What you’re about to read is not a joke!
Marine customs have their origins in the dawn of humanity when captains and crews were protected from the immensity of the sea thanks to superstitions. Throughout time and adventures, the sailor has been prohibiting many things on board.
Let’s dive into this amazing world of superstitions.
The animal with the big ears, you know which
Like birds, pigs and legumes, the “you know what animal” has been part of the food of boats for centuries. Except that the cousin of the hare, with its beautiful teeth, chewed the wicker of its cage, then the hemp of the ropes, then the tow … This is how, by excess of greed, the rodent would have caused a great number of wrecks.
So neither to eat, nor company, nor stuffed … On board, no rabbits!
To change the «macoui» without disturbing Neptune
Yes, we are still talking about marine superstitions. Another superstition, a very controversial one: chaning the name of your boat.
¿What is the danger?
According to tradition, although this is not advisable and another solution would be welcome [such as adapting and learning to appreciate the name of your ship], it is necessary to cut the “macoui” to be able to change the name of a ship without getting Neptuno upset, the mythological God who governs all waters.
The “macoui” is the trail left by a ship, as if a snake was permanently following a boat. Since its baptism, a ship has its own «macoui». If the name of the boat changes, then another is added. The inconvenient is that there can only be one “macoui”, so the original has to be “cut” to make way for the new one without Neptune becoming irritated. Achieving this is very easy: just go into the sea followed by another boat and throw a drink towards the trail so that the “macoui” becomes “tipsy”. Then the accompanying ship passes over the “macoui” and cuts it. In addition, it is recommended to give siren hits since the “macoui” does not like noise at all. To finish and thank Neptune, you have to pour a good glass of wine on the starboard side of the boat.
A boat that has not tasted wine will taste blood
Once upon a time the blood of a victim spread over the bow, as an offering to the gods to grant protection to the ship
Did you think champagne bubbles were the festive side of arrivals? The ritual of sacrifice evolved in favor of wine with the famous bottle broken against the hull, before giving way to champagne.
An anecdote? The sinking of the Titanic reinforced this belief, since the ships of the company White Star Line were never baptized before their launching.
Lightning a cigarette with a candle …
One of the ancestors of the current Maritime Safety and Rescue Society (SNSM, French Organization) was the Breton Rescue Hospital Society, located in France. You will think, “Yes, so what?” But it’s not all! The latter sold matches to finance himself … lighting a cigarette with a candle was depriving him of donations!
Therefore, when lighting a cigarette with the flame of a candle, we would cause at the same moment the death in the sea of an unknown sailor, drowning or by accident …
Forget dried flowers to decorate
The flowers are used in the elaboration of funerary crowns thrown into the sea when a sailor dies … So better let yourself be tempted by the succulents, perfect on board: they need light, heat and little energy, like us when we sunbathe 😉
Whistling would raise and awaken the uncontrollable winds and attract the devil … The only one who can whistle is the cook because, while he is heard, he does not eat the food on board or taste (excessively) the dishes that are being cooked.
Don’t say rope
The term “rope” is never used on board, since the ropes were used to hang the children of mutineers in the courtyards … So the rope is a word reserved exclusively for the bell: a strong symbol linked to the maritime world. On board the bell was traditionally used to take turns and, especially, to warn other boats when there was fog.
It is recommended to use any synonym of rope to avoid giving way to superstition. We speak of mooring, of halyard, of neutral, of seesaw … also to clarify the maneuver and avoid ambiguities.
And many more…
• Always wind the wires in the clockwise direction.
• Do not sleep with your head facing the bow of the boat.
• Forget cutting your nails on a boat, it brings bad luck.
• Touching a sailor’s neck gives good luck.
• Always get on a boat with the right foot touching first.