Aside from baseball players, sailors are some of the most superstitious people in history. Seafaring is one of the world’s oldest occupations, and anything that’s been around for centuries is bound to have superstitions and lore tied to it. We’re not saying Captain Zack and crew give credence to any of these tales, but just don’t let them spot you with a banana on board.

  1. Leave the bananas at home. On ships, bananas have long been thought to bring bad luck. During the 1700s trading empire between Spain and the Caribbean, the majority of disappearing ships were all carrying bananas.
  2. No whistling. Old mariners believe that whistling or singing into the wind will “whistle up a storm.” But we won’t make you walk the plank if you whistle aboard Wild Hearts.
  3. SWH 101914 two dolphinsWatch your words. To ensure a crew’s safe return, some words were strictly forbidden while leaving port and at sea. Some of these words include “drowned, “goodbye” and even “good luck.”
  4. Hello, dolphins! We can’t agree more with this superstition. Dolphins swimming alongside a ship are a sign of good luck.
  5. No name changes. Did you know it’s considered bad luck to change the name of a boat? If you do change it, you must complete a de-naming and re-naming ceremony to prevent bad luck.

These are just a few of the superstitions centered on the sea and its sailors – there are dozens more. Now that you know a few, brush up on your sailing terminology in “Ahoy, Matey! Discover the Meaning Behind Nautical Phrases.”