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Little bit about maritime customs

Little bit about maritime customs

In naval customs and traditions of almost every country, ships are referred to as a “she”. And sailing on board naval vessels was prohibited for women: the ship would be jealous of the woman aboard and this would invite a terrible storm that would cause the shipwreck. The only women allowed on board were figureheads mounted on the prow of the ship. However, some women did serve on board, usually they were wives of the crewmembers.  


Saluting on ship is always made with palm facing in. The reason is simple: since the sailors’ hands were often covered with tar from rigging and sail, it was inappropriate to show an officer or member of the Royal Family a dirty palm.


The whistling in past time was a sign of mutiny. Therefore it was prohibited aboard for everyone except one person – the chef. Because his whistling meant that he was not eating the crew’s food. 


Rum was a drink of the Royal Navy and sailors were given everyday portions of it from 1655 until 1970. Originally this tradition came due to health conditions: water was not safe to drink as it became rancid very fast, so everyday drink was beer, but when it ran out, rum was on its duty. However, in 1740 the first mojito-like drink was introduced by Admiral Edward Vernon. It was a mix of one part rum to four parts water flavoured with lemon juice and brown sugar, so that this drink could protect sailors from the scurvy because of containing vitamin C. Since Admiral woar a cloak made of the waterproof fabric grogram, he was known as Old Grog, and his creation got only part of his nickname – simply grog.

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