Ashleigh Cofield

Remember that bartender with the pink hair? Or green hair? Or was it blue, or purple? That was probably Ashleigh Cofield, who just celebrated her two-year anniversary tending bar on the ferry at the end of January.

BY MATT LARSON

Published: February, 2019

 

Remember that bartender with the pink hair? Or green hair? Or was it blue, or purple? That was probably Ashleigh Cofield, who just celebrated her two-year anniversary tending bar on the ferry at the end of January. This month she’s planning for red hair, in honor of Valentine’s Day.

 

It’s all about personality when it comes to Cofield’s customer service, and she loves getting to know her passengers. Some of the local commuters, however, know her before they even meet. “My mother drives Lyft in Vallejo, so a lot of the commuters also know my mom,” she said. “I remember working one day and this lady walked up to me and goes, ‘Your name’s Ashleigh. Your mom’s Dawn. You have friends in Sacramento,’ and I’m like, how do you know all this? She said, ‘Because your mom gave me a ride today.’”

 

So you can hang out with Cofield’s mom on the way to the ferry, have a drink with Cofield herself on your way to the City, and sometimes you may even get to see her daughter, Aaliyah, on board for three generations of company. “You get to experience the whole family!” she said. “Some days, if I cannot find a sitter, I’ll bring her with me on the boat. I’m very fortunate that that is okay, and the riders absolutely love her.”

 

Cofield’s favorite part of working on the water is probably your favorite part of riding it as well—the views. “It is beautiful,” she said. “The best spot to look is right after the Sausalito/Marin area, you get a good shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s the best part of the entire day.”

 

Her favorite boat, the Vallejo, is no longer in service. It was the first boat she ever rode, the boat she was trained on, and—most importantly—it had a hot pink register to match her hot pink hair at the time. But life goes on.

 

Born in Oakland and living in Vallejo since she was two years old, this is her first foray into the maritime field. Before this Cofield was working at Panama Bay Coffee at the Vallejo terminal, and was a cook at Rookies Sports Bar & Grill in Benicia. Now after two years on the waterways she’s thinking of staying on the water, perhaps becoming a deckhand someday. “It seems like a good way to stay on the boat and not lose contact with the commuters and my work family.”

 

Bloody Marys and margaritas are among Cofield’s most requested drinks, and her Bloody Marys have received rave reviews, so keep that in mind next time you’re on board; and maybe you could talk Cofield into trying one herself. “It’s so funny,” she said. “People have complimented my Bloody Marys numerous times but I have yet to ever drink one.”

 

Having lived in the Bay Area her whole life, working on the ferry has revealed to her how popular the region truly is on a global scale. “I’ve talked to so many different people, heard so many different accents,” she said. “I’ve met people from Nigeria, Ghana, Switzerland, Australia, Canada—it’s kind of mind-blowing sometimes.”

 

Off the clock, Cofield loves spending quality time with her daughter, whose full name is Aaliyah Nefertiti Jones. She also loves to read, and to color. “I’m a very big little kid,” she said. And her favorite books of all time are the Harry Potter series, so feel free to fan out with her next time you’re on board.

       

It’s hard to have a bad day if the ferry is your means of transport or, in Cofield’s case, your work office. “It is the best way to travel,” Cofield said. “We get great views, we are always on time, we have a bar, and clean bathrooms!”

Ashleigh Cofield has been a friendly face at the ferry bar for over two years.