Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nervous, But Excited

So I've been a boat captain for a little over two years now. It's something I worked very hard for and take pride in. I have been offered an amazing opportunity to work with those in Chattanooga's marine community. The Chattanooga Mariner's Association is a local boating club that is taking off in our area and I am included in their newly formed committee! Our first committee meeting is this evening and I am very excited about where this could take off. From my research, several boating associations across the United States offer social events, educational information, and member benefits to the boating community. We have plenty of options to pursue!

I think it's truly amazing that Chattanooga could have something like that! I've grown up on the lake and have watched as Chattanooga has quickly become a boater's paradise. Working at the marina for the past ten years has given me the chance to meet a lot of these boaters and speak with a lot of people who also work in my industry. This will be the first time that many of us will really get to know each other. For some, I am just a voice over the phone or radio.

Meeting me for the first time catches people off guard a little! If they've dealt with me for a while over the phone, I don't think they know quite how to handle meeting me in person. I get the whole "I expected you to be older" thing often! When I tell someone I've been in the business going on eleven years now, some are amazed because one... I am a woman, and two... I know my stuff! Being a woman in the marine industry is tough. Some people don't expect a woman to be mechanically knowledgeable. They don't know I've been to marine service school and scored well on all of my tests. Some people honestly don't understand women can be boat captains. Seriously, I have heard it before. You would think in this day with women's rights and all that it wouldn't be as shocking...I always have to prove myself. I've been doing just that for the past ten years, so I am very used to it! It did bother me, but now I just adapt. I truly believe it has made me better. I can sand a boat bottom with the best of them...Ha!

Our next club meeting is going to be exciting....We're having dinner aboard the Delta Queen!

She is docked in downtown Chattanooga and has been transformed into a floating hotel.

Pretty awesome, right?!?

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