Superstition Amongst Sailors. - Since the cruise of the old ship Ark, under Captain Noah, sailors have been superstitious, and even on that eventful voyage were restless until the dove was sent out to find Ararat, such was their superstition that a vessel without rats was doomed.
There are a thousand and one things which landsmen pass without notice, or do without a thought, that sailors would observe instantly and would not dare to do under any circumstances.
Let rats desert a vessel and the knowledge of desertion come to the sailor, and with bag on shoulder he follows ashore. A vessel without a horseshoe nailed to her foremast or pall bitt, could not get a crew for love or money; for as one old tar remarked, "No man has a right to dare the witches." A vessel launched on Friday had better remain on the stocks until she was destroyed by the dry rot, for bad luck will follow her until at last she becomes the coffin of brave men.
There is now a vessel lying in Port Colborne unable to get seamen, because one of her last crew saw the ghost of a female cook floating over the vessel in a gale of wind. When the schooner reached Port Colborne, being compelled to run back, the sailors with their "dunnage" made pier head jumps and would have nothing to do with her. Some years ago a female cook was killed by being crushed between the haunted vessel and another schooners, the two vessels having collided.