Welcome back to Deadliest Catch, THE show that puts the real in reality! Last week we saw the opening of Opie season and all the boats were headed into a wicked storm. Tonight brings us more of that and as the teasers from Discovery say…there will be blood.
So here we go!
We open with shots of all the boats battling the weather. Sig says the storm has managed to shut down the fishing completely for the fleet, he doesn’t blame people but they have to pull gear b/c they have a delivery date coming up. They’re at the first pot and it’s blowing…..so as the crew struggles to get the pot on board, it comes up and they do have crab but Sig says it’s pretty skinny. He says that’s not going to do it at all. So then he asks the camera guy to turn the light off b/c he has to pay attention and just then a MASSIVE wave crashes over the deck……
As always, we go into THE greatest opening ever on any show….Jovi, Wanted Dead or Alive, our guys….seriously, what show could top this one?!? And thank you Discovery for keeping Phil in the opening credits.
Thank you Coors Light for presenting us with this epi. wink wink
Back to the massive wave hitting the Northwestern now….and at that point Sig says they’re going to wait until daylight. After a 35 foot wave nearly shattered the Northwestern’s windshield Sig gives way to the storm, saying he has no control. Nick says of course they want to catch, but the crab aren’t going anywhere and the tides are crazy, Sig chimes in that you have to know when to stop. So they do.
20 miles to the northeast, we’re at the Wizard. The 155 foot vessel battles the same 1300 square mile storm and is headed straight for the eye. Keith spies several deck boards torn off and as he says this another one flies away. 75 mph gusts continue to sweep the deck. Keith calls Soper, his deck-boss, and instructs him to go out and fix the planks with the rest of the crew. Monte says if they can get those fixed up they can get to hauling, and Keith says the eye is going to go right over them, with freezing spray sticking to the deck. As the crew finishes prepping the deck, Keith pulls up to his gear. He calls a heads up as another wave bears down on them. The crew jokes about the weather being tropical. Out goes the hook, in comes the pot. Keith is on the chew again I see…..uh oh, your girl is going to be on you about that (and she’s a cutie!). But the pot comes up full, Keith estimates 350-400, a good haul. The Wizard is on the crab, the challenge now….getting the pots on board the boat. Keith says it’s nice for the sun to come up but the downside is you can see how big the waves are, not a good day to haul gear. The seas have gone from bad to dangerous, and Lynn Guitard is struggling with the buoy lines so Keith has to throttle down. Keith says this puts him into a tough approach for the next pot. With the violent seas pushing the boat off course, the men are forced to haul face to face with the rising swell. Keith says they may not be able to haul it. Man, the crew are getting slammed with spray. But good ole Freddie keeps on trucking, I love that guy. As they pull in another pot it slips off the rack and nearly takes out Lenny. Keith says if it’s a head injury he wants him off deck. The boat pitched violently and sent the 800 pound block into Lenny’s head. OUCH! Lenny says he’s okay but Keith wants to look into his eyes (good call Keith). Keith says he doesn’t know what the heck is going on, Lenny that is…Lenny shows him how he was hit right on the ear and says he’s okay….Keith gives him a quick cognitive test (another smart move). Lenny jokes, but Keith says he’s serious. He makes him follow his finger with his eyes, and tells him to catch his breath, clear his head and go up to the wheelhouse. Under captain’s orders, Lenny does just that. Turns out he has a cut on his arm, an impact wound and it’s actually on his elbow. JESUS, Lenny says he just skinned it but that’s no “skinning” to me. Keith calls the rest of the crew in. The boat shuts down while Keith takes a closer look. Good GOD that’s a gouge! Keith says he can see bone, Lenny needs a stitch.
320 miles northwest of Dutch, the Cornelia Marie approaches it’s first string of pots after being shut down by the storm. Josh says they had 30 footers last night, Ryan says it’s come down some. Captain Tony came out of retirement to help the boys honor their dad, says they’ll probably get two strings. Jake says after the last season after not catching enough blue crab to have dinner it’d be nice to land on them. We flashback to the crew during king crab discussing how they’re losing money, the CM was in a financial free-fall. Now, all eyes are on Tony to turn the situation around who says you’re only as good as your last delivery. With the Harris legacy on the line, the crew begins to haul. The first pot comes up and it’s got a good catch in it! Tony says not a bad first pot. One pot doesn’t make a season but it’s a good start. (Plus he wasn’t berating Phil’s memory). The crew yells jackpot! Tony says on days like today Phil had a paper plate in the front window, so he put one up too. Jake says it lets you know Tony’s mood, and he’s happy. All last season they just saw an angry spot, but Tony is rocking it. Jake says Phil is smiling down on them.
