Category Archives: Deadliest Catch

Deadliest Catch Season Six

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore” – Vincent van Goqh.  

Words that are particularly true for the men of The Deadliest Catch as they head out to sea to capture their fair share of fame and fortune. 

Blair Bunting/Getty Images/Discovery Channe

Season 6 of The Deadliest Catch is now upon us. a new season that is rifled with excitement, drama, new rivalries, additional crewmembers, and a sudden departure of an old, dear friend. 

We start our voyage in the Bering Sea on small, rocky island oasis – Dutch Harbor.  It is King Crab Season and the rush to strike “red oil” is in the air as the crews rush to put the final touches on preparations as they head out to sea.  All our favorite characters are here – Sig, Andy, Phil, Jonathan, and Keith, plus a new captain – Wild Bill, a former captain who is returning from his second carrier as fishing guide in Baja Mexico. 

I am not sure that I would give up the warm, clear waters of Mexico for ice, cold, and long days of hauling pots.  Wild Bill’s reintroduction into fleet and “the grid” of crab fishing will be work in progress.

So what does the sixth season offer  that the last five didn’t?  Great question!!!  To spice things up, the Northwestern and the Cornelia Marie performed a crew swap.  Jake Harris is transferred to the Northwestern and Jake Anderson to the Cornelia Marie. 

The goal is to teach these two “hotshot, know-it-alls” a taste of humility.  In the “real world” of fishing this type of crew swap is unheard of, but what the hell for TV.  Seeing these two Jacks try to survive crab season on new boats while being tested with continual torment from crews will be like Survivor meets Fear Factor.  Hell on the seas!

Not enough drama, yet?  We now have conflagrant (I don’t know what this word means) rivalry between two of our captains – Jonathan and Keith –over what is called crew poaching.  Part of the unwritten rules of crab fishing is that you do not approach another captain’s crew member with an offer of job with increased earnings while they are still employed on another boat. 

If this was the 18th century, this offense would be settled with pistols or sword in a duel to the death.  In the 21st century, we are bit more civilized…instead the captains slung around lots of profanity, threats, and eventually pushing.  

As the curtain closed over the Captain’s Barrel, the dispute between Keith and Jonathan is far from over…What will be in store from these two fierce rivals?  I am not sure, but I am betting this conflict will make for good theater as the season progresses.

*** Spoiler Alert ***

An old friend of the fleet will leaving us during Season 6.  If you have not heard by now, Captain Phil Harris suffered a lethal stroke toward during filming on January 29th of this year while in port at St. Paul Island.  The cameras went along for his final voyage as Phil left the St. Paul Island bound to Anchorage via Med Flight. 

Even in the final hours and days, Phil still had a story to tell and insisted on keeping the cameras rolling no matter what.  In a note to Producer Beers Phil wrote about whether to cease the cameras – ‘No, we need a great finish to this story’.   Phil wouldn’t have it any other way…

Season Six is surely setting up to be one the more enjoyable seasons.  Ratings from last week’s first show was the highest ever for the series!  So, let’s get fishing! 

Deadliest Catch is on Discovery every Tuesday at 9 p.m.


More Crabs less Turkey on Thanksgiving

I think it maybe time to commence a new tradition on Thanksgiving.  Instead of having the traditional turkey and sides…have a crustacean or two!  Nothing says Thanksgiving like cracking open a few meaty legs of the “new” white meat – Alaskan crab!  Many turkeys will thank you for making the switch.

Deadliest Catch – Season Four

Spring is in the air.  The trees are beginning to bud, the flowers are in bloom, and of course the men of men are busting their hump on the cold waters of the Barring Sea as they stake their claim on Alaskan Gold – King Crab!  If you haven’t heard, the fourth season of the Deadliest Catch is upon us.

The fourth season opens a bit more precarious than expected.  As the Wizard treks north from her home port of Seattle to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, she is ambushed by a rouge wave that cuts a small incision around one of the welds on the side of the ship.  You guessed it; she starts to take on water which is every fisherman’sTime Bandit worst nightmare at sea, especially in these cold waters.  Lucky for the crew, they made it safely into Dutch Harbor for temporary repairs.  So is this leak an omen of what will come for Wizard this crab season?  Let’s hope not.

