Inger-Marie Høyland is a 33 year old Norwegian, single mother of two children and a fisherman, a career she started at the young age of 14 years. She works alongside her dad and owns two fishing vessels and a farm.
When we asked what the best thing about working at sea is, she says “The best thing is that the sea is more predictable than humans, still in bad weather. And the morning Coffee with dad on deck.”
She says that the worst thing is leaving her family, heavy weather and the times when there is no fish. She also tells us about a memory she has when she and her father were crossing a bad place, waves so tall that you could see the top of them, causing things to smash on the deck and roof. A while later, after three important surgerys, she had to use a kidney belt around her belly and waist, but she forgot it and said to her dad “Dad, I forgot the kidney belt!” To which he applies “We have straps. don’t worry” Then he laughed and gave her a cup of coffee.
She says “If a woman wishes to work at sea, you need to focus on what is important to you! Is this the kind of lifestyle I would live? Being a seafarer is a lifestyle. Mental strength is importen. Be you!
A lot of people think that if you want to work at sea, you can't have a family, Inger-Marie is living proof that that is not the case. When we ask about what it means to her to have a family and being a seafarer she says “ Being a seafarer and having a family means you're brilliant at making logistic plans for weeks and months.
Even though you're at sea, kids need clean clothes, care, driving to piano lessons, training, football, handball, parents meeting over the phone sometimes. I have to plan everything before I go out for weeks and months. However, I am lucky to have my fishing grounds around where I live on the coast of west Of Norway. And are home every night. Except when I am up noth on the cod in winter for weeks or months. When I am at home fishing and the weather is nice, the kids are with me. They are already good seafarers.
A great article Inger-Marie. Congratulations.