.

Opening a tin can from the bottom.

Things that bring good luck at sea:

Seeing swallows at sea. Land is never far away.

Black cats.

Tattoos. Various designs and symbols ward off bad luck.

Pouring wine on the deck before leaving port.

Dolphins swimming with the ship (hence why it's such a bad idea to kill one).

Starting a voyage the day after you get a haircut.

Stepping on board with your right foot first.

Do you know any other sailing superstitions? Share them in the comments section below.

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