5 Maritime Superstitions You Probably Didn’t Know

There’s something about the mystery of the sea that brings along myths, legends and superstitions! Here are five maritime superstitions you’ve probably never heard before, just don’t ask us if they are true!

  1. Whistling Summons Storms!

It seems like whistling would go hand in hand with cheerfully going about one’s duties on the ship but it is actually an old superstition that it’s really bad luck! The idea is that when the wind picks up the sounds of whistling or singing, you’re actually calling a storm to brew.


  1. Dolphins Bring Good Luck.

If you see dolphins swimming along with a ship, it’s believed to be a good omen. This is a superstition we can get behind because who doesn’t love to catch a view of dolphins at sea?!


  1. Many Days Are Bad Luck for Sailing.

If everyone followed these superstitions, the global economy would look a lot different today! Old superstitions indicate Sunday as the only good day to set off on a voyage. What’s more, superstitious bad luck days include Thursdays, Fridays and two Mondays of the year – the first Monday in April and the second Monday of the month in August. The roots of these superstitions are very interesting, mostly having to do with religious beliefs. Fridays have been believed to be bad luck days for a very long time, on and off of the sea. Thursday is the day of Thor, representative of the god of storms.  The unlucky Monday in April is the day Cain killed his brother Abel and the bad luck Monday in August is the day the sinful locales of Sodom and Gomorrah were obliterated.


  1. Cigarettes Must Be Lit by the Proper Protocol.

…and we thought cigarette smoking was harmful enough! According to an old superstition, if a sailor lights his or her cigarette with a candle’s flame, they can be sealing their fate to soon die or experience some type of awful event. It’s interesting to note that lighting a cigarette with a candle’s flame is considered to be bad luck in various regions of the world – on dry land as well.


  1. Want to Change Your Vessel’s Name? Do This First!

It’s considered bad luck to change the name of a boat unless you officially take away it’s original name, give it the new name and christen it all over again. There’s also a superstition against naming vessels with words that end in the letter “A”!


01-27-2017 at 9:51