Hannah Kite

Hannah Kite

What do you do?

As a Chief Officer, I mentor cadets on board the ship. I enjoy seeing the new generation starting out their careers, and take satisfaction from seeing them progress. I also take time to ensure the crew on board are happy and healthy. I love problem solving, working in small teams, and working on the water. There is something unique about working at sea.

What does a typical day at work look like?

In the Merchant Navy, a typical day starts at 4 am with a navigational watch. From 8 am, I would work on deck with my deck team of about five crew, delegating jobs regarding vessel maintenance and paperwork. We would always have a break for rest between noon and 4 pm, and then go on to do another navigational watch. 

I am currently a student, which means that my days look quite different.

How did you get to where you are?

My dad inspired me to work in the Merchant Navy, and I wanted a focused careers path that was different, with clear career goals, lots of travelling, good job security and well paid. I was fortunate enough to have decided I wanted to join the Merchant Navy before leaving school, so I applied to 30 different companies and was offer work by several. I have stayed in the same company since. I have worked with a huge and diverse group of men, but have only occasionally sailed with other women. 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

You can luckily be happy in your own company, though most seafarers these days have access to the internet, which makes communication with home easier. You can have a happy relationship at home even when working at sea - I am happily married. As a women on a ship, I knew I had to work harder to prove my abilities - this was at times very difficult, but as my career progressed I realised that this only worked in my favour, because I developed extremely high standards for both myself and my teams.