Yet 25 years later, a woman just four years my junior, Lt-Cdr Sarah West, is poised to take control of HMS Portland. She will become the first woman warship commander in the Navy’s 500-year history, although a succession of infamous female pirates, such as Lady Killigrew and Grace O’Malley, have demonstrated an equally long tradition of women making gifted seafarers and strategists.
-- Rowan Pelling (left), mentioning IntLawGrrls' foremother O'Malley in a London Telegraph column cheering the news of the trail-blazing naval appointment, effective next April, of West (above right) (credit), who holds a degree in law as well as in other subjects. First permitted to go to sea as part of the Royal Navy in 1990, women now comprise 15%-20% of crews. But they're still excluded "from posts in the Royal Marine Commandos, mine clearance involving diving, and" -- unlike their American counterparts -- "submarines."