|Ships:||Sailing ( 1)|
Anna Ivanovna Shchetinina (26 February 1908 – 25 September 1999) was a Soviet merchant marine sailor who became the world's first woman to serve as a captain of an ocean-going vessel.
Shchetinina was born at the Okeanskaya Station near Vladivostok in a family of a railway switchman. In 1925 she entered the navigation department of the Vladivostok Marine School. After graduation she worked with a shipping company in Kamchatka Peninsula, where she started as an Ordinary Seaman (or, rather, "Seawoman"), and rose to a captain. At the age of 24 she received her navigator's license (qualifying her for a position equivalent to a Second Mate in the Western merchant marines), and at 27 became the world's first female captain of an ocean-going ship. She attracted international attention on her first voyage as a captain (in 1935), as a young woman in charge of MV Chavycha on its journey from Hamburg (where it had just been purchased) to the Russian Far East around Europe, Africa, and Asia. (Source: Wikipedia)
To read more about Anna's journey in Seaport, check her storylines.
I am captain Anna Shchetinina of the Soviet merchant marine. I understand you have been assigned to oversee my first mission as a captain. I can assure you it will be accomplished without issues.
We are sailing to Hamburg to pick up the new ship MV Chavycha. I will then take her to Vladivostok. The vessel will join the merchant fleet there. Permission to get aboard?
I may be the first woman to be made a captain of an oceangoing vessel but I am ready for this task. I have earned this title and I will prove it. I can work with any crew and vessel.
|4||Arrival in Hamburg|
I am going to pick up Chavycha. Will you accompany me? However, we still need to pay the rest of the price of the ship. Only a part was paid upfront.
I will be taking Chavycha around Africa and up north to the Soviet coast. You don't need to accompany me all the way. But if you do, load up some cargo you can sell in Vladivostok.
As you can see, the voyage went smoothly. I am perfectly capable to captain a ship without any supervision. You can return to your usual business. Farewell, captain.
Can we have a talk, captain? I apologize for being so stiff last time. I just needed to prove myself on that first mission. Please, take a seat and I will explain why I approached you.
|8||Back to school|
I have been made the manager of the fishing port here in Vladivostok. But I would like to return to school and finish my studies. I need someone with experience to take care of the port.
I apologize for my previous behavior. I hope we can work together as colleagues and friends. When you take over here, don't forget to pay the fishermen. There have been some complaints lately.
|10||The great war|
I have chosen a bad time to go back to school. The war has started and all sailors are needed to help with the war efforts. I have been sent to Europe to help evacuate people. Will you join me?
We need to evacuate the people from Tallinn. Do you know where it is? Just follow my ship and make sure you have enough blankets and food for the people we take aboard.
The evacuation went smoothly given the circumstances. Now that the people are safe, we should help with transporting cargo for the troops.
I have been sent to the Pacific to help with supplying the Soviet ports on the Far East. You should stay here and help with the food shipments. I will seek you out once this is over.
I am glad to see you are alive and well. Now that the war is over, it's time to rebuild. A lot of cities have been damaged. I am going to help out with the shipment of materials. Will you join me?
It's terrible how much war can destroy. That's why I decided not to be a captain of a navy ship but only of merchant vessels. I have agreed to work as a captain for the Baltic Shipping Company.
I am going to pick up a shipment of goods from Riga. Will you join me? I have just been assigned a new ship too. Askold is anchored in the port. Let's go see her.
We are also taking a cargo of wheat with us. Can you check if it has already been loaded? It can catch fire very easily, so make sure it's stored safely.
In Riga, we will unload the wheat and take up a cargo of iron. We will need some strong men for that. Of course, there are the loading ramps, but it's good to have some human strength too.
It's a pleasure being a captain in times of peace. Just sailing the sea and transporting cargo that will be helpful to someone. No unnecessary suffering and destruction. Now let's get that iron on the ships.
I have been offered to teach at the Marine Engineering College in Leningrad. It's an interesting opportunity but I wouldn't be able to be out at sea so often. I need to think about this over dinner.
I decided I will take them up on that offer. Becoming an instructor at college will give me a lot of new opportunities. I am starting in September. Until then I will still sail the sea and transport goods.
|22||Place to live|
Since I will be teaching in Leningrad, I decided to buy an apartment in the city. Something small will suffice. I don't have a lot of money on hand. Actually, I wanted to ask you for a small loan.
I have been thinking about my lessons at college. I will probably start by explaining the basics of shipbuilding and types of ships, pointing out unexpected details and materials used.
We will have a lesson on repairing ships with basic materials. A good captain knows how to fix his ship in a time of need. It will be good to have some lumber on hand for this lesson.
|25||Never stop learning|
My first lesson is tomorrow. You are welcome to attend and your sailors too. A good sailor never stops learning. Many think that experience is essential, but the theory is important too.
Tell your sailors to bring some equipment they use on ships. It will be good to show the other students some real stuff and let them talk to experienced crew members.
I dare say the lesson was a success. Care to join me for some pelmeni and maybe a cup of something strong? There is this wonderful bar in the city. Meet me there, captain.
The next lesson will be based on practical skills again. I want to let the students try to command a small ship like a fishing boat. Can you lend us some of your vessels and join us on this fishing trip?
|29||Back to sea|
I really like teaching. It's a great feeling to know you are helping to make the next great captains. But I long for the deck under my feet and sea breeze. How about I help you with a shipment?
During the next lesson, I will explain how to fix ripped sails. I know many ships don't have sails anymore, but you never know when this skill might be useful.
I have taken a short leave from teaching. I just miss sailing too much. Let's go to the port and see if there is any ship in need of a captain. I am ready to get back behind the rudder.
The Baltic Shipping Company found a new ship for me. Are you interested in going to check up on her with me? I always inspect my ships on damage before taking them to the sea.
My ship, Dniester, is in perfect shape. I have already been given a new mission. The cargo is loaded and we are ready to set sail when the whole crew arrives.
|34||The greatest reward|
I have just received a notice I will be awarded a prize. This is a real surprise, I never expected such a recognition. I just do my job and enjoy it. For me, that's the greatest reward of all.
|35||In a hurry|
On my next voyage, I am going to transport a shipment of clay. But I need to be back in time for the students exams. Can you help me out a bit?
What do you think about a short holiday? I have been working almost every day and I need some rest. Of course, it will be a holiday on a ship. What do you say to a relaxing fishing trip?
|37||Building a home|
Maybe it's time to get something bigger than my small apartment in Leningrad. I have been looking at land for sale. It will be good to have a nice refuge when I can't be at sea.
The school year is coming to an end. I have a lot of exams scheduled so I won't be able to captain ships for a few weeks. Could you take over some of my shipments?
It's great to see how much my students have learned over the past year. I had an idea to give each one a special gift. Their own marine uniform, custom made just for my students.
Thank you, captain. I have no idea we would become such good friends. I hope you will find time to visit me in the future. How about one last drink together at our favorite place?