How can I grieve for a man I’ve never met? Was he the Dali Lama or the Pope? Was he a September 11 hero? No, all he did was run a crab fishing boat on the Bering Sea.
DeadliestCatch has become more than a TV show for me. They have become this weird extended family that visits once a week (more if you count re-runs). Don’t get me wrong – I haven’t lost touch with reality. I know it is a TV show and the folks on there have NO idea who I am. Although, I did get to meet the the Hillstrand’s & Captain Sig at a book signing, though. They look bigger on TV. But for a brief moment the Captains and crews of the F/V’s Cornelia Marie, Northwestern, Time Bandit, and Wizard allow us into their lives to share the good, the bad and the ugly.
We cried with Jake Anderson when his beloved sister passed. And we have a new found respect for Captain Sig and his heart of gold. We waited nervously with Captain Keith as he waited for his biopsy results. We gasped in horror as the 40′ wall of water nearly washed the Wizards crew away. And then cried with Keith and jumped with as he was regaining his nerve. We rejoiced with Johnathan when Scotty came, got mad when he left, and were happy again when he returned. We dance with Johnathan & Andy when they are on the crab. We miss the crew members who have retired.
On Feb 9, the Deadlist Catch was dealt a blow: Captain Phil Harris went crab fishing in the next life.
The Cornelia Marie is one of my favorites. Maybe because she’s painted the same blue as you see in the Carribean. Or maybe she was painted to match her Captain’s eyes?
I roared with laughter when, after getting fed up with Josh & Jake fighting, Phil looked at the camera and said, “and now you know why Lions eat their young.” I worried with the rest of the crew when Phil had his broken ribs (which turn out to be a more serious pulmonary embolism) – albeit long after the fact. I was sad when Murray decided to retire – how would the Cornelia Marie go on? I loved Phil’s unique fishing technique – look for the fart bubbles. If it smell like sh*t, then the crab must be there. And the crazy part was it worked.
Life is weirdly unfair. After Josh found out his about his Dad’s blood clots, he said that Phil had a guardian angel. And I think he did. He was given a 2nd chance after his embolism. He got to fish 1 more season with his boys. And when Phil had his stroke – he was docked, close to a medical facility and not 90 miles out to sea. Phil’s Guardian Angel put him in the right places at the right times.
Fair Winds and Following Sea. And may the Fart Bubbles always be easy to find.