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Thread: Women crew members and wives at sea.

  1. #21
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    Talking Re: Women crew members and wives at sea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
    Women crew members. I never sailed on any ship where they were members of the crew. There were some stewards who dressed like women but not the real thing.
    When reading accounts from the days of sail many masters had their wives and children with them on long voyages and most crews thought it lead to a good atmosphere
    on the ship.
    In a book I have is a photograph of a Mrs Gamble, well known skipper in sailing rig. It would be around the 1880's have tried researching her to no avail. It may be true or fiction!
    If true she looks very capable.
    Wow great great granny ! Lol wonder if she worked for Everards....

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    Default Re: Women crew members and wives at sea.

    My Dad was a skipper out of Goole / Hull / London, and took Mum with him at every reasonable opportunity. As a small child, I travelled from Hull or Goole to London many times. When I was not yet 6 years old, I went with Mum and Dad (on the S/S Galena) through the Kiel Canal (when I clearly remember a 'just conquered' Canal official saying to my Mum, but through very clenched teeth, and clearly not meaning a word of it "If had had known there was a lady on board, I would have brought you some flowers!" Then on went went towards Helsinki, but not at all directly. The Baltic was strewed with mines, so Dad was guided by many local Finnish pilots between countless small granite islands, passing so closely to some that locals waved to us.
    Going a trip on my Dad's ship was quite normal to me and my Mum, and we both enjoyed it.

    Ray Arnold

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    Default Re: Women crew members and wives at sea.

    All those areas were mined . Ships carried a manual called NEMEDRI meaning
    .. Northern Europe Meditteranian Routing Instructions , there was also a manual for Japan as all the Inland seas were mined until a much later date. It was a continuous job for the second mate on his chart corrections issued by the “ Notices to Mariners” . It’s hard to believe the North Sea then and now. JS.

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  6. #24
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    Default Re: Women crew members and wives at sea.

    Had experience of that on a VLCC running between Curacao & P.Gulf - the skipper (new to co.) joined in Curacao and had his wife, Nora, join in Dubai. In her 40s, had been a senior nurse in hospital ashore. Oh man, did she try to take over - first up was the med cabinet in the ship's hospital, then the courtesy flags on the bridge were arranged by colour. A myriad of other stuff as well. The last straw was when she floated it that we'd all have to have a full physical med examination - Delegation to skipper "GET HER OFF" - and so it cape to pass, they both left when we went to DDock in S.Pore

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    Default Re: Women crew members and wives at sea.

    Apart from the redoubtable Victoria Drummond I think the next lady on board British commercial vessels was Sheila Anne Edmundson who joined Jersey Bridge as apprentice in summer 1966. I know this well because I was scheduled for Jersey Bridge after my first ship, an ore carrier and was knocked back to allow Miss Edmundson to join. Big publicity event for Denholms and started a bit of a rush of girl applicants which the companies, and particularly management companies, fully exploited as positive PR. Then the oil majors jumped on the bandwagon and so on.
    I was appointed to Fidentia and I am forever grateful to Miss Edmundson for causing that chain of events. Fidentia was a conventional single tween deck, wooden hatch board, tarpaulin and batten, 5 hold, 20 derrick plus 2 heavy lift cargo tramp of the most wonderful kind and the first of several such vessels I sailed on. The best repositories of practical seamanship training ever seen.
    On every vessel the girl cadets sailed on in those days a senior officer had to have his wife on board (at least one) and there were apparently lots of tears and problems along the way. We all know that there is no logical reason why ladies cannot make successful navigating officers, or anything else in the world of course, but I would suggest this is much more true these days than in the 60's. It is particularly true in the rarified air of the RN and passenger vessels but in the more elemental world of general cargo vessels and the reality of life aboard ships at that time there were many reasons not least of which was interaction with and control of the crew. Denholms later ruefully conceded that the pain was more than the gain and in fact while the 'wastage' rate among boy apprentices was incredibly high it was much worse with the girls and very few British ones ever got beyond 2nd Mates ticket before going ashore. Anyone higher than that or with more time at sea was invariably guaranteed a shore job in the industry - controlling seafarers .
    Nothing bitter - I must thank the system again for my introduction to the best of all types of vessel and wish everyone well. Just a reflection on how things were and a sad acknowledgement of how different they are now.
    Aye, nostalgia's not what it used to be.

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    Default Re: Women crew members and wives at sea.

    Apart from passenger ships my only experience of women crew members is of the six Hydrographers carried on a small Research ship of which I had command.

    My first worry was the use of the washrooms which were very limited and very masculine, however the girls produced a rotor system which worked out very well and the washrooms became the cleanest they had ever been.

    My second worry was the effect they would have on the male crews' morals, but that soon became a non-starter, those ladies were big, plain and tough.

    The males treated them with respect, principally I thought, because they feared they would be raped.

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    Default Re: Women crew members and wives at sea.

    Hi John.
    They all feared that they would be raped, All to a chorus of bring it on, bring it on.LoL
    Des

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    Default Re: Women crew members and wives at sea.

    #28. Has explained the sequence of events very adequately.. Exactly the way I see it. It was among other things a good PR exercise to show equality among the sexes. However life does not work like that. Just put them on rigging a 200 ton jumbo. Where brawn is as essential as knowledge, they need custom built ships to employ most of them and do. Not get promotion on merit. Mainly it is just the opposite to equality. Anyone can get a certificate of competency if they put in sufficient study time , but real experience comes from being able to do the job , and beef as well. Not just telling someone else to do. I have also sailed with men who should have known better, prancing around in all their glory , good at giving orders , but wouldn’t have a clue how to take one. A proper seaman of old could walk on most vessel types and pick up the ropes , today most have to be specialised , when they did away with the old seatime for certification they killed the title of seaman. JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 21st May 2020 at 02:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Women crew members and wives at sea.

    Gentlemen - this Thread has gone way ' Off Topic ' - I have therefore created a new Thread entitled ' Foreign Crew Members ' and transferred your posts there.

    I would like to remind all members of the Site Rules which state ' Messages posted that are irrelevant to the discussion and designed to distract or disrupt will be deleted without warning. '

    I do not wish to delete any posts, but will if necessary. Consistently going Off Topic spoils very interesting Threads and is quite honestly, very unfair and rude to the originator of the Thread as it shows disinterest in the original topic.

    May I ask that if you wish to go ' Off Topic ' then PLEASE start a New Thread on your new topic, a not unreasonable request I would suggest.

    Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
    When one door closes another one shuts, it must be the wind

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  14. #30
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    Default Re: Women crew members and wives at sea.

    Chris I don't think any of us who inadvertently stray off course do it intentionally or wish to insult or disrespect the originator of the initial post, we drift off course without malice or forethought, and on occasions the originator drifts off course with us. I know when I originate a thread I am never insulted if it drifts off course, as I know that probably a word or place has reawakened a dormant memory and wish to jot it down before it disappears into Davey Jones Locker again. We do try to abide by the rules but alas are only human and also are afflicted with old age, so with all due respect a big stick attitude is not really appropriate and our posts are 'definitely NOT designed to distract or disrupt'

    Whilst I totally respect your position as a moderator and certainly admire your ability to transfer posts hither and hither, accusations of disrespect are certainly not warranted and may dissuade some from posting, just my thoughts. Rgds

    If I have insulted the originator then I sincerely apologise
    Last edited by Ivan Cloherty; 21st May 2020 at 09:27 PM.

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