Which is okay. Tradition holds it’s bad luck to leave on a Friday. Although we’ve left on plenty of Fridays, with no ill effects. David maintains that Oscar Dyson (legendary crab skipper) said it was okay to leave on a Friday, as long as you back out of your slip and turn a circle before heading out. We follow that advice, just in case.
What’s up with all these nautical superstitions? No bananas on the boat, no talking about horses, nothing green, no whistling in the wheelhouse. And the one I won’t even mention, no women on the boat.
I have a theory about superstitions that isn’t that deep. It’s that superstitions help us feel connected to our tribe. And we use them as a form of exclusion, or inclusion, depending on how "in the know" you feel.
Sure, I looked up some information on superstitions and learned a lot about how many of them are (possibly) rooted in something useful or truthful. Bananas for instance. I read that sailing vessels selected for lucrative banana deliveries were often the fastest in the fleet - so fast that if you wanted to troll off them you weren’t going to catch anything. Therefore a banana boat never caught any fish. You can see how that works.
And of course, some superstitions arise out of practicality - like it’s bad luck to leave a hatch cover upside down on deck - I figure that’s so that rain doesn’t collect on the inside, and that it’s as easy to pick up in a rush as possible. Makes sense to me - thinking of it as “bad luck” may help reinforce a behavior better than reason might.
But, if you’re new to this whole fishing thing, working your way through that stressful greenhorn year, knowing (or not knowing) your superstitions can be part of what dictates the rate of your acceptance. Don’t walk on board with a bunch of bananas in your hand, and even if you love to whistle - don’t!
I’d like to start some new superstitions. Like it’s totally unlucky not to talk about your dog once a day or that it’s crazy-stupid to leave the harbor without a 4 bottles of red wine. As Friday winds down here in Sitka, I can already feel lady luck looking my way.
Have a great weekend.