Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Deadliest Weekend

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)


stephhale said...

I watched a few episodes of this show when it first came out. It was really good. I started feeling sort of guilty for eating seafood. ;) I'm not sure why I stopped watching. I guess I need to get back to it.
PS-Castle got picked up for next season! Yeah!

stephhale said...
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Marley Gibson said...

Love this show! My parents just got cable (I know!) and my father is addicted to this. Told me last night on the phone that he watched the marathon. LOL!

sweetmelissa818 said...

I have been obsessed with this show since it started! My favorite boat is the Time Bandit, but Edgar is my favorite person! I'm behind on this season though, because we don't currently have cable. I try to have my mom Tivo it and watch it later!

TinaFerraro said...

Ditto was Steph said! I've seen some episodes--I think my son had it on--and ended up feeling guilty, too, seeing what they went through to feed me! And I am glad you reminded me about it because it's a great show.

Alyson Noel said...

The captain of the Big Valley, the boat that went down on season one, was a dear friend and my first love.

The guys that do this sort of thing are a special breed.

Me said...

Hooray, I'm not alone!

I was feeling guilty about the whole seafood thing, too, but then I thought, "This is how these men choose to make their living. If everyone stopped eating crab then they'd be out of jobs."

So, by eating crab, you're really supporting them. I'm sure they'd want you to eat tons and tons because then the price per pound would go up. =)

Me said...

Oh, Alyson, how sad! I just saw that episode for the first time this weekend and it was so gut-wrenching. They certainly are special men.

sweetmelissa818 said...

Oh my gosh Alyson! I cried so hard when that happened! It breaks my heart every time they have an episode like that, and to lose someone like that would be truly devastating! It does take a rare breed to do that job! That's why I love watching it. It's amazing, the things they do. I do love me a fisherman.

Kay Cassidy said...

I got sucked into a season 2 marathon that I originally was teasing my husband about watching. I sat down next to him as I teased... and four hours later hadn't moved an inch. :-) It's amazing what they're up against. I love any kind of man against nature theme, so it totally grabbed my attention.