Christine Hooley of Carver spent a lot of time boating and going to the beach as a child, and that love of the water comes in handy for work today. Hooley, 39, is director of marine operations for the Boston division of Entertainment Cruises.
“My whole family loves the water, but I’m the only one who took that route of making it a career,” Hooley said with a laugh. “I guess I’m the odd duck.”
Hooley is responsible for upkeep on the company’s four vessels that ply the Boston Harbor, as well as regulatory compliance and licensing, and crew training. She began working at the company in 1999 as a deckhand, working her way up and getting her captain’s license in 2001.
Though hers is an administrative post, Hooley still captains vessels a half-dozen or more times in busy season. But even the holidays can bring tourists out on the water, she said.
“We have a chunk of tours from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, including corporate parties,” she said. “Sounds surprising to be out in winter, but people really enjoy it.”
Hooley says she is one of the few female captains on the waters, but she senses the number is growing just from what she hears on the radio waves.
“For a small harbor and operating port, we have quite a few, and I hear more on the radio all the time,” she said. “When I was a deckhand, there was one or two, and I worked under one. Now as director and being out on the water, I hear women more and more.”
Without question, she said, the best part of her job is the view.
“I have the best office in Boston. The view is always changing -- the sunrises, the sunsets, everything,” Hooley said. “Some days you see giant cruise ships or huge container vessels. Sometimes it seems like planes landing at Logan are right overhead. And the city skyline is just beautiful.”
Her favorite part of being on the water? Nasty weather.
“To me,” she said, “there’s nothing like watching a thunderstorm roll into the city.”Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.