Against The Tide

Alesia Aftaniuk, Ukraine.

September 29, 2020

I am responsible for a routine navigational bridge watch and of cargo watch as well as in charge of mooring and unmooring operations. As a navigational officer I am responsible for charts/publications handling, passage planning, testing and maintenance of navigation equipment and of some safety equipment, and anything required by day to day chemical tanker operations.

I love working at sea because I have an opportunity to visit places where I probably wouldn’t have gone if I was not working on ships. I like meeting various people and discovering their life’s paths, sharing experience (not only regarding the job but life itself). It opens the mind and widens the borders.

The biggest challenge while working at sea is being apart from my loved ones. This profession has a big impact on my social life too; I go on ships with one mindset and come back a different person. Another challenging situation is putting up with people who are trying to prove me wrong and say that ships are not for girls. I had a bad habit of being too sensitive after such comments. I gained more experience and became more confident in my job so anyone who says something about my gender is just making interference, I just need to switch the channel.

I would advocate for paid maternity leave this will enable women not to be faced with the problem of making a choice between a career or having a family.

To the female seafarers coming into the profession; people respond well to those who know what they want and what they are doing. If you are passionate to work at sea then know the ropes and you will pass with flying colours.

Alesia is currently a second officer.

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