Superstitions: Coins and Debt

Published on December 22nd, 2022

Never Say P*G – The Book of Sailors’ Superstitions is the nautical reference book you never knew you needed. Compiled by R. Bruce MacDonald, he goes through the alphabet detailing on what provides good and bad luck at sea. Here’s a sampling from C and D:

Coins are thrown into the sea as a boat leaves port means good luck (although pennies might cause a gale as such a small amount is insulting) and serves as paying a small toll to Neptune for a safe voyage.

Empty your pockets of change before fishing or your catch will be small. If a breeze is needed, have the youngest woman onboard take a nickel, spin three times, kiss it, and throw the nickel into the water over her right should in the direction from which the breeze was wanted.

Sailors who had outstanding debts ashore were blamed for storms and for any other misfortunate events that would occur on the ship. A known debtor would not be welcomed as a crewmate. Thre is a common view that if one goes to sea and meets bad weather, someone has neglected to pay for his amusements ashore. Other kinds of unlucky crewmates were murderers, thieves, and braggarts (for obvious reasons).

For more sage advice, click here.

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