We start out with the Seabrooke. The seas look awfully calm from the aerial view. What beautiful shots.
A 1200 hundred mile wide Arctic Hurricane is headed for the Blue Crab grounds and in 19 hours will cover the Red Crab grounds. Well I guess the shots above where the calm before the storm.
The first boat to see the storm will be the Ramblin' Rose. Captain Elliot Neese is rushing to pull his last forty pots. The crew is in the fore peak gripping about the fishing. They say Elliot is a slave driver. They pull the last pot. The weather is worsening. The big waves of green water come over the side sending the fisherman for cover. Face says this crew is done with him, this is the last time he is going to see him on his fishing boat.
At CatchCon 2011 this year the Captains said there was a lot of green water this season. They weren't joking. We've seen a lot of big waves this season.
On the Northwestern. Sig Hansen is saying, red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. We've heard that before, usually proves true. Jake Anderson is focused on when the bad weather is coming. Nick Mavar standing at the rail says this is an omen I think, mark my words it's coming. They are due to off load in 36 hours, sixty pots to go.
The missing Matt Bradley calls Captain Sig Hansen. Matt says "Sorry bro, I really bleeped things up pretty bad Sig". The narrator Mke Rowe says, eight weeks ago Matt Bradley had a drug relapse and missed crew call for the king season. Matt Bradley, I need my gig back on the boat. Sig Hansen, we can't take you back if it's going to be like that. It's just the bottom line I can't. I can't do it again, that's just the way it is. Do you wanna talk to Edgar for a little bit? Sig calls Edgar to the phone.
Edgar and Matt have been friends since they were twelve years old. Sig says on the phone to Matt, you know the deal, it's non-negotiable. Matt Bradley says I know, I know bro. Edgar Hansen takes the phone. Edgar says what's up buddy? Matt, I cry everyday, but you know, I been just miserable, just a mess. Edgar Hansen, I know how it goes believe me. I've relapsed several times over. Matt, I've never had this hard of a time getting clean. Sometimes it's minute to minute how I'm living right now. I don't want to die bro. So so sad. I hate to hear that. Edgar asks him how it's looking for Opies. Matt, If I'm clean I'm there. Sig says if I get loaded I'm done. I love you guys, have a good day, a good fishing day. The say their good byes. Edgar says he sounds like a typical addict who is coming off of relapse. Pretty straight forward. Guilt, shame, no dignity, remorse, lost. That's what he sounds like lost. It never gets better it just gets worse. This was so hard to hear. I know the rumors where out there, but I was hoping for better news. Stay tuned for more disturbing news on Matt Bradley that I discovered last night. I will do another post in just a little while. It's so sad.
On the Time Bandit. The waves are getting bigger as the storm rolls in. Captain Johnathan Hillstrand is about finished. He needs to haul twenty five pots, before the storm hits. The Time Bandit is pulling some beautiful looking crab. Captain Andy Hillstrand is on deck helping out. I thought that was unusual until Johnathan said it was time to initiate a greenhorn. "JT" Justin Tennison (RIP buddy wish we could have gotten to know you longer) is about to be initiated. They tell JT to step up to the block. The flour bomb is planted. Boom it explodes all over JT. Who says what the hells that? LOL Andy says he's 6' 3". Scott Hillstrand says he's the biggest strongest guy on the boat but he is dumb as bleep. Captain Andy, he's dumb as hell. JT says it means one of two things either I'm a part of the team or two they don't like me very much. Captain Johnathan says over the loud speaker, we love you, you are going Opie fishing you're part of the team. JT raises his hands and points his fingers to Johnathan.
Back on the Northwestern. They are on their final string. Edgar Hansen is telling the crew he just got off the phone with Matt Bradley. Nick asks how Matty is doing? Edgar says not very well. That's what this crab does to you though. How many fisherman do you know that are up here that? Matt Peterson (a new guy ??) interrupts and says everyone. Edgar, pretty much. Matt Peterson, everyone. Nick, a lot of fisherman have drug issues. Edgar a lot of guys do it to cover pain. It's part of the lie too, That's part of the addiction. That's the way it was for me too in a lot of ways. Your suffering up here. Jake Anderson, burned out. Edgar, burned out sailor fisherman, you know. They finish pulling their pots. So sad.
