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 blog filled with helpful resources, and daily heart and humor on Instagram to make you feel less alone! I represent the girlfriends, fiancés, and wives of commercial fishermen, and together, we are known as the Partners of Commercial Fishermen! #POCFpride! 👯♀️ ⚓️
My husband, Chris, fishes for spiny lobster out of the Channel Islands in California and sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Needless to say, I was so 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 9 Things to Know When Dating a Commercial Fisherman. I was so surprised by the response that 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!
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.
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, features 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”). Such is the bicoastal life!
I now focus my journalism career on seafood and commercial fishing to personalize the industry by sharing real stories of the people and families behind each catch.
Every day is a privilege to represent and support our incredibly unique community. It has truly become my life’s purpose, 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 plan to expand the POCF community’s global reach and continue to network with other fishermen’s wives groups and commercial fishing organizations, both nationally and internationally, to create the necessary resources to support the community. 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.
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!
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