If I had to label Season 4, I would say it is the season of family.  We start off with Capt. Sig Hansen hoisted his family’s crest on the bridge of the Northwestern to honor his brothers who work on the boat.  Then we have Capt. Phil Harris who has his two sons working the Cornelia Marie.  Now we have a new family member, Capt. Jonathan Hillstrand’s son Scott has now joined the crew.  Can Scott live up to the Hillstrand tradition and become a crab fisherman?  Time will only tell.

Like each season before this one, all the captains of the Fleet gather at the local water hole in Dutch Harbor, the Latitudes to discuss the upcoming crab season and the all important  “captain’s wager.”  This year’s wager is a bit of whopper – it is a weekly bet on who has the best string of pots.  The catch is that the captain must call the string before it hits the water.  The captain who has won the most strings at the end of the King Crab season is the winner.  So, which of the captains will win this year’s prize Sig, Jonathan, Phil, Keith, or Sten? 

So, what makes a crab season so interesting?  The rough work these men of men do, the danger that lurks around each crashing wave, the weather, or the captain’s wrath?  No, it’s the greenhorns.  This season has it plethora of greenhorns.  Here how it breaks down -the Northwestern has one, the Time Bandit has one, and the Wizard has two what about the fourth ship?.  Even before the boats shove off to the crab grounds, these greenhorns were already making their presence felt…and not in a good way.

So far we have seen the Wizard in distress, a new band of greenhorns, a family member following his destiny, the Northwestern starting several hours behind the fleet due to a propeller shaft replacement at Dutch Harbor, a new “captain’s wager” and of course Capt. Phil’s Jake pissing off his old man with another abuse of his father’s credit card.  Wow, what else will Season 4 have in store for us?  I am not sure, but I can’t wait!!!  See you all next week!

Deadliest Catch – Episode 10

Baridi CrabBaridi CrabTime BanditTime BanditWhat can I say, the hunt for crab is at full steam on day 7 of this edition of the Deadliest Catch.  At this point in the season the stakes are rising — this point is where fortunes are won and lost.The Crew of the Time Bandit

The Wizard, with its replacement captain Monty and new three-day-old greenhorn Guy, is back to grind after 24 hours of hauling gear.  Today will decide if the 40-year-old former rodeo rider has what it takes to be an Alaskan Crab fisherman.  So far, it has been rough going for Guy.  The crew and captain are feeling that if Guy does not pick up a notch, his Full pot of crabFull pot of crabcrab-in-the-pot.jpgcrab-in-the-pot.jpgcontribution to the cause will be more of a hindrance than a help. 

The day starts off with clearing about 1000 pounds of ice off the deck of the Wizard before any of the 200 pots can be retrieved.  Any recovery the crew had will be extinguished even before they can tackle the crab.  What a way to start the day…  Let’s hope that Guy can keep up!

After 12 hours of grueling pulling of pots, sorting, and filling the bait bags Guy walks off deck without notice.  Has Guy cracked?  Has the last 48 hours working on a crab boat been too much for him? 

The answer is YES!  Greenhorn Guy has hit the wall and has called it quits.  After a brief exchange in the wheel house between Captain Monty and Guy, the captain has decided that best course of action is to send Guy for a breather on the bench.  From this point on, the crew will be a man down for the rest of the season.

Southwest of the Wizard about 60 miles is the Cornelia Marie.  So far their greenhorn Josh is holding up a bit better than Guy on the Wizard.  Today’s test for Josh is assisting in laying another line before next monumental squall moves into the Bering Sea and plays havoc with the crab fleet.  Fishing started out slow, but now the numbers are picking up.  However, time is an issue with a squall moving toward them that includes ice, high wind and high seas.

As the hours pass, the squall comes closer to the Cornelia Marie.  Seas are rising, but the real fear for any fisherman this time of year is ice on the boat.  On deck at a balmy 11 degrees, the crew must work to keep the ice off the boat while hauling up pots of crab.  When the crab hit the sorting table they freeze within seconds, turning into red hockey pucks.  Not the best weather to fish in! 

