Our all-female UnCruise deck crew is a first! #Fun

In Cruises, Transportation by scott

Our wonderful all-female crew on the Safari Voyager (left to right): Darcy Balcarce of Kenai, AK, able-bodied seaman; Andréa Kosto of Peters Creek, AK, captain; Heather Kelleher of Seattle, WA, chief mate; Larkin Bohn of Louisville, KY, able-bodied seaman; Sasha Coombs of Sacramento, CA, second mate; Monica Barber of Seattle, WA, able-bodied seaman and Laura Cooney of Port Townsend, WA, bosun.

An UnCruise Adventure really is part expedition and part education, with healthy dollops of rest, relaxation and really fancy desserts! But our cruise down the coast of Costa Rica and Panama was extra-special because of our crew (pictured, above). Yep–an all-female team. Our captain, Andréa Kosto (2nd from left) said it was the first time in 22 years that she’s had all females on the bridge. UnCruise’s owner, Dan Blanchard, was pretty sure it’s the first time it’s happened. So–we got a picture! NOTE: There are many fellas on the ship, but these women run the ship!

Darcy Balcarce, able-bodied seaman, left, is a student at Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle. Her goal is to get her “Master, Unlimited” rating.

Andréa Kosto, captain, 2nd from left, is in love with the ocean. This is her dream job–but she’s got other things on her mind. Read about her HERE in the Anchorage Daily News.

Heather Kelleher, chief mate, 3rd from left, is working on her “Master, Unlimited” rating and loves the Puget Sound area in Washington. Although she’s no relation to the recently-departed head of Southwest Airlines (Herb Kelleher, RIP), she notes that her bags NEVER get lost on that airline. “I just put “H. Kelleher” on the tag,” she said with a smirk.

Larkin Bohn, able-bodied seaman, center, started her career at sea working in the gift shop on a big cruise ship. “There’s no glass ceiling at UnCruise,” she said. “That’s unusual in the maritime industry,” she added.

Sasha Coombs, second mate, front row center, got her experience sailing in the Persian Gulf. “I had a pistol on one hip and a gas mask on the other,” she said. During that time, she was attacked three times by pirates off the coast of Yemen. “I took this job for my soul,” she confessed. “Ours is an eclectic group,” she said of her all-female crew.

Monica Barber, able-bodied seaman, second from right, was recruited by her daughter, who also works for UnCruise. Like several other crewmembers, Monica is a “hawespiper.” That means she’s worked her way up through experience and testing, instead of going to one of the maritime academies.

Laura Cooney, bosun, right, is in charge of the “boat deck,” the skiffs, the cranes and “anything on the outside of the boat.” This is Laura’s second career. She previously worked as a medical researcher.

Learn more about UnCruise Adventures and their itineraries: http://www.uncruise.com

The Safari Voyager at anchor near Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula.

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