Just 13 miles to the SE and we’re back to Lenny’s injury, rather his ghoulish injury. Lenny says they’ll have to sit on him before he’ll let Keith stitch him up. Soper runs the boat while they’re doing this, and Keith is getting ready to stitch. He tells Lenny what to expect as Freddie watches. Lenny refuses a pain killer, and Keith says don’t say he didn’t try to give him one. Keith says it will get infected without closing it up. Lenny says he knows pain and we flash back to when he got his finger torn open. Freddie and Lynn are watching as Keith starts to stitch. My god! He starts stitching and they remark the hook is the size of a halibut one. Lenny says it doesn’t hurt, but goddamn it should! The waves moving the boat, the boat pitching and Keith struggles to steady the needle. Now you can see Lenny grimacing as Keith stitches him up. Lynn helps out, Freddie holds the flashlight. More waves, more pitching. One more stitch to go. Freddie is shaking his head in amazement. Lenny says he can still throw shots, but Freddie says that’d open the stitch up. Keith says what he did is holding it together and he doesn’t want Lenny throwing shots for awhile. Keith then says to everyone, gear up. They go back on deck and Lenny doesn’t know what he’ll do on deck if he can’t throw shots. Keith says there’s not a lot that’d keep a good fisherman off deck, so they did a slap and pack suture job.
335 miles northwest of Dutch Harbor, we’re at the Seabrooke, which has hit the arctic hurricane with a full stack. Captain Campbell is running far north of the fleet and has yet to hit the ground he wants. He says there’s no way they’ll make it, they’d capsize. So now he’s looking for shallow water to drop his pots in. He says if he can’t get to a shallow spot, with the ice accumulating on the stack, he has to suitcase the pots or rather, he’d have to. Suit-casing is just dumping the pots off. So he goes to get the crew up. Junior gives the call to action and the crew rises to storm tossed seas. There’s a huge mess in the fore peak. Captain Campbell says the new forecast says the weather will be even worse. They’re going to drop 60 pots in a small area of shallow water, basically drop the top layer of the pots. He says the area doesn’t traditionally hold Opies but he’s not concerned about that right now. With more ice building by the minute he’s gone from strategy to survival. They started at 33 degrees at 3 hours later they’re at 35 degrees and dropping. This guy is smart, I don’t’ know fishing, but he seems to know his stuff. On deck, it’s slick out, you have to be careful where you step or you’ll slide off the boat.
Where’s the Time Bandit? I gotta see my boys!
The crew talks about ice being everywhere, or rather Captain Campbell’s little brother does before he’s called to help. There’s a sense of urgency, he only has a small ridge to drop on and if he misses the buoy lines wont’ be long enough and he’ll lose his pots into the abyss. Junior urges the crew to move faster and drops his last pot just 300 feet from the edge. He says the boat feels better with the first layer of pots safely off the boat, so now he’s headed for his grounds which are 180 miles away.
315 miles to the northwest of Dutch Harbor and we’re back on the Northwestern. They move into position for the third time. Sig says when you’ve fished as long as he has you start to feel like time’s up. They’ve been fortunate not to lose anyone yet, but his stress level is to the roof. Compounding his anxiety is the absence of Edgar. Sig says he’s so used to having him on deck and Edgar knew what to do. With two days lost, the y have to fish. Jake tells Sig he’s okay, Sig asks if he’s scared and Jake says he’s on his toes. Without Edgar, the duty of running the crane falls to Jake Anderson. Sig says most guys would wait until daylight but you gotta try something. As the pot comes up, Sig says there has to be more crab out there than that. Huge waves hit the Northwestern, Jake says it’s going to be a long string. Even more hit the boat, Sig keeps checking his crew. Jake tells Matt to watch out as he moves the pot with the crane. Then Sig asks who’s running it and Jake says “You want to run this?”. Jake laments the loss of his “leader”, Edgar, and this is a trial by fire for Jake. Sig says you gotta read the roll and yells to Jake not to “f” it up. Just then a wave hits and the pot slides off the rack overboard, with Sig saying it’s the third time he did it. Jake tries to correct his counting, and Sig asks if he wants Norman to run it. After only five pots, Norman takes over. Sig says he doesn’t know why Jake can’t read the roll, it’s not that hard. The crew tries to reassure Jake, but Jake is frustrated. Sig says Jake is sorely mistaken if he thinks he’s all that. 1500 pounds of swinging steel in the palm of your hand, you have to be serious….it’s not a game.
