The Captain's a Woman: Tales of a Merchant Mariner

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Naval Institute Press, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 269 pages
Deborah Doane Dempsey's maritime career has been filled with firsts. She was the first female to graduate from a U.S. maritime or military academy. The first American woman to be licensed as a master mariner and to command a cargo ship on international voyages. The first woman to become a regular member of the Council of American Master Mariners. The only woman among nine ship captains to earn the U.S. Navy's Meritorious Public Service Award during the Persian Gulf War. But this book clearly shows that Dempsey takes pride not so much in being a trail blazer as in having earned the respect of colleagues by paying her dues and passing the tests faced by any seagoing officer. Now a pilot working the treacherous Columbia River Bar, Dempsey is surprisingly matter-of-fact about her achievements, so it's left to her coauthor, Joanne Reckler Foster, to provide a landlubber's perspective. Together, their point/counterpoint description of the captain's job makes fascinating reading.

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