The Farwest Leader is 47 miles to the east of the Cornelia Marie.   So far fishing has been a tough go due to the numbersBairdi Crab they are able to keep with Bairdi crab.  The pots are full (1000 crab), but they can only keep 40-50 crab.  Not too good at all!  To make matters worse, another crab boat has dropped a line right on top of the Farwest Leader’s pots.  A no no in the unwritten rules of crab fishing.  Captain Greg is not happy because the crab is not only going in Captain Greg’s pots but the other crab boat’s pots.  Taking averages of 60 good crab per pot down to 20-40 crab and making slow crabbing even slower. 

After 14 hours of work on deck, the crew is down in the galley refueling on eggs, pork chops, and potatoes before their next string is ready to be pulled.  It is not unusual for the crew to down 3000 calories a piece at each sitting; however, due to the nature of their work the pounds still melt away.  Just think, the perfect workout – you can eat anything you want and pounds just drop.  Too bad you have to do in on the Bering Sea! 

Before the meal is over, an alarm sounds in the wheel house.  Captain Greg first checks for fire on the close circuit TV.  No fire, but the port side engine is not functioning correctly.  Greg shuts it down.  After inspection of the engine and a diagnostic check, Captain Greg’s suspicions are correct — the motor on the blower is fried!  Before they can move on, the crew must secure the propeller shaft to prevent any more damage to the motor.  As the boat moves through the water, motion causes the propeller to move on its own.  In doing so, the propeller and the shaft it is attached to turns and will cause increase damage to a broken engine.  The task of securing the propeller shaft is not an easy one. 

What will Captain Greg’s next move be – head back to port for repairs to the engine or continue to fish on one engine which is extremely risky.  Money is a big persuader for any man looking at making their own fortune, so Captain Greg has decide to stay at sea and fish.  Instead of Baridi they are going to rig for Opilio crab

Northeast of the Farwest Leader about 47 miles is the Northwestern.  After two whole days of keeping 500 keepers per pot, Captain Sig has reset his gear at the same spot.  A gamble that has paid off!!!!  After 24 hours the crew pulls the first “set back pot” — guess what . . . full of crab.  Sig has done it again!  The master knows his crab fishing! 

Sig, feeling so good about their current fortunes, decides to do something that has not done in 20 years — work the deck.  Yeah, Sig is going to get his hands dirty.  Edger will now man the wheel house while Sig fills his place.  After 15 pots of job swapping, Sig and Edger switch back.  Bizzaro world is now over.  To give you another idea of how great this “fishing hole” is that Sig is sitting on . . . well his crew has brought up 90,000 pounds in 24 hours.  All three of their holding tanks are now stuffed with red gold.  A record haul! 

At Dutch Harbor the Time Bandit is still in port for repairs to their prop.  Captain Andy has decided to do the repairs himself and suits up in wetsuit and air tank.   While Andy is cutting the line from the prop, not all is rosy topside. 

The Dutch Harbor police are in the wheel house of the Time Bandit inquiring about deckhand Nathan.  Unknown to Captain Andy, Nathan has an outstanding warrant out on him.  Now it is the Time Bandit’s turn to be a man down on the crew.  

After an hour in 36 degree water, Captain Andy has finished cutting the line from the prop and shaft.  Now it time to post bail for Nathan — $500.  With Nathan free for now, the Time Bandit can push off to the fishing grounds and back into the game.

Season 3 – Episode 10 crab totals

Cornelia Marie- 601,000 pounds

Wizard – 595,000 pounds

Northwestern – 400,000 pounds

Farwest Leader – 100,000 pounds

Time Bandit – 75,000 pounds

Deadliest Catch – Episode 9 Crossing the Line

Unloading Snow Crabs at NightSo far this Opilio season has had its fair share of obstacles for the crab fleet – fire on one of the crab processor boats, major winter gale, family stripe, sea lions, and pure bad luck.  Can the fortunes turn around for the fleet and get the crab train back on track?