FINALLY! My boys, the Time Bandit! They’re still shut down. Andy sees a break in the weather, says they have a lot of crab to catch. He has to choose between the safety of his crew and the job at hand, but they have a delivery date and they can’t put it off any longer. The crew readies themselves and head s on deck. Eddie Jr isn’t sure if he’s ready for it, this is his first Opie season. But Eddie has bait done and ready, Andy tells them to stay on their toes. The first pot comes up, and it’s not bad. With good crab flooding the deck, Eddie Jr. gets his first crab sorting lesson from his dad. This is cool to watch! But just then…..a MASSIVE wave hits them. My god that wave was HUGE!!! You don’t’ see Mikey, but you hear both Andy and Johnathan calling for him. My god that wave was huge!
It hits, and Andy says oh god I lost everyone. The wrath of the storm unleashed the fury on the Time Bandit with a 30 foot wave. They keep calling for Mike and he’s hurt. Andy tells Johnathan to get the first aid kit out, we still don’t hear from Mike. But now he’s in the wheelhouse….1000 pounds of water drove Mike’s face into the sorting table and he’s bleeding bad. Johnathan starts fixing him up and Andy apologizes to him. Mike says it happens dude. Johnathan takes over at the wheel, saying Andy’s the doctor. Andy tells him to keep pressure on it, man that’s gotta hurt. Andy goes to tape up his eyebrow and apologizes again. Honestly, Mikey looks dazed. Andy tells him to take some aspirin and takes over the wheel again. Three strips of suture tape later and Mike’s back on deck. Andy says if the strips don’t’ hold he’ll have to shave his eyebrow. The crew’s back in order and they’re back to pulling pots. Mike says Mother Nature kicked him in the face. The pots are coming in full though. They get 650 in one pot alone. That’s a good count. More stuffed pots come in, but Eddie Junior is struggling. As one crewman recovers, another starts to go down. Eddie Jr is seasick and says his teeth hurt. Mike saw him puke, and Andy calls him up to the wheelhouse. Wait, turns out he has an abscessed tooth. Freaking OUCH! He’s been working with his tooth that way the entire time. They take his blood pressure and Eddie Sr. can’t get through to the dentist. Johnathan says he can sit out a string, they want him to make it. Eddie Junior says the pain is throbbing and feels as though he’s going to pass out. The captains aren’t taking any chances, they’re putting Eddie in his bunk. Full or not, they set a course for St. Paul. Eddie Junior says he’s sorry, he didn’t want to let him down.
The Seabrooke has now reached his fishing grounds, but he has 100,000 pounds of ice on now. Junior laments the dangers on deck now, which remains until it can be removed. The crew says Mother Nature has her own ideas for Opies, but all they want to do is fish. Their gear is trapped under 8 inches of ice and it’s -65 degrees out with wind chill. At this temperature exposed skin can freeze in 7 minutes. The first pot is frozen solid and the metal gives way under the ice. They try to lift it again, and Junior reminds them to de-ice it so they don’t bust the bar and lose the pot before they free it. But doing that is just the beginning. Once they get the door open it’s a cube of ice, so the crew has to beat the shots and buoy out of the pot, then beat an area to put the bait in, and so on. Junior says the crew will earn their money that day. But they’re doing it…albeit slowly. Oh cool, fast forward shot of the crew working. After 15 hours the last pot goes over the rail and the captain gives them their due props.
Across the fleet, the men breathe a collective sigh of relief. Every deck is empty, and every man is safe. But there will be no rest, as every crew confronts a cathedral of ice. And it’s a crap-ton of it! All the crews are shown breaking ice…Lynn Guitard wants to be on a beach somewhere….Lenny says it’s no fun…Freddie dares the ice to bring them more……the merciless chill spares no one. Freddie nearly fell in the hole! Not the injured, the beaten or the exhausted.
That’s about it folks, another week not really needing a Where’s Waldo, but would be nice to see how the Kodiak and Ramblin’ Rose made it through the storm.
Can’t end a recap though without the proper sendoff….
R.I.P Phil, fair winds and following seas….