the background behind
Don't Shoot the Albatross!
Nautical Myths and Superstitions

I was inspired to write this book by Don'ts for Husbands and Don'ts for Wives, which A&C Black had republished a century after they were written, and gone on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies. In 2008 I was working part-time as an editorial assistant for Adlard Coles, the world's biggest nautical publisher, and I had the idea of doing a Don'ts for Sailors along the same lines.

I had almost forgotten about the idea in February 2010 when the director came back and commissioned the book. Though I found far too much material (sailors being far too superstitious) to fit the small Don'ts for Husbands format, so that idea fell by the wayside in favour of doing something longer, more comprehensive, and with room for cartoons.

The Don'ts for Husbands/Wives books were written with serious intent and I tried to ape the somewhat po faced, earnest style, as if everything within the book is genuine advice. But as the disclaimer says: The publisher takes no responsibility for the use of the products or methods described in the book. Especially those that involve throwing perfectly good alcohol overboard.

Book of the month (July 2011): 'A recommended and entertaining read.'

'Fascinating ... it's hard to read the book without feeling that if one chose to pay heed to all the superstitions, you wouldn't go to sea at all!'

'Illustrated with comical cartoons, this quirky collection of nautical myths and superstitions explores the folklore of the sea and will inform and entertain seafarer and landlubber alike.'

‘Eyers's mix of old and new superstitions, evidence and eyewitness accounts make for a diverse and entertaining read.’