At the age of seventeen Chrissie Warner began working as a first mate for Erie Canal cruises. But what started as a summer job quickly turned into a passion. So much so that Chrissie now has the title of captain and to her knowledge she's the only female captain on the Erie Canal.
Captain Chrissie Warner says, "It really is a very unique opportunity, Obvious I'm one of the only female captains we know of, we think on the Erie Canal. It's unique and its once in a lifetime I figured I had to take it, I couldn't pass it up."
Captain Chrissie has spent plenty of time in school, enough so to have a master's in education from SUNY Oneonta. But nothing was as intimidating as when she went to sea school to become a captain. Chrissie entered as the only woman and the youngest student, but her experience on the water quickly shined through.
Warner says, "It was really great because they kind of opened their arms to me. And some of them had more experience than me, some of them had less. So I actually ended up doing very well, I did one of the best on the test in the class so I was very proud of that."
Chrissie admits there are moments when people buy into the stereotype of her being a female captain but being one of a kind is reassurance.
"Definitely I have a lot of pride in it. Especially because we do a lot of school trips because the Erie Canal is in the fourth grade curriculum and a lot of the schools will have the kids write thank you cards to us and it's great to see all the little girls telling me they want to be a captain when they grow up or things like that. Umm just so people are more exposed that it's not just a male job, girls can do it too and they can do it well" says, Captain Chrissie.