What direction do you hang your mugs? Did you do laundry on Christmas? Who is “Mr. Dennis?”
It is no secret that sailors are a superstitious lot, but this little encyclopedia of sailor’s lore will offer even the most experienced mariner something new to think twice about. Equal parts historical background and impractical advice on lawyers, nail clipping, and mop storage, it is a delightful, quick read (though if you’re taking notes on the myriad dangers to avoid crossing paths with on your way to the dock, it might take a bit longer).
Author R. Bruce MacDonald is well qualified to compile this volume on antiquity’s do’s and don’ts, having lived with his family aboard the last of the Arctic fur trading tallships, North Star of Herschel Island, and logged over 100,000 miles. His well-researched volume is full of best practices, quirky rituals, and a few habits better left to yesteryear (let’s leave knitting hair into the toes of socks in the past). So whether you’re looking for some salty trivia or to cultivate some new nautical paranoia, this book is guaranteed to enchant and inform.
R. Bruce MacDonald
$19, Harbour Publishing