About Megan

California commercial lobster fisherman and wife on boat
Photo by Bri Dwyer

Hi, I’m Megan, and I’m so glad you’re here! My mission is to connect as many partners of commercial fishermen around the world through a supportive online community, private forum, weekly podcast, a weekly lifestyle blog, helpful resources, weekly newsletters, and daily heart and humor on Instagram to make you feel less alone! Together, we are known as the Partners of Commercial Fishermen! #POCFpride! 👯‍♀️ ⚓️

I’m a writer, and have been a professional journalist for over eleven years. I had no clue about commercial fishing when I first my husband, Chris, in the newspaper offices one day. Chris fishes for spiny lobster out of the Channel Islands in California and sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and I wasn’t really sure what that meant.

Needless to say, I was lost when we started dating. Season after season, feelings about this new POCF lifestyle bubbled up – some good, most bad – and without anyone to relate to, I turned to my blog and wrote a post called 9 Things to Know When Dating a Commercial Fisherman in the summer of 2019, and didn’t think anything of it. It was nice to get it off my chest.

However, over several months, I was so surprised by the response. I thought, Thank God there are others out there who understand the joys and challenges of what POCFs go through! (See testimonials of others who can relate here!) Since then, our community has connected through our blog and Instagram, plus our weekly podcast and private forum just for partners of commercial fishermen that I hope you’ll join, too!

National Fisherman's Panel at the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle, Washington
Megan Waldrep speaking on the National Fisherman Magazine Panel at the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle, Washington.

Here’s how it all started: Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, and raised in Charleston, SC, as a kid, I lived around the world as a military brat until the age of 18, which means defining a hometown is always a challenge. Yet, my experience as a military kid is what fueled this community.

Fishing families are often compared to military spouses but without benefits or perks. I grew up seeing lots of support for soldiers, their partners, and families that aren’t easily accessible to the commercial fishing community. As I became a partner, I noticed that the natural progression is to become more involved in the fishing business.

For POCFs as a whole, responsibilities are put upon them, often needing more discussion and understanding of their required participation and personal sacrifices to maintain the relationship and the home. Whether it’s handling the fishing business paperwork, bookkeeping, home management, raising kids alone, ensuring fishermen and crew have nourishing meals, maintaining extended family and friend relationships, managing time to run their own businesses, etc., often, POCFs are left in the dark about systems and processes for sustaining a healthy and productive life for themselves, their family, and their relationship once they are in it. (There’s a 1978 NOAA/SeaGrant study that concludes that the well-being of a fisherman is greatly dependent on his spouse’s ability to adapt and manage the home and business.)

My goal is to change this and help give partners around the world emotional support and helpful resources to support their commercial fishing lives.

Professionally, I’m a freelance writer. I started writing in 2012 when I realized my favorite part of fashion designing (I’m an ex-designer) was writing captions for my online store. Wanting a change, I moved from Charleston, SC, to Carpinteria, CA, and pitched to a local publication that gave me a chance. From there, I wrote multiple columns, featured in local and national newspapers and magazines, and wrote under the pen name Elizabeth Rose for a confessional-type relationship column called I Heart

I started writing full-time in 2015 and was offered the editor’s position at The Santa Barbara Sentinel. The paper was on the verge of collapse, and the publisher gave me a chance to see if I could “do anything with it.” He incentivized me to drive a burning ship, which sounded like this: “If the paper fails, it was going to fail anyway, and you’ll have learned a lot in the process,” he said. “If it doesn’t, you keep your job.”

For a year, I worked days, nights, and weekends to keep the dream alive – not only for myself but for my fellow writers who loved the paper as much as me. I had to make this work. And I did, for a year, until the job became less about writing stories that matter and more about landing ad sales. The soul of why I got into writing began to wither away like my former fashion career. On top of that, a recent visit to the Santa Barbara Writers Conference introduced me to other writers who wrote for the love of the craft without the pressure of a paycheck.

I chose to step down as editor. Coincidentally, Chris, whom I had dated long-distance for a year, asked me to sail with him from Washington to Mexico. I went to Big Sur for five days to clear my head and weigh options. By the end, I decided this was my opportunity to take a risk for love and learn how to write creatively without money attached. Plus, I figured if sailing or the relationship didn’t work out, the adventure would make an excellent copy.

(We eventually got hitched in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 21, 2021. You can check out our wedding here and here!)

In the spring of 2017, I started my blog, meganwaldrep.com. The Sentinel was fiercely analog, much to its demise, so the blog was a means to make my columns searchable and create an online portfolio for future freelance gigs. That evolved to weekly blogging about sailing and lessons on setting personal deadlines. 

At that time, Chris and I lived and cruised on a sailboat from Washington to Mexico. We’d leave the boat in Mexico during the summers while Chris commercially fished sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska. I freelanced while living near family and friends in North Carolina and reunited with Chris after the fishing season to continue our sailing adventures. Even then, I wasn’t familiar with what commercial fishing entailed or how to maintain a healthy relationship in a long-distance relationship like this. My experience as an Army kid felt similar to the trials and challenges of fishing families and what military spouses deal with, so I took to Google and was shocked not to find one piece online that gave insight into handling this unique lifestyle.

That’s when I wrote a blog called 9 Things You Should Know About Dating a Fisherman. Emails trickled in from women worldwide thanking me for the post. As readers left comments, I kept writing, diving deeper into the nuances of the lifestyle to help others feel less alone, myself included. I niched my blog to the Partners of Commercial Fishermen (POCF) community, representing girlfriends, fiances, wives, and romantic partners of commercial fishermen. I chose the word “partners” because “fishermen’s wives” felt exclusive. Dating, engaged, married, or committed partners equally deal with the same joys and challenges of the commercial fishing lifestyle, and everyone deserves acknowledgment. 

We sold the sailboat in 2019 and bought a commercial lobster boat to invest in a fishing business in Southern California. We’ve since bought a home in Wilmington, North Carolina, which we travel to at the end and beginning of each lobster season in our slightly built-out Sprinter Van, which we call “Guitaré” (pronounced “guitar-aye”). The Fall of 2023 was the first year I lived in a different state than Chris during the fishing season. While he fishes in California, I’m settling into our home on the East Coast. You can hear more about it on the podcast on Apple and Spotify and more!

Every day is a privilege to represent and support our incredibly unique community. It has truly become my life’s purpose to help uplift and support POCFs, and thank you for being a part of it! I can’t believe how far we’ve come and how many amazing opportunities we have to grow. 💓

I will continue to connect POCFs worldwide through a private online forum, a podcast with inspirational stories and actionable advice, a lifestyle blog filled with helpful resources, and daily social media Stories and posts to make partners feel seen, heard, and less alone in this unique and adventurous lifestyle. 

Here is a link to FAQs and Testimonials of POCFs in our community. I’d love to connect with you on Instagram, by email, through the podcast, and, of course, the private forum

Thank you so much for being here. I invite you to stay around, get comfortable, and become part of our loving crew! Let me know if you need anything. I am here. 🫶

With Love & #POCFPride!

Sincerely, Megan


              As Seen In:

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