Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

Sailors’ Delight



The saying goes something like this:

Red sky at night,

Sailors’ delight.

Red sky at morning,

Sailors take warning.????????????????????




I’m happy to say this was the red sky at night, therefor, sailors’ delight.

Somehow, someone had figured out the weather patterns by the look of the sky. The old salts would have been very aware of the changes in the sky, just as the new salts are aware, although the latter have the help of modern meteorology and constant weather updates on their VHF radios.

Still, they hang onto the old beliefs. Some sayings, such as the one about the “red sky ” are wise and based on common sense, while others make about as much sense as an old wives’ tale.

Here are some other bad luck superstitions that fishermen still pay attention to (even if they don’t outright believe in them):

!. Never start a trip on a Friday.

2. Never open a tin can upside down on the boat.

3. Never whistle on a boat. You’ll whistle up the wind.

4. It’s bad luck to change the name of a boat.

5. Being followed by a shark brings a boat bad luck (I can believe that one, especially if I were planning on dangling my hand over the side!)

But a sailor at sea,

(though it’s not for me),

is something that many

would love to be


A blog that mentions sailing and superstitions of sailors can be found at Victor Tribunsky’s fabulous travel blog. Just click on his name. You’ll be amazed at the many places Victor has been and has told about. His photos are excellent.

Do you have any superstitions that nag you? Maybe you don’t really believe them but you still don’t tempt fate by going against them?

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

34 thoughts on “Sailors’ Delight

  1. Those are stunning! I do remember that saying from when I was a girl. The people I knew that were that savvy about the weather were the farmers. They had a weather eye for the sky.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting, but I’m not sure why anyone would try to open a can upside down.


  3. Wonderful shots Anneli. As to never starting a trip on Friday, that may be a bad omen for fishermen, but bunk for me.


    • Apparently there are a lot of days that are not good to start a trip on. Seems like Sunday is the best choice. But of course, it’s bunk. Still, if you start your trip on a Friday and things go badly, you’ll always wonder if you should have waited for Sunday instead.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m still caught up on that can thing!


  5. I often have to start a trip on fridays, but I’ll try to remember the others. 😉


    • I know it’s just silliness. We used to skip along the sidewalk and try not to step on a crack. The “song” goes, “Step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s back. Step on a nail, you’ll put your father in jail.” If these things were true, there would be a lot of broken backs and the jails would be overflowing.


  6. Amen to all of that, Anneli. 😉 In my old sailor’s days I would never ever have left harbour on a Friday 13th. And my fellow sailors knew that, if they started to whistle, they’d get a stern reprimand with “on board of my ship it’s only the wind that whistles”. Another tradition we always held sacred: of every bottle of spirits that was opened on board, Poseidon’Neptune always got the first taste.
    Have a good one,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Terrific sunsets! I remember my dad talking about the red sky at night, even though we never had anything to do with the sea. It must have become universal.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lovely pictures. And thanks for giving us warnings for fisherfolk. I’ll pass them on to my fisher-husband.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for the link and compliments, Anneli.
    It’s very kind of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Those are stunning skies…. love some of the beliefs… not superstitious myself but worry when others have…


  11. It’s so funny, I was just going over the “red sky at night” in my head this morning…awesome sunset shots!! (Love your header too).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Awesome photos. I just want to swim in the color.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautiful photos Anneli! We have had a lot of pink and red sunsets lately and it appears this method of forecasting is accurate. 🙂


  14. Upside down can..can’t imagine somehow. I see Capt. Gary hunched over and trying not to lose the beans all over the deck..silly I know but that’s what immediately came to mind.
    still laughing! Hugs Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I had sailor ancestors from the Netherlands. One of them fell on an anchor and was killed at age 21. Did I ever tell you that before? I wonder if they had the same superstitions surrounding boats? just gorgeous photos, Anneli. Gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s awful, Luanne. No you didn’t tell me that before. I’m sure they had superstitions. Boating people seem to have a lot of them because so many things can go wrong (and often do). Glad you like the photos. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Your photographs were awesome and so stunning, Anneli. I also enjoyed all the marine or nautical messages. My parents lived on Lake Erie after they retired, I love the little ways they changed into low key, less frantic or busy and also, how calming the waves on their cliff made me want to go to sleep. Your post was enchanting and also helped to take me back to good memories.

    Liked by 1 person

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