Reply To: Female skippers

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Frank Scott

    You must be looking in the wrong places, because there is a mass of information around concerning female sailors, particularly those who sailed single-handed Trans-Atlantic (1950s onwards) or Round the World (1970s onwards). Moreover female professional seafarers have been common for several decades, and can be found at sea commanding a wide variety of warships and merchant ships.

    Historically a good starting point for any study of the subject would be Suzanne J. Stark, Female Tars: Women aboard Ship in the Age of Sail (London, 1996), and there are several other books covering this area.

    My recent Mariner’s Mirror article, ‘An assessment of the Erikson era voyage memoirs’ (available via this website) discusses females in square rig in the 1930s, and I would also recommend the following two books:

    C. Drummond, The remarkable life of Victoria Drummond (London, 1994) – a truly humbling account of the first female MN engineer, in peace and war.

    A. Brock Davis, My Year Before the Mast (Oxford, 1999) – the only full account in English of a female apprentice seafarer in commercial cargo-carrying square rig.