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8 of the strangest sailor superstitions


A sacrifice can appease the Queen of the Sea and restore your fortunes


One of the richest men in Brazil has sacrificed £130,000 in a bid to appease the Queen of the Sea and change his disastrous fate.

Eike Batista fell victim to one of the largest personal and financial collapses in corporate history. In 2012 Batista had a net worth of $30bn and he was the seventh wealthiest person in the world. Just 18 months later his wealth plummeted to $20m because of debt and his company’s falling stock prices. It's now believed his net worth is -$1bn.

As reported by online news websites, Batista sought the advice of a medium that advised him to make a ritualistic sacrifice to appease the Queen of the Sea and restore his good fortune. “Most of his recent business explorations were connected to the ocean and you cannot remove ore from the earth without thanking and giving back,” the medium warned.

Batista chartered a yacht for the ritual, placing 700,000 Brazilian reais into a small vessel decorated with other small offerings.

The statue of Amphitrite above is courtesy of the Louvre

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Bananas are bad luck on boats

sailor superstition

News broke in 2015 that a Scottish town banned bananas in preparation for a traditional boat festival because bananas are considered bad luck on boats. This sailing superstition dates back hundreds of years in seafaring history.

There are numerous stories how this sailor superstition started, one being that boats carrying bananas in the Caribbean in 1700s had to sail swiftly to arrive in port before they ripened, and therefore were moving too fast to catch fish. Others suggest it's because bananas make other fruits ripen too quickly, forcing supplies go off too soon.

Bananas are still often banned on some sportfishing yachts today.

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Renaming a boat is bad luck

sailor superstitions

Obviously this rule does not apply to the superyacht sphere, where renamings happen at a head-spinning rate each time a there is a yacht sale. But in the smaller boat sector, it is considered very bad luck indeed to rename your new vessel. As legend goes, every vessel name is recorded in the Ledger of the Deep, kept by the God of the Sea Poseidon, also known as Neptune.

In order to change a yacht’s name, it must be stricken from the record, which involves destroying every trace of the boat’s current name – from burgee to anything monogrammed with your yachts name. To ignore this legend is to risk a terrible fate, such as getting struck by lightening, sinking or worse. Another way around changing the name is to keep a portion of the name, but some sailors are superstitious enough to think this is still temping the fates.

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