While normal people were out celebrating the long weekend with barbecues and softball games, I spent the last three days glued to the three day marathon of my latest obsession: Deadliest Catch.
The show chronicles the king and opilio (snow) crab fishing seasons of a handful of vessels crazy enough to attempt this work. Alaskan crab fishing is the most—the most!—dangerous job in the world. Men die every year. Sometimes many men. And yet, they go out year after year, season after season, risking their lives for the sake of a big haul and an even bigger payday. (The men can earn upwards of $50,000 in less than a month, sometimes in less than a week.)
But the huge draw to this show isn't only the phenomenal risk involved in the job, it's the character of the men who take on that risk. Their personalities range from the quiet and unassuming to the in-your-face and outrageous. The only two constants are a willingness to work hard (and I do mean HARD) and the mental toughness to withstand the weather, the unending (and somethings uninterrupted) hours of backbreaking labor, and the possibility of death looming around every minor mishap.
I admit to having favorites. I'm a Northwestern girl. The Northwestern is a fishing vessel owned and operated by the Hansen brothers; captain Sig (right), engineer Norman (left), and deck boss Edgar (second from left). These boys are the heirs of a Norwegian fishing dynasty and they are never boring. Sig is the slave-driver, pushing the guys to the breaking point (but not beyond—because I don't think they have one) from the wheel house. (He's also on Twitter.) Edgar is the loudmouth prankster who keeps everyone laughing and safely on their toes. Norman is the silent, elusive, and camera-shy one that, well, you just don't know much about.
Sigh, I just can't get enough.
I can't pick a favorite, either. If you've seen the show (or even if you haven't) which Hansen brother is more your style? The boss, the quiet guy, or the joker? (They are, incidentally, the oldest, middle, and youngest.)
If you've never watched Deadliest Catch, give it a try. Here's a quick video to get you started.
If you want to see more, the Discovery Channel is showing three back-to-back episodes tonight. You might just find yourself hooked and eager for the next weekend marathon.
OH. MY. GODS. (now in paperback!)
GODDESS BOOT CAMP (coming June 2009)