Why you should never EVER take a banana on a boat

Happy RaysSailors and seafarers are superstitious folk. Its always been this way. Never leave port on a Friday, never harm an albatross, NO pasties on board, avoid redheaded people before a voyage (?!!!) and apparently women on board are bad luck (pah!)…and bananas. Don’t bring bananas onboard.

So last weekend, Sydney produced some absolutely sublime weather; sunny clear skies, 10-15 knots from the west. We’ve decided, despite having a long list of renovations for the boat, that we just need to use it whenever the weather is right for taking small children on board, to get them used to it so when it is finally set up for over-nighters we can feel confident to take them out of the heads and up or down the coast.

The picnic basket is the most important aspect of putting to sea with children. Unfortunately when I was throwing things in the eski, upmost in my mind was mess free appealing food that fills them up. So I chucked in some bananas and didn’t give it a second thought.

It was a cracker of a day. In fact probably one of the happiest and funnest and joyous days I’ve spent with my family….

So back to the bananas. Until we got back to the mooring it was all smooth sailing. I was down below playing I spy with the girls….and there was a gentle bump as the keel hit the mud…followed by about ten minutes (that felt like thirty) of Reg thrashing the outboard and swinging around on the rigging until we eventually slid off. It was the first time we’d put the boat back on the mooring at low tide and we were excruciatingly a couple of metres from the mooring buoy. So whilst its a great spot in terms of distance to row the tender to shore, we will have to approach the mooring from a specific angle at low tide. Or leave the bananas at home.

If you know any interesting or unusual seafaring superstitions, please share!

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  1. You might have already seen this Charly, it’s an extract from an old diary I own of a familys journey from the UK to Aus in 1878 on a clipper ship, the full diary of which is on one of Lindas blogs. There was apparently a superstition in those days that if you found yourself becalmed, just toss one of the cats over the side to liven up the wind, doubt it worked and not much fun for the cat. The two following lines mention this, and probably not for the wee ones ears ….

    11th Oct 1878 “The cook threw his cat overboard this morning for a fair wind & I hope now that they at last come. Bed 10.30 fine night”
    19th Dec 1878 “All the fowls are eaten & the kitten which has been ailing for some time has been thrown overboard for a fair wind”

    Cheers Phil

    1. I suppose endless days at sea and the effects of being becalmed drove the best of them mad and in their desperation they were willing to try anything. I must go back and read the full diaries on Linda’s blog. Thanks for the interesting input on seafaring superstitions :)

  2. What a fantastic day out on the boat. I love the pictures of T helping with the ropes.

    1. She was in her element!

  3. Can you explain more about bananas

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