Tugboat Captain Michelle Walford

Meet Tugboat Captain, Michelle Walford. She’s been in the industry for 10 years and currently works for Pacific Tug Boat Service out of Long Beach, California.
Michelle was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA. After high school, she applied for colleges all over her home state, with her sights set on International Relations so she could travel and work in other countries. This dream was fueled by her desire to explore and be by the water.

“I applied for Cal Maritime with a Global Studies Major and was accepted. My very first day of orientation someone in the grade above me asked my major. I replied, ‘Global Studies,’ and he immediately shook his head and said, ‘You don’t want that. You want to be Deckie. You want to drive boats.’ I immediately walked over to the orientation table and changed my major to Marine Transportation. I’m pretty sure I didn’t know what a ship really was.

I graduated with a BS in Marine Transportation and a 3rd Mate Unlimited License. Since then I have upgraded to a Chief Mate Unlimited along with my 1600 Ton Master.” -Walford

Tugboat Captain Michelle Walford / Crafted in CarharttTugboat Captain Michelle Walford / Crafted in Carhartt“I can be treated differently because of my gender, usually when I first start a new company, and not necessarily treated negatively, just different. I overcome that with mountains of patience.” -Walford 

Tugboat Captain Michelle Walford / Crafted in Carhartt“I believe if you have to tell people how great you are at something, you’re generally not that great at it. I’m not a yeller, especially with a crew I’ve never worked with. I treat everyone with respect and ask for the same in return.” -Walford 

Tugboat Captain Michelle Walford / Crafted in Carhartt

Michelle encourages women with a bit of wanderlust and a penchant for adventurous vocations to consider maritime professions. 

“I don’t think our career is advertised as much as it should be. Lots of women want to travel and do something outside the norm, we just need to get the word out.” -Walford 

Tugboat Captain Michelle Walford / Crafted in CarharttTugboat Captain Michelle Walford / Crafted in CarharttAs captain of her own tugboat, Michelle gets to be her own boss, use her gut and her knowledge to make tough calls, and occasionally bask under the northern lights if the location is right. 

Mary and Amy, Who Circumnavigated Lake Michigan


Two girls and a boat

Two girls and a boat

Two girls and a boat

Two girls and a boat

Two girls and a boat

Two girls and a boat

Two girls and a boat

Two girls and a boat

Two girls and a boat

Two girls and a boat

Two girls and a boat
Meet Mary and Amy, adventure junkies and unbelievable craftswomen. Not too long ago, Mary completed a 4 year project of making her own dug out canoe. That’s right, a beautifully hand-carved boat from a tree called Makeba. Then Amy and Mary set off on a mission to boat around the perimeter of Lake Michigan. Are you blown away? I sure was when I first heard their story here. This trip would fulfill childhood dreams and teach both girls so much. It took 3 months, but they did it. They camped on beaches, made new friends, and got to know Lake Michigan more than most people ever will. Now they are working on fixing up an old boat they dubbed Blue Heron. (pictured above) They have many more adventures ahead of them, I’m sure. Mary told me that if there’s a toy they want, they make it. Most people would never dream of carving their own boat out of a tree or making their own surfboards and skateboards, but that didn’t stop these girls. It was really inspiring to see Mary and Amy at work. If you want something, make it happen. Even if it means to have to chop down a tree and carve the boat yourself.

Mary’s outfit: Traverse Hoodie, Carhartt Women’s Vest, & Original Fit Jean 
Amy’s outfit: Copper Harbor Hat, Linwood Chambray Shirt, Clarkston Cami, & Original Fit Canvas Crawford Dungaree 

Carhartt in Dedham

Carhartt in Dedham

Carhartt in Dedham

Carhartt in Dedham

Carhartt in Dedham

Carhartt in Dedham

Carhartt in Dedham

Dedham19

Carhartt in Dedham

Carhartt in Dedham

Carhartt in Dedham

Carhartt in Dedham

I’m in Boston to do some stories on a few inspiring women in the area. I can’t wait to share them with you in the following weeks. It’s been a great trip so far— my first time in this neck of the woods. I got to spend the day in Dedham, right outside of Boston yesterday. The Carhartt store in Legacy Place is incredibly interesting. Most of the materials that make up the space are reclaimed lumber. Boats and boat frames are suspended from the ceiling, and beautiful boat drawings and plans cover the walls. There’s even a pool table in the middle of the store for the shoppers who want to chill for a bit. Stay tuned for the upcoming posts about Boston women!

Carhartt Women’s Downburst Waterproof Breathable Jacket

Carhartt downburst waterproof breathable jacket
Carhartt downburst waterproof breathable jacketCarhartt downburst waterproof breathable jacket

Carhartt downburst waterproof breathable jacketCarhartt downburst waterproof breathable jacketCarhartt downburst waterproof breathable jacketCarhartt downburst waterproof breathable jacket

I spent some time at the beach on Lake Michigan this weekend. The Carhartt waterproof jacket I wore is perfect for a windy summer day on the water. It’s covered in pockets and drawstrings for adjusting the fit to offer better protection against the elements, including sand and the lake tide. I love beach days, just like we all do— toes in the sand, breeze on your face, the waves splashing against your legs. That’s summer perfection if you ask me.

Like my jacket? You can get your own here.