The shed at Balemartine with the roof made from an old boat, photographed by Dr John Holliday in 2004.
The unpredictability of the sea quite naturally bred a strong sense of the magical and superstitious amongst Tiree’s fishermen. Everything had to be done sun- or clock-wise. Boats were always pushed into the sea stern first and then turned ‘deiseal’, clock-wise.
Women were thought to be unlucky in or near a boat. It was widely thought that it brought misfortune to have a minister on a boat. Even meeting a minister on the way to fishing was a bad sign. If anyone called after a fisherman going to sea it was unlucky and they turned back.
It was bad luck to burn a boat and the old fishermen would pull boats that were no longer seaworthy up on the shore and leave them to rot. Sometimes old boats were made into roofs for outhouses as in this photograph taken in Balemartine.