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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sailors Who Get Crabs

To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it,--but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"You go through a couple marriages, smoke cigarettes like it's going out of style, your body aches from the time you get up to the time you go to bed, and you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about where you're going to put the next pot. Yeah, it's a great lifestyle."
- Phil from the Cornelia Marie ,The Deadliest Catch

One day out from Dutch Harbour, Unlasaka. The Bering Sea is unrelenting and vicious like a restaurant critic or a high-powered divorce lawyer. The crew of the ship are being thrown about, stumbling back-and-forwards like actors in a Charlie Chaplain film. The winds scream like banshees. It's a typical day in the life of an Alaskan crab fisherman. The show is the Deadliest Catch and my eyes are nailed to the screen.

It has taken us worthless peons a long time to get it on free-to-air but we finally get to see this amazing documentary from the Discovery Channel. How frickin' insane is this? Why not base a show about THE deadliest profession in the world (besides "suicide bomber")? It's captivating viewing. I'm captivated.

For those who don't share my addictions, or know what I'm talking about, the Deadliest Catch is a show about Alaskan crab fishermen aboard a few of the ships (around ten or so) during the four-day crab fishing season in 2005. Now the sleep-deprived crew spend their time cussing at the "greenhorns" (n00bs) to get out of the goddamn way while trying not to fall overboard themselves. In a hazardous occupation where the death rate is roughly one a week (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics over 300 fatalities per 100,000 fishermen) and hypothermia is constantly lurking around the corner this behaviours is not only to be expected, but sensible.

By the time the show finishes, I'm drenched in sweat.


Blogger Old Knudsen said...

This was actually my job 27 years ago but on a smaller scale and closer to land, I drool at the TV and wish I was there.

8:19 pm  

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