Our story opens up with the old sea dog Capt Sig of the Northwestern 347 miles Northwest of Dutch Harbor trying to turn their previous misfortunes into a bit of good luck.  Sig is now fishing in unfamiliar waters hoping that it will be raining crab before long.  Boy does this boat need a bit of good old fashion Irish luck.  If there was a Blarney Stone to be kissed, Sig would have done so by now.   Instead, Edgar introduces the newest member of the crew greenhorn Jake to one of the boats old traditions – biting the head off piece of Herring bait and swallowing it.  Like every good fisherman, Jake was truly up to the task.  Editors note – you could not get me drunk enough to do that stunt even in my wildest college days!  To increase the chances of bigger numbers of crabs in the pots, the Northwestern is loading up on bait in each pot.  Roughly 30 pounds of bait (Herring and Cod) per pot.

A mere 66 miles to the Southwest of the Northwestern the Cornelia Marie is on the edge of a squall at night battling a fierce sea.  As wave after wave crashes the side of the boat, tensions rise as Captain Phil and his crew try desperately to set a string of new pots.  Danger is lurking around each crashing wave, one bad decision by the Captain or crew and someone will become a permanent member of Dave Jones locker.  Think of Bush Garden’s riede Roman Rapids but 100 times worse that is what is like when the waves coming crashing on deck while the hands load the launcher with the next pot. 

Just 320 miles Northwest of Dutch Harbor the Time Bandit is fishing a little Cod in order to replenish their bait supply while being hammered by the same squall the Cornelia Marie is experiencing.  The Time Bandit is not faring any better in this fight against Mother Nature.  The pots are refitted with orange teeth for fishing with cod.  The idea is fresh bait may help lure more crab into their next line of pots.  Laying pots at night in a squall is no easy task for the crew and the captain due to limited visibility in seeing approaching waves.  As the seas turn up a notch of violence, Captain Andy make a wise decision to pull the crew from the deck for safety.  Safety is always the underlining theme on all these boats.

Back to the Northwestern, they are now ready to put down their first string of pots in this new fishing ground for Sig.  Can Greenhorn Jake meet the task?  Time will tell…  After 30 hours of a good soak the first pot in this new fishing hole is ready to be pulled up.  To everyone one delectation, the pot is bursting with that red gold called Alaskan Snow crab aka Opilo crab.   The additional pots that being pulled are also showering the boat with voluminous crab.  With spread of good fortunes impregnating the crew, Jake decides it is time to “punk” one of the veteran crew members.  If you haven’t guessed already, it is not wise for a greenhorn to “punk” any of the crew on his maiden voyage.  Well, Jake’s not the sharpest tack in the toolbox…trust me on that.  Remember he ate the head of a raw Herring!  Jake’s idea of a trick is put a snap on the back of Edgar’sheel.  Of all people not to “punk” — beside Sig, it’s Edgar.  Well Jake is now learning the hard way not to make the same move twice.  The war is now on!

Captain Monty - WizardAt dock in Dutch Harbor the Wizard is just completing repairs to the crane that was knocked out by the storm just a few days earlier.  Before the can shove off, Captain Keith is summoned home for unexpectantly to deal with some family business.  In his absence, his brother Monty is the new captain.  With a word of wisdom — “don’t let the crew drive the boat” — the keys are then passed to the new captain.  Keith is not the only one departing for the mainland, so is Greenhorn Nick.  Nick’s departure is due to an injury, a disappointing way to end your maiden voyage.  To find a replacement, Monty hits the Unisea Inn & Bar — Dutch Harbor’s unofficial unemployment office.  Monty found his new recruit Greenhorn Guy, a former rodeo rider.  Hopefully he can pick up the ropes rather quickly.

After full day of steam, the Wizard is back on the fishing grounds.  Can Guy meet the challenge?  On-the-job training is a must.  Before long the first string of pots are lunched and with a bit of lady luck on their side, the pots will come up full.   