The narrator Mike Rowe says and for Edgar these could be the last of a storied career. Edgar, my sights are set on being able to go home at night, and that requires me basically to quit. Am I going to worry about these guys when I quit? Of course I will. This is my home and these guys are my family. I hope he realizes that. I believe he was referring to Sig.
Sig Hansen leaves the wheel house heading for the deck as they pull a full pot. Everyone's whooping and hollering. Then Edgar climbs up on the pot that is laying on the launcher and starts jumping up and down. You don't see that everyday. His back must be feeling a little better. Sig Hansen says, last pot is coming up. They light the hook, Edgar sets his arm and the coiler on fire. Oh my!
On the Wizard. Captain Keith Colburn says the first half of the season was miserable, the second half has been short of spectacular. BUT the current is starting to pull his last thirteen pots under. The narrator says the current pulls the buoys down causing the buoys to implode leaving the pots on the bottom forever. Bummer. Captain Keith has white trailer bags which are half under the water amongst a bunch of white birds sitting in the water, making it hard to spot the buoys. The birds sitting in the water like that isn't something we see very often. I have wondered before if the birds had to fly until they found a boat to land on. I guess not, but they must be freezing their little booties off. I wonder how they can sit in the water that long?
Captain Keith says if you give up an hour of fishing you could loose $20,000. They must throw the hook in front of the buoy to get it. I see Lenny Lekanoff is back on deck. LOL That man will never retire. They get one pot on board. They throw the hook and it tears the bag open, that one sinks. $2500 on the bottom of the ocean. Now there are three pots on the bottom, Keith says that's $10,000 worth of crab and equipment. Five pots down and Keith calls it a trip. Now a $15,000 loss. Even so, the Wizard hauled in 249,000 pounds of crab worth 1.8 millions dollars. Each hand is going home with $44,000. Not bad for eight weeks work. I think I need a raise.
On the Seabrooke. In the heart of the storm, forty pots to go, there is a new greenhorn Josh "Stoker" Graves. Another Josh? Unbelievable. I think we should just start calling them all either Josh or Jake. It's easier to keep track of that way. Josh Graves is feeling the pain, he says it's like being in the military for a few months. I guess your only way off is to get injured or quit. What military is he referring too? An injury doesn't always get you out of the military, and I didn't think quitting was an option. I guess if he want's to quit he can go watch movies like Josh Fullmer did.
Meanwhile in the wheel house, Chris Whipper Welch, Juniors brother is hurting. He gives us all a little too much information. Just off to the right above the penis there off to a little bit, he is feeling a grabbing. Ok with that there are many things I could say. I won't. LMAO I will say, I'm thinking hernia. Junior asks him if it is acting like a pulled muscle. Whipper says no, no, no, no, no. I don't know. It's starting to hurt. My urination is starting to burn. It's just right in there. He points to his groin. Junior says maybe you have a kidney stone. Whipper says I don't want one of them. It f'ng hurts. Junior advises him to take some ibuprofen. Captain Scott has already lost two greenhorns and almost down two more. Captain Scott! Dude! What are you doing to the horns?
Chris in the fore peak says all he can do is work through it. What a tough guy. I hope he doesn't have a hernia. If he has one and it strangulates that's not good. I'd hate to be out to sea and have that happen. Captain Scott says if you want to be someone in this industry you have to stick and stay and make it pay. Mean while Whipper is out on deck grabbing his lower abdomen/groin area. One of the guys asks him if it hurts when he lifts stuff up. Whipper says a little bit. The guy tells him be careful you shouldn't be lifting then. Someone else hollers you might have a hernia. Yeah, that's what I said. Captain Scott says it's the greenhorn curse.
