It’s nearing the end of opi season on the Bering Sea and most of the fleet are down to their last few strings before quotas are met and checks can be cashed. The ice flow is on the move and ready to start eating some gear as the ships race from string to string in hopes of finding their gear where they last left it. F all those logging shows and watching truckers drive on ice, this is where it’s at.
On a side note, this logging thing is getting a bit crazy. We have regular loggers, swamp loggers, and now ice loggers. All of these shows try to capture the greatness that is “the catch” and fall way short. I tried sitting through a couple of these things and I really feel like I’d rather watch two homeless guys fight over a diaper filled with cheetos. Not to mention, I still don’t understand the whole ice road trucker thing. We watch a dude drive his truck over the ice and wait to see what happens? It’s a lot like watching your little brother sitting with a fork next to a light socket. You are getting bored watching and you kinda want him to just put it in the socket already. Anyways, on to the catch!
We’ll start off with the Wizard because this season it’s become my least favorite boat. There must really be something wrong with Captain Keith’s abilities to find talented, loyal crabbers, something wrong with the crew, or something wrong with both because nobody new wants to stay on this boat. They go through more green horns then Brian goes through 4 syllable words while describing why he is so much better then most people. Captain Keith has serious issues. Besides making horrible decisions at sea, he is just really bad with people.
Deckhand Josh has had his fill of the Wizard and its crew. He claims his brother is shipping off to Iraq which may definitely be the case. I have to think though, had the green horn been on any of the other boats he would have called his brother, wished him good luck and kept fishing. Either way nobody on the boat buys his story, which adds to the theory that they are all, pretty much, jerks.
On the Cornelia Marie, the brothers are at it again, arguing over breakfast. As usual it’s hard to determine what exactly is going on and it’s hilarious to watch Phil come down, grab breakfast, say that’s he’s sick of both of them and then just start eating. These guys are at it all the time anyway, like most brothers are. The fighting ends quickly as Captain Phil has dialed 976-Crab and the crab answered. They are pulling in solid 500’s and will fill the boat and meet their quota very soon.
The Time Bandit races north to try to reach their pots before the ice plays hide and go fish with them. Once they reach the string it becomes apparent that the game has already started. They search the grounds for hours trying to find any clue to the strings location. What’s the worry right? It’s only 45 pots. That’s only 45k worth of gear under water. Luckily, they find the string and are able to pull the pots and reset them. Night comes, however, and their luck has run out. The ice flow is moving in on their gear and everyone who was sleeping is now awake trying to get the gear staked on board before the ice eats it. During the pot pull to get the gear on board, it becomes apparent to Captain Andy that Deckhand Russ will not be welcomed back aboard. After three years of fishing, Russ has proven to be just a little too lazy. He’s taken one too many trips to the sauna while the other guys stay outside and just has a little too much attitude. I always thought he was kinda of a jerk anyway, so I think it’s a good choice. There is some great footage of him entering the sauna every twenty minutes while they are pulling gear. He must go in 10 times, at least.
Don’t get all crazy when I say they have a sauna, folks. We are not talking the sauna at your gym where you can lay out and pray some hot chick walks in, but instead you get the really old guy who doesn’t care what the world sees and likes to talk about how gas used to be a nickel a gallon. We are talking about a little closet with some heat inside. It’s 20 below people, give props to the heated closet.
On the Northwestern, it’s one thing after another for poor deckhand Jake. He’s hurt his shoulder, they just pulled 3 consecutive 25 hours shifts, he’s got the stomach flu, and then to top it off they get a call from deckhand Nick’s wife, that Jake’s sister, who is so young but had rheumatoid arthritis has passed away. What a horrible place to hear that kind of news. Not that any other place is better, but just to be caught on one of the slowest methods of transportation, with only one way to communicate, that’s gotta be terrible. So much so that it even pisses Captain Sig off that they are so far from Jake’s home. He turns the boat around and challenges the ice to stop him and his pack of cigarettes. “Screw the ice!”
They get Jake as close as they can to St Paul, then have him load into a skiff to transfer to another boat that can get him in the rest of the way. Sig promises that the kid still has a job and Edgar says they will just run short. It’s obvious that they dig this kid and anyone who watches the show knows why. The last shot is Jake standing in a skiff in the Bering Sea waiting to be picked up.
You have our condolences Jake. We at EatmeCalifornia raise our glasses to you and yours!
Next Week on Slightly-Agitated, Kinda-in-the-sand-where-it-sinks-a-little Loggers, Jim gets angry ’cause Hank dressed his chainsaw in Pamela Andersons swim suit from Baywatch!