Friggaphobia

We had planned to have the boat hauled on 18 October, but the marina advised us that due to a schedule conflict, the date had been moved forward to 2 November. A quick look at the calendar and I was renegotiating the date. “Why?', you ask. Because 2 November is on a Friday this year and we superstitious sailors start nothing on a Friday. We don't start a passage; we don't start a big project; and for sure, we don't haul a 21-ton boat out of the water on a Friday. Evidently, the Norse goddess Frigga, for whom Friday is named, was considered lucky until the Christians changed all that by convincing everyone she was a witch and subsequently, Friday became an unlucky day. Not just Friday the 13th, any Friday was considered unlucky and not just for boats....for getting married, for moving, for haircuts, even for doing laundry. It's a good day for hanging and convening a coven though.

The superstition was so firmly entrenched with sailors that there's an urban myth floating around that the British navy went to great lengths trying to dispel this notion and allay the sailors' fears. In the 19th century, the British Admiralty commissioned the building of a new ship, the HMS Friday. Her keel was laid on a Friday; they launched her on a Friday; her captain was James Friday and she set sail on her maiden voyage on a Friday. And she was never heard from again. Just disappeared off the face of the earth.

Actually, according to records, there was never a Captain James Friday in the British navy and there was never a ship named the HMS Friday, but it's a great story, isn't it? Or … is this just a conspiracy to cover up the misadventures which occur on Fridays? Makes no difference, we don't haul on Fridays.

Anyhow, when I talked to Phil, the marina owner, his response to my request for a new date was “Oh, it's a Friday, is it? Even the farmers around here won't plant on Fridays. No worries. We'll do it Thursday.”

Whew...another catastrophe avoided.