Chris "Whipper" says he ain't no sissy, he's a man, he'll do it till he dies. Captain Scott says if he loses him, he'll have three guys and a horn. A horn that doesn't know anything and can't keep up. Josh Stoker Graves is having trouble walking. Chris says he's been drinking water, but it is just hurting bad. Mac says he had a hernia too, they cut out his belly button. Three pots into the final string Chris is walking around holding himself and Josh is vomiting. What a team! AWW The weather is getting worse, the boat is rolling. Captain Scott says he has to use all 1300 horse power just to keep this baby straight. Derek Haist says whoa that was a big wave! Finally they get to the last pot. The most successful season of Juniors career. Mac is going in to cook. I just love him, he's like a big ole teddy bear.
In the fore peak as Chris Whipper Welch undresses he says something ain't right. Mac looks at him concerned.
On the Time Bandit. The Hillstrands are up to no good again. They are lighting several Chinese Lanterns and sending them into the sky. You know like baby hot air balloons. Next they disable their Automatic Identification System. Yes they are out of the storm area, in calmer seas. They just disappeared. No GPS, no tracking them. Next they turn out their lights. They say they have to steer by the stars. I hope they checked that tracking chart good before they turned it off. I'd hate for them to run into someone. And finally they deploy 40 Chinese Lanterns. We have lift off! We now have UFO's in the sky. LMAO.
One mile down wind, the Northwestern is headed back to shore. Sig Hansen is talking about his crab load saying they have about 280,000 pounds of crab for over 2 million dollars of crab. All of a sudden he says what the hell are those lights there? He grabs the binoculars. He looks and sees scattered lights. He says What the hell? Twilight zone music is playing. He screams what is that! What the f is that? Is that a boat coming here? What is that? Getting a little panicky. Now he screams over the loud speaker, hey is there a boat behind us what is that? Three of the guys are in the galley two with their heads down apparently sleeping and one with his head against the wall sleeping. I think Matt Petersen. The guys appear to continue sleeping not bothered at all by Sig's screaming what is that repeatedly. Sig still screaming What is that? ROFLMAO Is it a chopper? It looks like a UFO, bunch of damn lights in the sky. This is really freaking him out.
All of a sudden over the radio Johnathan says did you see UFO's? Sig says is that Jonathan? Then you you see the Time Bandit lights come on they have pulled up next to the Northwestern. Andy says did you see those monsters? Yeah! Sig says you just scared the crap out of me. At first I thought it was something in the sky. I thought it was a chopper that went right over us. Andy and Johnathan are laughing their butts off. Sig said I couldn't make heads or tails. Then I don't see any of the lights, I'm like what the hell. I was pissed. Johnathan and Andy are still laughing. Johnathan says it was scary over here too. Sig lays his head down on the console in his arm. Johnathan says if I'd of seen all those lights in the sky I wouldn't even know what to think, I wouldn't tell anybody. They wouldn't believe me. Sig sits back up he's looking at the camera man just shaking his head. Johnathan still laughing.
Johnathan says over the loud speaker, he freaked on them. The guys of the Time Bandit run to the rail of their boat which is now facing the Northwestern and are raising their arms and hollering. Johnathan says that was good. Sig says back over the radio, I mean, you got me, you got me good. Johnathan says Okay we'll see you in town buddy. Johnathan, I love Sig. Sig still shaking his head. What is Sig's crew doing during all of this he's screaming like a mad man, the guys in the galley appear to continue sleeping and no one came into the wheel house to see what was going on. That was kind of odd. Very funny. It might be the best prank, but the pole on the pot and the truck are still right up there.
At season's end:
The Crab Count
In Dutch Harbour.
Gary Soper from the Wizard is applying ointment to his arm and shoulders.
Eric Anderson is talking to Captain Wild Bill about his foot. This could be Eric's last pay check. Captain Bill says there's twenty years of hard crabbing going down the deck right now as Eric Anderson hobbles towards home.
The Kodiak had 2.1 million worth of red crab. Each hand walks away with $30,000.
The Ramblin' Rose had $900,000 worth of blue crab. Each hand walks away with $30,000. It was Captain Elliot Neese's first season running the boat. Elliot's next challenge is keeping his crew. He asks who is coming back for Opies?
