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Good Luck, Bad luck: Superstitions at Sea

New Bedford, MA – The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center will host Good Luck, Bad Luck: Superstitions at Sea on March 9, 2017 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. during AHA night.  Fishermen and sailors will share superstitions and stories with the public in what is sure to be an entertaining discussion.

The men and women who work and play on the sea hold many superstitions.  From bananas to suitcases, there are many things not allowed on certain vessels for fear these items will bring bad luck. In an environment which can be unpredictable, beliefs, behaviors and practices can help a crew feel in control, perhaps guaranteeing the success of a trip or protecting the crew.

As Linda Greenlaw wrote in her book, The Hungry Ocean, “Fishermen, especially those of an earlier vintage, are superstitious; we have a unique set of superstitions by which we live. Some landlubbers will think certain sea going rituals foolish and consider bizarre our avoidance of seemingly harmless words, actions, and things. However, when the stakes are high and the consequences that threaten sever, even the most rational among us will observe the rituals—just in case they hold merit.”

In addition, the Center will co-host the 123rd anniversary celebration of the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey’s first trip. A lucky ship in her own right, she left Gloucester on March 14, 1894 and returned a highliner in July. To celebrate, the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association invites visitors to enjoy a piece of cake which will be served at 7:00 p.m.

The Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc. (SEMA) is a 501c(3) not-for-profit corporation with the purpose of raising funds to provide for the maintenance, equipment, manning, programming and operation of the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey as a sail training vessel, school ship, and educational enterprise. SEMA is currently raising funds to match a $375,000 1:1 grant received by the Manton Foundation to fund the current rehabilitation work.

The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the commercial fishing industry past, present, and future through archives, exhibits, and programs. Located at 38 Bethel Street, the Center is wheelchair accessible. Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the Center. Admission is free.

For more information, please contact the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center at or call (508) 993-8894.



38 Bethel Street
New Bedford, MA 02740

Located in New Bedford, the nation’s most valuable fishing port, New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the fishing industry past, present, and future through exhibits, programs, and archives.

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