The seas are heating up on the cold Bering Sea. In this installment, episode four opens up with the master, Sig of the Northwestern, who now has worked his magic and lands right smack in the mother-load of crab of this season. These crabs are not the Red Lobster size crabs, but are the biggest King Crabs that I have seen in the three season of watching this show. These monstrous, red beauties are more than just one meal, they are dinner for a week! Pass the butter and the beer, I am ready to eat!
Success has not hit everyone at this course of the season. Poor Phil of the Cornelia Marie had a bit of horrendous luck. One of his wheels (propellers) broke while at sea. So, back to Dutch (Dutch Harbor, AK) for repairs. Not only will this return trip cost him money for repairs, but the time sitting in port prevents the Cornelia Marie from hauling in the red gold these prospectors are craving. If the sitting in port was not bad enough, the marine supply company that sent the new wheel to Dutch sent the wrong one. So one day in port has now turned into two with thousands of dollars in repairs and thousands of dollars being lost by not fishing. With repairs done, the Cornelia Marie steams out port to get back into the game.
We have all heard that bad luck runs in threes, well that is the case here on the Berring Sea. This time the black cat of luck has now struck the Farwest Leader. Not only has his lane of crab gone dry, now Ricky (deckhand) has wrecked the crane which looks like about $500 worth of repairs. Okay, that doesn’t sound too bad. Guess again! Now the crew, instead of relying on their strong arm buddy the crane to move the 700lbs pots on deck, have to use other measures. Human brawn. If working for 24 hours straight wasn’t bad enough, now they have to use all the energy they have left to move these monstrous pots into position on the deck. Capt. Greg Moncrief is not a happy man.
Man over board!!!!! Not what any captain in these waters wants to hear! While steaming north to find a better spot to lay down his new line of pots, the Time Bandit spies another crab boat. As the seas are building with 30-foot swells (waves), a deckhand on the other crab boat is dangling on the side of the stack pots trying to secure them. As the crab boat rocks up and down in the seas like a mother rocking a sleepy infant, the deckhand gets closer and closer to danger. Before you could get your next breath out, the deckhand had lost his footing and is in the sea. Man over board!!! Lucky for this water-bound deckhand that Capt. Johnathan Hillstrand had a gut feeling this accident would occur and already place the Time Bandit in the best position for rescue.
Once a man hits the cold, icy waters of the Bering Sea he has minutes before hypothermia takes hold and the howl of the banshee is heard. All crab boat crews train on what to do when a man is in the water, the Time Bandit crew is no exception. Once the cry is heard, the boat sprints into action as the crew races to put their gear on and man the lines of life which they will use to rescue this poor soul from Dave Jone’s locker.
Minutes seem like hours before deckhand is pulled from the icy cold sea. The training has payed off – the deckhand is alive!!! A bit shaken, wet, and extremely cold, but he is alert and alive thanking God for these brave men. As the news races through the boat, a chorus of cheers are heard and tear of joy flow. A life saved is greater than any haul these men could ever catch.
What another wild ride in this week’s installment. It looks like Sid’s unorthodox technique of fishing with 300 pots has paid off. The Northwestern has moved into the lead. It should be quite interesting if the standings change next week. Can Farwest Leader, Time Bandit and Cornelia Marie get back into the game? What about the Maverick with the rookie captain and green horn crew?
See you all next week!
Season 3 Top Crab Totals at the end of Episode 4
Northwestern – 194,500 pounds
Wizard – 160,000 pounds
Cornelia Marie – 150,000 pounds
Farwest Leader – 70,000 pounds
Maverick – 43,500 pounds (rookie captain Blake Painter)
Time Bandit – 23,000 pounds