Tim Lovins "Cat" says he'll be there. James Creel "DBJ" he'll see how it goes. Elliot questions "Kado" Kevin Wilhelm Davis. I'm not sure Kado answered. Elliott asks "Face" Faresa Alofa Iaulualo. Elliott says so pretty much I can count on the four of you coming back? The narrator says with cash in hand perspectives can change.
On the Seabrook Captain Scott "Junior" says I didn't think we would make it. It's been a battle. Josh Stoker Graves says he finally made it. He's just tired and sore. The skipper is in the wheel house. His brother Chris "Whipper" asks whats the plan from here? Scott, to get you out of here. Junior asks if he is still feeling the same. Chris says yes. The Narrator says Whipper leaves the boat with a possible hernia. Scott says if he has to have surgery there is no way he will make it for Opilio. Poor Captain Scott. Hugs to you.
The Seabrooke brought in almost $2 million dollars each crew member will go home with $45,000. Not bad considering all the horn problems.
The Timebandit. The crew is getting a $250 bonus... for anyone willing to dive for crab. Nothing like having your own Polar Bear Club. The crew is diving into a 43 degree crab tank. First in, Andy he gets a crab, gets out and runs for the sauna. Eddie, JT and Mike Fourtner each take a dive. Johnathan says it was worth the money. Each deck hand is going home with $54,250 The extra $250 for the dive. hehe The Time Bandit brought in almost 1.2 million dollars.
The Cornelia Marie brought in about a hundred grand worth of blue crab. After fuel and expenses the deckhands and the owners got nothing. That's a shame not even a base payment. I did read somewhere on line this week that Jake and Josh Harris will both start Captain school the 2nd week in June. Good luck boys!
The Northwestern also brought in about 2.1 million dollars each deckhand receives $56,000. Edgar says he's getting nervous he still hasn't talked to Sig about quitting yet. Edgar goes to the wheel house. He tells Sig I don't love this anymore. He tells Sig he's quitting. Sig says we've had this conversation before. Edgar, we did last year, but it is a reality this time. I'm telling you now. I'm not going to be here in January.
Most of it's family they need me at home. Sig so then you pull out the home card. Edgar, I'm sorry but after getting sober I kind of enjoy my life at home. Sig there's the other card you're gonna play. All the years we were doing this and when you were screwed up. Edgar we were screwed up. Sig says I put my effort into it. Edgar says I put 22 years in on deck. How many guys do you know that put 22 years on deck, working for a guy like you. Sig a guy like me, what's that supposed to mean. Lenny on the wizard comes to mind. Edgar nobody plans on fishing forever. Nobody can fish forever. Only Sig Hansen can. Then Edgar says as straight faced as can be you're gonna die in that chair someday. Sig Hansen whips his head around and looks at Edgar with like daggers in his eyes, with a what the hell kind of look on his face. Edgar kind of grins. Sig looks away. Edgar walks away. Sig says he doesn't think he's ever run it without Edgar. If he was to never come back that would be very difficult. That would be a difficult pill to swallow. I guess I'll find out in January won't I. The episode ends.
Well Edgar reported on Facebook this week that "as much as i love and miss my family, its because my neck and back are shredded to pieces after 24 yrs of crab fishing...im starting a remodeling company at home to help facilitate my soon to be half retirement....maybe....;-) but thanks for having confidence in me!!!!! its much appreciated...and doesnt go unoticed.but ya never know......stranger things have happened..;-)"
Edgar Hansen also addressed the talk of him and the Harris boys. He wants to know what makes people think the boys would listen to him? He said he would have run the boat the same way Derrick Ray did with ZERO Tolerance, by the book, and that if he was going to run a boat he would run his own boat first.
I can't help but wondering what Edgar's wife thinks about Sig. If she is pushing for Edgar to stay home, if she resents Sig and the boat? Coming from a family with Navy men, I know living with a sailor can be hard on the family. Just makes me wonder what her thoughts on all this are.
I'd also like to say the Discovery Camera Crew, did an awesome job with the photography this week. I don't know why but it really stood out for me this week. There were some really beautiful shots. They always do a great job, but the shots this week just jumped out at me. Beautiful.
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