Cover image for Steady as she goes : women's adventures at sea
Steady as she goes : women's adventures at sea
Sjoholm, Barbara, 1950-
Publication Information:
New York : Seal Press, 2003.
Physical Description:
xii, 290 pages ; 19 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G540 .S74 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Veteran seafarers and anyone who has dreamed of running away to sea in their very own boat or simply savored the smell of the salty air on the water's edge will be inspired by this well-crafted and varied collection. Steady as She Goes is both a testament to women's enduring relationship with the sea and a gripping and illuminating read.Whether commercial fishing in Alaska's unforgiving waters, racing tall ships off the coast of Australia, kayaking in the enchanting Sea of Cortez, or learning the antiquated mechanics of a New York City fireboat, these women work and play at sea, spinning harrowing adventure yarns and relaying quiet moments of revelation surrounded by the vastness of the ocean. This unique and long-overdue collection shatters once and for all the myth that the sea is solely the domain of men.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This collection of salty yarns by and about women who sail calls itself the first of its kind. Most of its stories, like Deborah Scaling Kiley and Meg Noonan's gripping "Survival at Sea" and Penelope S. Duffy's "Big Storm, Small Boat," are adventure tales set on the ocean at its angriest and most dangerous. Other selections give a fascinating glimpse of the women who make their living on boats. Linda Greenlaw (The Lobster Chronicles) writes about the daily rituals aboard the Hannah Boden in her fishing story, "Swordfish." Like the other authors represented here, Greenlaw writes as though she sees herself as a captain first, a woman second. She's at ease with her place of authority in a world dominated by burly men, and her minority status shows only in passing, with, "Fishing gear manufacturers don't make gloves small enough for women, so I use ladies' gardening gloves." Other highpoints include Jessica DuLong's stylish "Below Decks," tracing her lifelong enthrallment with mechanical doodads, from her father's auto shop to the diesel-powered John J. Harvey, a retired fireboat on which she's a crew member plying the Hudson River, and Jennifer Karuza Schile's story of her fishing family, "Happy Jack and the Vis Queens." Not all selections are as strong as these, and some are fairly amateurish. Still, the anthology should find a readership among the many fans of maritime nonfiction. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-In this anthology, women writers render in vivid and often moving terms their stories of shipwrecks, busy harbors, big oceans, and small boats. Some traveled alone, while others had families or partners. One gloried in her work as a mechanic in a noisy engine room, while another rowed long distances along the coast, reveling in her strong muscles. They were novices or lifelong sailors, captains or crew, aboard to make a living or to realize a dream before settling down. One woman learned an important lesson when she made a youthful error in judgment during a yacht race. Another made a naturalist's journey to the Sea of Cortez. Yet another worked on an Alaskan fishing boat. Some writers swagger, while others muse; each essay is well written, in a unique voice. Most are original to this volume, though a few are reprinted or excerpted (one rather abruptly). The 20 essays, and the fine introduction by the editor, cover such a wide range of experience that it seems at first that the only thing they have in common is water (and that the women all lived long enough to write about their experiences in or on it). Running through all of the selections are threads of quiet courage, an often stunning originality, self-confidence, presence of mind, and a degree of vitality that should appeal strongly to teenage readers.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Barbara SjoholmPenelope S. DuffyDevorah MajorGinni CallahanJennifer Karuza SchileTania AebiDawn PaulBernadette BernonDodo DanzmannDeborah Scaling Kiley and Meg NoonanHolly HughesMoe BowsternLinda GreenlawSue Muller HackingAndromeda Romano-LaxPamela PowellJill FredstonMelinda TogniniJessica DuLongKaci CronkhiteJennifer Hahn
Introductionp. vii
Big Storm, Small Boatp. 1
Maiden Voyagep. 19
Fourteenp. 29
Happy Jack and the Vis Queensp. 45
Mediterranean Mooringp. 63
Boat Knowingp. 77
Midterm Reflections from a Semester at Seap. 87
In Harborp. 101
Survival at Seap. 119
The Color Bluep. 135
Shakedownp. 145
Swordfishp. 157
Crossingsp. 171
Sailing with Steinbeckp. 189
Captain Loup. 203
Rowing to Latitudep. 219
Evergreenp. 233
Below Decksp. 241
Capes of Hopep. 255
Whale Watching Mep. 271
About the Contributorsp. 283