Women seafarers, they have a few. As Caitlyn Vaughan’s (picture) research at the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network has revealed, isolation is too often the lot of all seafarers nowadays – with long periods of sea time unrelieved by runs ashore, given rapid container ship turn-rounds and offshore discharging of cargoes like gas and oil. That’s compounded by the smaller numbers needed to run modern ships. And of course multinational crews may make socialising and communication more difficult. Well if it’s so for men, says Caitlyn, it can be all the more so for a woman, as so often the only female aboard. Greater numbers of female seafarers will solve that problem, it’s hoped. Which is why the Royal Navy’s energetic approach is deserving of praise – allowing as many sisters who want to, to do it for themselves!