The Sailor’s Guide To Icelandic Superstitions: Sea-Faring Edition - The Reykjavik Grapevine

The Sailor’s Guide To Icelandic Superstitions: Sea-Faring Edition

The Sailor’s Guide To Icelandic Superstitions: Sea-Faring Edition

Published September 27, 2019

Valur Grettisson

So you want to be a sailor, eh, matey? Well, not so fast. There are a few ground rules we need to cover before you push off into the crushing Atlantic.

No pointing

First, check if your shiny new sailor clothes were sewn on a Sunday. Because if they were, buddy, you are screwed. It means that you will no doubt die at sea.

Now, before you head out, don’t you dare throw a rock in your boat lest you want it to sink later on. And don’t be childish and point at a ship, as that will have the same repercussions. Yeah, apparently that’s a real thing.

Once you’re chugging out to sea, no matter your mood don’t even think of whistling. You are practically daring the wind to smite you.

Sleep tight

Well you’ve survived up until now, and even caught some delicious cod, but you also got some tiny weird fish. You’ll just toss your unintended catch back to the sea, right? Jesus, what are you, a madman!? Do not throw fish overboard—for then you are feeding none other than the devil himself. And that means you’re gonna die out there.

Now then, it was a productive day, and you deserve a good night’s sleep. But keep your wits about you because sleep brings about the most important part of the job: dreams.

If you dream of blood, a broken engine, or some other calamity, wake the hell up and sail straight home. But if you dream of nets overflowing with fish, wake up and start dragging those suckers on board. The same goes with some women; dream of your old lady, and you’re in luck.

So remember: The real luck on the ocean is not fishing well, but to return safely. Still interested in earning your sea legs?

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