Molly Kool Sea Captain

June 9, 2013 by  

Molly Kool Sea Captain, Myrtle Kool, who later legally changed her name to Molly, and whose last married name was Carney, passed away in a Bangor, Maine retirement home Wednesday March 4th, 2009, just two days beyond her 93rd birthday.

Molly Kool, a true pioneer, is officially recognized by the Canadian government as the first woman to hold captain’s papers in North America.

Molly Kool was born 1916, in Alma, New Brunswick, Canada, a small fishing village on the Bay of Fundy. She gained her sea papers at age 23 and for the next five years she was in command of her father’s sail and power driven scow Jean K, a 70’ transport vessel that plyed the waters up and down the east coast of Canada and often as far as Boston, Massachusetts.

Saltwater surely commingled with Molly Kool’s blood and coursed through her heart like the tides. Her father, a Dutchman and sailor, Paul Kool, settled in New Brunswick and raised Molly, with four other children, on his scow that shuttled cargo from deeper water ships to ports along the coast.

Molly Kool would never be considered less than resourceful and direct. One report describes an event involving a collision with Jean K and another ship in the famous dense fog of the Northern Atlantic. The event discharged Molly Kool overboard and she was nearly ruined by the ship’s turning propeller. As the story goes, a piece of timber floated by and she grabbed it as the ship’s passengers hurled life preservers down at her.

“I’m already floating,” Ms. Kool hollered up at them. “Stop throwing useless stuff at me and send a boat!”

Molly Kool made her way to Maine with her first husband, Ray Blaisdell. She married Mr. Blaisdell after a gas explosion and fire destroyed much of the Jean K. and found she actually enjoyed living on land. Molly Blaisdell worked selling Singer sewing machines for many years after her move ashore. Mr. Blaisdell passed in the early 1960’s and Molly eventually remarried John Carney.

Currently the Fundy Beautification and Historical Society is working to preserve Molly Kool’s 19th-century childhood home, a cottage sorely in need of repair. When completed it will be moved to the Fundy National Park, near Alma.

If one quote, from Molly Kool herself, might stand in memoriam, it would be what she stated, clearly, in a telegram upon receiving her master’s certificate, “You can call me captain from now on,” the telegram said.

Report to Team

Please feel free to send if you have any questions regarding this post , you can contact on

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are that of the authors and not necessarily that of U.S.S.POST.


Comments are closed.