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Superstitions, Magic and Phobias
""What the sea wants, the sea will have." Many sailors were so in awe of the ocean, they never bothered to learn to swim. Can you answer these questions about maritime superstitions?"
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
Which day of the week is considered the most unlucky to launch a voyage?
(One Word, a day of the week)
Many passengers are considered unlucky. A captain should think twice before allowing any Finns, women, or redheads on board. Clergymen are also bad news. Why?
The presence of a Christian minister is an afront to Neptune, the true god of the sea.
Priests attract the souls of the drowned.
Men of the cloth tend to put the kibosh on the gambling, swearing and drinking that makes ocean travel tolerable.
Clergymen are all descendants of Jonah, the original bad luck passenger.
Some types of animals were considered good luck to seafarers. Which of these animals is NOT traditionally lucky to have on or near a ship?
On the same topic, what animal is so unlucky that sailors will not even speak its name on board?
A sailor with no tattoos is a new sailor, indeed. But tattoos are not mere decorations, they have meaning. For instance, what is the significance of the anchor many seamen wear on their arms?
It prevents them from drifting away if they should fall overboard.
It insures they will always have a berth on a ship somewhere.
It will give them the strength of steel in any fist fight.
It prevents them from ever getting married.
Like sailors, actors have many superstitions. Both sailors and actors would never perform this action. What?
What must a sailor never do when eating?
Throw leftovers into the sea
Cross his knife and fork on his plate
Allow the crystal to ring
Eat every scrap of food he's served
What should be poured across the deck before each voyage?
The crew should urinate on the deck
Fresh (not salt) water
A drop of the captain's blood
With which foot should you always step on and off a boat, the left or right?
(One Word, left or right)
Most of the above superstitions have fallen into disuse. However, there's still one tradition practiced worldwide. What must a sailor do in order to earn the title 'shellback'?
Cross the equator on a ship
Sail in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea
Sail around Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope
Pass through both the Suez and Panama Canals
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Compiled May 19 13