- No comments
Women of the Maritime Industry You Need to Know About
In honor of today’s worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements- from the political to the social- we thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to highlight some of the bravest women in maritime history.
Maritime history is filled with stories of great sailing ships, maneuvering the massive oceans of the world, run by rugged and masculine sailors, but did you know that women are also part of maritime history? Back in the 1700’s it was considered bad luck to have a woman aboard a ship, but this superstition did not stop some women from pursuing their passion. Many brave and adventurous women often joined ship crews under disguise, as men, while other women acquired seagoing careers through marriage or by being the captain’s daughter. Let’s take a look at females throughout maritime history who have paved the way for women in the industry today…
July 27, 1740 – August 5, 1807
Jeanne Baret is known as the first woman to circumnavigate the world. Baret disguised herself as a man and went by “Jean” in order to be a part of Louis Antoine de Bougainville’s 1766 expedition. She joined the Bougainville expedition aboard Étoile at the port of Rochefort in December of 1766. Baret partnered and assisted her lover Philibert Commerçon, a French botanist who was invited on the expedition. After surviving several years of rumors that she was in fact a woman, her gender was not revealed until the expedition reached Tahiti in April 1768. Baret and Commerçon disembarked Étoile at the Isle de France, where they were delighted to find fellow botanist Pierre Poivre who allowed them to stay with him.
In 1785, Mr. de Bougainville granted Baret a pension of 200 livres a year for her courageous and exemplary behavior while on board Étoile.
Anna Ivanovna Shchetinina-
February 26,1908- September 25, 1999
Anna was a Soviet merchant marine sailor who is said to be the world’s first woman to serve as a captain of an ocean-going vessel. She was born in 1908 at the Okeanskaya Station near Vladivostok to a family of railway switch-men. In 1925, Anna enrolled in the navigation department of the Vladivostok Marine School. After graduating, she worked for a shipping company where she started as an ordinary “seawoman”. At the age of 24, Anna received her navigator’s license which would qualify her for a position equivalent to a Second Mate. At 27, Anna became the world’s first female captain. Anna attracted international attention on her first voyage as a captain of MV Chavycha on its journey from Hamburg around Europe, Africa and Asia in 1935.
After participating in World War II in the Baltic, Anna served as the captain of several vessels including MV Askhold, Baskunchak, Beloostrov, Dniester, Pskov and Mendeleev of the Soviet Baltic Shipping Company. Among several awards, Anna Ivanovna Shchetinina was awarded the medal of the Hero of Socialist Labor, which was one of the two highest awards of the USSR.
As one of the world’s earliest woman sailors, Skipper Thuridur was born in 1777 and is known as Iceland’s beloved fishing woman. Her career started at the young age of eleven years old when she first joined her father’s fishing crew. It was then that she discovered the true love of her live. Thuridur was considered to be a pro at sailing and all its aspects, especially rowing and steering of heavy wooden open boats. Her exceptional skills allowed her to become a permanent part of the fishing crew! Thuridur lived to be 86 years old and is a prominent figure in Icelandic history.
For a variety of reasons, women throughout the centuries have stepped outside the status quo, beyond societal definitions of what is expected of females. In a male dominated industry, it is important to reflect on the women who have paved the way. The maritime industry is no exception, especially with influential sailors such as Jeanne Baret, Anna Ivanovna Shchetinina and Skipper Thuridur. Over the last couple of decades, books and articles on maritime women have appeared more frequently, providing women with the credit they deserve. Nicholson Yachts is a proud supporter of women in the maritime industry. From the charter consultants to the crew, we actively encourage women to further their career in maritime industry.