Re. ‘Meet our women members’ in the March 2020 Telegraph: The article by my former colleague Heather Enness was first class and reflected both the positive aspects of being at sea and the potential difficulties one might face as a woman. There could be no better pursuit than to encourage a better gender balance at sea, something long overdue. It was always a delight when we, in such a male dominated industry, encountered these changes.

Without doubt Heather is correct in stating that there is a future for British seafarers, and she has clearly demonstrated through all her hard work and training that whoever you are, you can still make a brilliant career out of it. One last thing: Heather makes reference to working as a team and not placing yourself above others. As a well-qualified and experienced deck officer, it’s a point she clearly understands.

Sharing a cup of tea and having a chat on the rear deck of a car ferry has more value than you can imagine. The Merchant Navy was always at its best when this attitude was adopted, and it is something that has been passed down over long generations. Something that is often very difficult for people ashore to understand.

Nick Balls
Membership no 174303

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