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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:32 pm
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Location: Hawaii
Post Superstitions
There is an existing thread for naval examples of superstitions. This is stretching out the time period quite a bit, but I came across an article related to the Falls of Clyde, which provides some details related to merchant ships:

"The best run was made by the four-masted Bark Falls of Clyde, and Captain Matson says if it had not been for a hoodoo he would have made port three days ago.

"We made a splendid run of twelve days to Hilo," said the Clyde's jolly master, "and I fully expected to come home in thirteen days or less. The crew swears we would have done it, too, had it not been for three hoodoos. First, we sailed on a Friday. Jack passed that over until he counted noses and found we had thirteen passengers aboard. Then the men swore by Neptune that there would be trouble before the voyage was over.

"Three days out from Hilo a hawk came aboard and stayed with the ship for four days. How the bird got so far out to sea is a mystery. We were all of 700 miles from land, and that is a long fly, even for a hawk. When the sailors saw the bird they felt better, and said it had been sent to take away the hoodoo. For four days the bird stayed around, and during that time I never had better sailing weather in my life. Every stitch of canvas drew, and for ninety-four hours the men never took a pull on a brace. Then one night the hawk disappeared, and for a week we had baffling winds that would have made a saint swear. What became of the bird is a mystery, but maybe he flew to some other vessel of the sugar fleet."

From The San Francisco Call (3 Jun 1901).

I have the honour to be, &c.

Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:20 am
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