Some seafarers believe that a ship with a name ending in the letter “A” will have bad luck all around. It is thought that this superstition came about with the sinking of the Lusitania and Britannia during World War I.
It is also feared that changing a ship’s name will cause bad luck to befall it. An example of this superstition in action is the ship that used to be called Aurora. Before Sir Ernest Shackleton set sail for Antarctica in 1914, he renamed his ship Endurance. He wanted to see the whole of the continent during his journey, but the ship became stuck in the ice and ended up being completely destroyed. Fortunately, Shackleton and his entire crew were rescued.
The reasoning behind the name change belief is that superstitious sailors believe that once a boat or ship is named and inaugurated, it has a personality and life of its own. If a new name must be given, a de-naming event is required to take place first. One can do this by putting the existing name of the ship in a wooden container and burning the entire thing. Afterward, the remains of the burnt container must be scattered into the ocean.
It's actually a small wonder that there are so many superstitions surrounding the sea and the ships that travel on it. Because of the very size of the seas and the nature of ocean travel, legends and myths (along with all their superstitions) were bound to follow.
Coffee out on the patio, after the morning rain.