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Of Magic, Superstition, Female Sailors
Sailors have – I think – always been superstitious. Probably because we’re out here completely powerless in an indifferent magnificence that ignores us completely and it’s comforting to feel that there’s something however insubstantial going for us. In 1998, before the Sydney – Hobart that ended in tragedy for some of my friends, Gordon Smith, one of Berri’s crew, brought on board a recently minted Oz 50c coin showing George Bass and Matthew Flinders and commemorating their discovery of Bass Strait. We stuck it on a little bulkhead where it’s been ever since – now black with corrosion and almost unrecognisable even as a coin. We won our half of that race…And now, on our Magic Bulkhead, we have one of the ISS Expedition 10 badges with Leroy and Salizan’s own design for their mission. Plus Isabella’s little Magic patch of RTW Berri sail and her tellales that went half way. And her new telltales are operational on the shrouds.

All seems to be working so far! For some that didn’t, google H. L. Hunley submarine – first ever to sink another ship, the Housatonic (American civil war) but the crew drowned shortly after when the sub foundered. The skipper, whose name I have forgotten, had survived an earlier battle because a silver dollar had diverted a bullet. They recently raised the sub and found the coin on his body. Sad.

Soo, if you think like I do, you’ll go along with it, but know full well that it’s all the luck of the draw and planning…

Jennie – some fantastic female sailors have written books – try Kay Cottee, Adrienne Cahalan, Naomi James, Clare Francis…Don’t know whether Annie Gash did, but worth a look.

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