On the Farwest Leader, John a former Salmon fisherman is battling as a Greenhorn crab fisherman to make an impression on the crew and captain.  Manning on the rail will test his skill and determination to be a part of the crew.  After a day of throws and working the block, John started to get the hang of it.  However Chilly (deckboss) sees no hope, but the Captain sees it differently.  Time will only tell.

Back on board the Time Bandit, the crew is pulling up one its last test pots to determine if the current location is the place to drop a full string of pots.  Jackpot!!!!  The pot is full of crab!  Moral is now on the mend.  It is amazing what a few full pots can do to lift the spirits of the whole crew.  Now time to drop a full string of pots.  Out of nowwhere, a wave pushes the Time Bandit over the line to one of the pots.  As the starboard prop (wheel) turned, the line from the pot has is wrapping around prop which is causeing the engine to heat up and seize.  Shutting down the engine to the starboard prob is the only option now or lose the whole engine.  This not good…not good at all!  The crew must cut the pot free in order to keep the port prop from getting tangled up.  With only one prop working in rough seas, Captain Andy has no choice but to stop fishing.  The Timebandit is turning around and limping back to port of repairs.  Another victim of bad luck this crab season.

What will next week adventures bring these harden fisherman?  Tune in next week to find out on the Deadliest Catch.  See you then! 

Season 3 – Episode 9 crab totals

Wizard – 389,000 pounds

Cornelia Marie – 351,000 pounds

Northwestern – 260,000 pounds

Farwest Leader – 90,000 pounds

Time Bandit – 50,000 pounds


Deadliest Catch – Episode 8 Caught in the Storm

The Bering SeaThe game is afoot cross the 1,000,000 square miles of the Bering Sea for the pot of gold called the Opilio Crab.  Our sea-dog adventurers are in fierce competition against each other and mother nature to land their quota of crab before the season ends.  Will these sea-dogs be showered with greenbacks from the a bounty of crab they haul in or will the crab be elusive as the pot of gold at the end for rainbow?  We shall see matey as the Deadliest Catch rolls on…

Fire has temporary knocked out the processing boat, Stellar Sea, which has curtailedseveral crab boats (Cornelia Marie, Farwest Leader and Time Bandit) this season due to their contractual obligations to offload their catch to her.  The Stellar Sea had the pleasure of serving as the processing boat for all northern delivers (north of St. Paul Island).   This misfortune has required several of the crab boats to go to plan B.  

Plan B — Farwest Leader and the Time Bandit choose a different route, fishing for a different species of crab the Bairdi Tanner Crab (cousin of the Opilio crab).  The Baridi is less lucrative and a bit more elusive than the Opilio.  This route could be feast or fathom for the Time Bandit and the Farwest Leader.

With a line of prospecting pots in the water, Capt. Andy of the Time Bandit is hoping to find this elusive crab before a major storm hits (this storm is packing gust of 60 mph winds from the east which means quite cold air along with 35-foot seas or greater — the storm is a combination of two Lows) the fleet.  So far the pots are full of 400-500 crab;however, due to the size of the Bairdi crab only 15-20 crabs are keepers.  This type of fishing will be a challenge to make any substancal money.

At St. George Island, Farwest Leader is loading an additional 30 pots before the storm hits.  Capt. Greg is anxious to get underway before the weather hits.  St. George island happens to be in the direct path of this furious squall that is bearing down on the fleet.  Exiting before the storm hits is imperative.  With a successful loading of pots and harrowing navigation of the channel out of St. George, the Farwest Leader is out to open sea before the storm pummels the island.  “Lets go fishing, no money in the harbor” exclaims Capt. Greg as the Farwest Leader battles the massive swells this storm is creating while at sea.

