I ran across some sailing proverbs recently and thought how true so many were, especially those relating to weather. Here are some of the ones I found that I liked best. These come from all over the world.
Sailing Proverbs About Weather:
- Quick rise after low oft portends a stronger blow.
- Referring to the barometer rising quickly after sitting at a low reading.
- If rain bothers you, you can always jump into the sea.
- Seems like going below might make more sense, but what do I know.
- Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning; red sky at night sailor’s delight.
- Very common proverb known to sailors and holds largely to be true.
- When halo rings the moon or sun, rain’s approaching on the run.
- Another proverb that almost always holds true.
- Rainbow to windward, foul fall the day; rainbow to leeward, rain runs away.
- Kind of obvious, but saltier than just saying you’re going to get wet if the rain is windward of you.
- Seagull, seagull, get out on t’sand, we’ll ne’er have good weather with thee on t’land.
- This I did not know. Seagulls apparently go inland in foul weather. Unfortunately the gulls move when the weather turns not before it, so not a weather predictor.
- Beware the bolts (lightning) from North or West; in South or East the bolts be best.
- Applies to Northern hemisphere.
- Mackerel skies and mares tails, soon will be time to shorten sails.
- Ok this one is lost on me. I looked it up and it refers to clouds, but nothing I could find actually clearly explained this one. If you know, I’d love to hear.
- Seamen learn to get to know each other during a storm.
- This is how you see your crew working and their skills.
Sailing Proverbs About Fishing:
- There are people that fish and those who just disturb the water.
- Just found this funny.
- Don’t bargain for fish which are still in the water.
- Good advice.
- A fish should swim thrice: in water, in sauce, and in wine.
- Completely agree with this one!
- A fish gets bigger when it gets away.
- Another good fish story truth.
- Even small fish are fish.
- True just won’t feed as many fishermen.
- Better sma’ fish than nane.
- ‘specialy if yar hungry.
Sailing Proverbs About Bad Luck:
- It is too late to learn to swim when the water is up to your lips.
- A ship on the beach is a lighthouse to the sea.
- Oops again!
- Better to lose the anchor than the whole ship.
- Hard to do it, but very sage advice.
- After the ship has sunk, everyone knows how she might have been saved.
- Sort of like being the Monday night quarterback or hindsight is always 20/20.
Sailing Proverbs About Seamanship:
- Make not your sail too big for your ballast.
- Lots of canvas is not always smart.
- One should learn to sail in all winds.
- The prudent embark when the sea is calm — the rash when it’s stormy.
- This one seems so hard for some to heed.
- When the sea is calm, every ship has a good captain.
- Same for companies too.
- A ship with two captains sinks.
- Too many cooks definitely spoils the broth.
- If you can’t tie a knot, tie a lot.
- This one made me laugh. If you need to learn some knots a great site is animated knots.
- Below 50 degrees south, there is no law. Below 60 degrees south, there is no God.
- Read my post about sailing in these areas.
- There is no wind that blows right for the sailor who doesn’t know where the harbor is.
- The time to be looking for a harbor is not when you need one.
One more of my favorites that will date me…Soggy rice not taste nice. From Minute Maid or Uncle Ben’s Rice rice commercial. It’s so old you can’t even find it via Google. Now I understand why people look at me funny when I recite it.
Hope you enjoyed these as much as I did. If you have any other sage proverbs to share, I’d love to hear them!
See you on the water,
Sail Away Girl