At the tender age of 17, to the surprise of her peers and the horror of her parents, Captain Dorothy Sim went off to sea and never looked back.
Shipping had never previously crossed her mind as a career until a half-day Singapore Maritime Academy placement gave her a taste for the open sea. Now a full-fledged captain, the 27-year-old said she has seen night rainbows across the Pacific Ocean and watched a school of dolphins migrating past the Equator.
A Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore scholarship holder, she returned to shore in February as part of her scholarship to serve in vessel traffic management, but said she still misses the sea, which she sailed for five years.
Often the only woman on board, she faced opposition from time to time - whether from her parents, who were "strongly against" her chosen path at first - or from male colleagues who would subtly use her gender to cast aspersions on her ability to perform.
Starting pay for a maritime officer: $3,500
Starting pay for a ship engineer: $3,800
Pay range for a ship engineer: $3,800 - $10,000
Pay range for a ship captain: $9,800- $28,000
Capt Sim shrugged such behaviour off. "I spent a lot of time trying to prove myself at first, but then I just stopped. If you can work, they will respect you. The work will speak for itself."