Northwest of Dutch Harbor about 325, the Time Bandit is not experiencing much luck obtaining good quantities of Bairdi Opilio Crab - sortingcrab.  If that wasn’t enough, the storm is starting to unleash her fury on the boat.  Swells as large as 30 feet are knocking the Time Bandit around like a receiver running across the middle at the goal line.  If the fishing does not pick up, Capt. Andy will  have to jog into the storm until the weather improves.  Jogging into the storm means turning the bow into the oncoming waves so the front of the boat is absorbing the waves instead of the port and starboard sides.  This method makes riding out the storm safer, but fishing is impossible.  Since the boat is tossed around and the seas are picking up, Capt. Andy has ordered all the crew to clear the deck and turn the Time Bandit into the oncoming ridge of waves.  With the crew inside, a 30-foot rouge wave smashes port side of the Time Bandit, sheer off the bolts of the 200 pound coiler and tossed it around on deck like football.  If the crew had been on deck, disaster would have followed.  Capt. Andy made the right call!

The Nortwestern is 347 miles nothwest of Dutch Harbor hoping to pull up  some good pots after the bad luck at the start of the season.  Lucky for Capt. Sig, their processor at Dutch which up an running — good to go!  This news means Opilio crab is on the menu.  Has their luck turned?  Not sure for how long, but for now all pots are full of beautiful crab.  Without notice, the Northwestern engine starts to act up.  The engine is not holding gear and with the storm approaching now is not the time for engine failure.  As the Northwestern starts to limp at sea, Edgar and Sig search for the cause of the engine failure.  As they search for the cause, they turn off both the engines and the generator — the Northwesten is dead in the water.  All fishing has stopped and all systems are shut down until the problem is found.  Time is everything with the upcoming swells and winds of this massive storm.  Sig has no AAA to call, so the captain and crew must rely on their own expertise to locate and fix the problem before the sea takes them.

After a extensive search in the darken engine room, Sig discovers a leak from one of the hoses to the numatic (air power) throttle.  Edgar attempts to repair the hose.  The good news is that the problem is not the engine and repairs are possible.  After repairng the hose and running a test, Sig and Edgar theorizes that fixing the air leak wasn’t completely the solution.  With the pending storm and throttle problems, Sig reluctantly decides to turn in for St. Paul island for repairs.  Another setback for the Northwestern this season.

After receiving word that the Stellar Sea is repaired and will be back out to sea in a few days, Cornelia Marie is off the bench and out to sea about 292 miles northwest of Dutch Harbor.  Time to make up for lost time and money.  The Cornelia Maire is on the crab with huge pots of crab and lots of sorting.  The Cornelia Marie is running at 110% which is causing nerves to be on edge throughout the crew.  This wear is causing a riff between Capt. Phil and his greenhorn, bait boy son Joss.  The same type of fight every father and son has.  If you thought last year’s riff between Capt. Phil and his other son Jake was bad…Holy Cow!!!  We have not seen anything yet!  Joss needs to learn that his father is the captain and his word is law. 

The Wizard is 57 miles to the northeast of the Cornelia Marie.  She is also feeling the effects of the storm.  Luck is not on the Wizard’s side this season.  So far crab has been a bit elusive for this boat.  The swells are slamming the Wizard.  One of these swells has sheered the transmission on the eight-ton crane on the bow of the boat.  The crane needs to be secured immediately, if not the crane will swing wildly causing mayhem on deck.  The crew races to to secure it.  The concern is if the crane will be usable after the storm.  The crane is one of their main tools in picking the pots out of the water.  After securing the crane, the crew races to secure the rest of the deck before the full fury of the storm hits.  The Wizard is also heading into port for repairs.

So far two of the boats (Northwestern and Wizard) are heading to port for repairs.  Not a way to start the season, especially in January on the Bering Sea.  What will the next episode bring to these harden fishermen, time will only tell?  See you all in a few days! 

Season 3 – Episode 8 crab totals

Wizard – 198,000 pounds

Cornelia Marie – 175,000 pounds

Northwestern – 52,000 pounds

Farwest Leader – 21,000 pounds

Time Bandit – 18,000 pounds

Deadliest Catch – Episode 7 Opilio Crab Season

WizardAlright all you armchair fishermen, we are now at the half-way point of the Deadliest Catch.  We have now moved from the November Alaskan King crab season to the Opilio crab season in January on the Bering Sea.  If we thought that Bering Sea was unforgiving in November, well hang on, you haven’t seen anything yet!  Get ready for brutal cold, howling winds, enormous rolling waves, and ice…not just a little bit of ice, but lots of ice!!!

