Deadliest Catch Season 3

Series: Deadliest Catch, Season 3

Deadliest Catch Season 3
Deadliest Catch Season 3

I’m still completely addicted to this show. After wishing for more underwater footage after Season 2, we were rewarded with a ten second shot of a crab pot lying on the Bering seafloor, surrounded by sea pens and mud. We could still do with more. This season features some epic weather – ten plus metre waves breaking over the boats, colossal storms, and thick pack ice that threatens to crush one of the vessels.

There are US Coastguard rescues and high drama at sea. The boats are plagued with mechanical breakdowns, and we get to see a bit of drysuit diving in Dutch Harbour in order to clear fouled propellors and replace broken ones.

There’s also a bit more humour, fighting and honest interaction – I think some of the captains and crew are loosening up a bit toward the cameras at this stage. This season follows two greenhorn crew members in particular – one a 40-something year old professional rodeo rider who barely lasts 24 hours of the two week Opilio crab season, despite being an all-round tough guy. His meltdown is spectacular. The physicality and mental strength required to do this job is something else.

Tony and I missed Hiram Johnson, a crazy-eyed crewmember of one of the boats who featured in both of the first two seasons and came up with gems like the fact that he never has woman problems because he buys his ladies! There are a couple of new boats in this season, a couple of new crewmembers on the existing boats, but for the most part there’s continuity. We enjoy Edgar Hansen (on the cover of the DVD box set) and his dry, brutal humour, his genius captain brother Sig on the Northwestern, and the Harris family (Captain Phil and his two sons) on the Cornelia Marie. The Hillstrand brothers on the Time Bandit are also full of character, with Johnathan laughing like a pirate at every opportunity.

I am impressed by the Alaskan crab fisheries. The primary ones covered in Deadliest Catch are Alaskan Red King Crab and Opilio or Tanner crab. There’s almost no bycatch – a couple of codfish here and there, which are promptly repurposed for bait. It’s clearly a heavily regulated industry – the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game dishes out quotas according to abundance estimates and closes the fishing season if the quotas have been met.

I am also impressed by the US Coastguard, who hold pre-emptive drills on all the boats before they are allowed to set out. The men must demonstrate their prowess donning a survival suit, and respond to a simulated fire or other emergency on board the ship. There’s also a LOT of paperwork.

I think we enjoyed this season most out of the three we’ve watched so far – the show keeps improving.

The DVD box set is available here. If you’re not in South Africa, you can purchase a copy here.

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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