Would you set sail on a Friday in a green boat with a red headed woman and a whistling clergyman?

The e-mail sailing newsletter Scuttlebutt has, over the last few days, published a lively correspondence about sailors’ superstitions, in particular not naming long eared, furry animals with white tails when at sea.

Some claim that this started with early French sailors and fishermen who carried them on board for fresh meat but when some escaped they chewed their way through the wooden hulls with disastrous results. It’s also a strong superstition amongst UK West Country fishermen. On one occasion after a boat and her crew had been lost at sea other local fishermen called for a day of mourning and respect by not going to sea. One crew did and as they left the harbour a dead r?.. (sorry!) was thrown onto their boat.

But there are many other superstitions at sea and I’ve listed a few below. Contact me if you know of any more.

The colour green
Red headed women
Setting sail on a Friday