The Time Bandit, Northwestern (with an extra deckhand – greenhorn Jake Anderson), Cornelia Marie,  Maverick, Farwest Leader, and the Wizard (former Navy fuel ship) are all in the game for 2007 season.  Before the season begins, a ship is pick at random to go through a series of USCG drills on safety.  Well, the Farwest Leader was the luck candidate this season.  To provide a bit of insight, the USCG checks and conducts safety drills to evaluate if the boat and crew are prepared for the worst out at sea.  The drills included on how to put out a fire, how get into their survival suits in under a minute, and a review all safety procedures.  With the evaluations behind them, the Farwest Leader is now making steam to catch up with the rest of the fleet at sea.

250 NNW of Dutch Harbor, just east of St. Paul Island, the Northwestern is hauling up gear from a storage area in rough seas, the first real test of the greenhorn Jake Anderson.  Captain Sig is discovering that the pots are not in the best of conditions due to the sea tossing the pots against the sea bed for the last few months and local sea lions using them as play toys.  Before they can even launch any of the pots once they hit the crab grounds, they must do a bit of repairs to their gear.  Not the perfect start of the Opilio season. 

With the Wizard on station in the crab grounds, they starting to pulling up their first string of pots with successfull  pots of crab.  Nice way to open the season. 

318 NNW of Dutch Harbor, Cornelia Marie is launching their first string of pots.  Weather is now starting to become an adversary to the fleet.  The race is on for the Cornelia Marie to get the pots off before ice builds up on ship in the rolling seas.  A boat with a full stack of pots on board with ice build up increase the chances of the boat rolling over it the seas are too rough.  So, through out the day and into the night, pot after pot is launched into the pitched black sea.  To make matters worst, Captain Phil has learned that his crab processor had a fire in its engine room which has knocked her out of action.  With the Stellar Sea being towed back to Dutch for repairs, this incident has now created a real pickle for Phil.  Let me explain, Phil is contracted to offload to the Stellar Sea.  So his options are quite limited.  What to do?  After exploring all of his options, Phil decided to sail over to St. Paul, anchor, and get out of the weather while repairs are under way on the Stellar Sea.  It looks like these repairs could take several days, but it does allow the pots to soak a bit longer than normal.  So the door could be open for more crab per pot.  I guess HH-60 USCGanother season of bad luck for the Cornelia Marie.

277 NW of Dutch Harbor is the Time Bandit, who is also affected by the fire on the Stellar Sea.  So, the Hillstrand brothers decided to change their playbook – fish a different species of crab, Bairdi Tanner Crab (cousin of the Opilio crab).  This switch will allow them to use a different processor and the most important thing, to make money – potentially of $56,000 per deckhand.  The major drawback is that no one knows where the crab is and that crew is now exposed to tremendous weather and sea conditions.  A receipt for disaster for an inexperience crew, but not the crew of the Time Bandit.

On Kodiak Island, the USCG received a rescue call from one of the boats in the crab fleet for a medevac of a crewman who is spitting up blood and unresponsive.  The helo is launched and they are on their way faster than the winged God Apollo.  Time is a difference between life or death out on the Bering Sea.  In just over an hour, the helo is on-site to lower the basket for evacuation of the injured deckhand.  The toughest part of the whole mission is that this rescue is being conducted at night while the crab boat is rolling with the seas.  With these challenging conditions, the pilot has no room for error.  With the injured deckhand on board, the rescue swimmer checks his vitals, secures the patient for the return flight back to dry land.  Thanks to the skill and quick reaction of the USCG, the injured deckhand will survive.  USCG 1, Bering Sea 0.

It looks like that weather will be the worst enemy for the fleet next week.  Talk to you then.   

Season 3 – Episode 7 crab totals

Wizard – 50,00 pounds

Cornelia Marie – 0 pounds

Northwestern – 0 pounds

Time Bandit – 0 pounds

Farwest Leader – 0 pounds