“Girls Don’t Belong at Sea”

How to motivate someone to prove you wrong Photo of a professional man looking at paperwork, from LifeofPix The examiner stared at his papers, silently rearranging them, avoiding my eyes. I forced a slow, deep breath, determined not to let him see how tense I was. The clock behind me ticked, meting out the seconds. A... Continue Reading →

Sometimes you’ll never be ready

At maritime college, they teach us what to do in emergencies, how to prepare for flooding, fire, man-over-board. Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash They don’t teach us how to deal with the aftermath. It’s possible to put on a facade of calm, to exude confidence, but no-one ever teaches us how to deal with the... Continue Reading →

The Ship’s Hardhat

I was the newbie on board. While ten years working on square-rigged sailing ships had taught me many things, it hadn’t taught me the finer points of working on a shorthanded coastal cargo ship. Despite that, as I dived out of the way of another lump of falling scrap steel as it crashed down from... Continue Reading →

No, dad, she’s definitely a girl…

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash The staring was starting to become awkward. I glanced down, checking that my clothing was in order: faded orange boilersuit, covered in grease and cargo, and a pair of scuffed steel-capped boots. I reached to my waist and confirmed that I’d remembered to leave my belt knife on board. I... Continue Reading →

Stand Up for Someone

Photo by Sarah Noltner on Unsplash I gritted my teeth as the company training officer showed yet another “funny” video, this time about a woman who removed the lock-out from an electric breaker so that the could use her hairdryer, and the electrician was electrocuted. My company had sent this person on board to run a... Continue Reading →

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