Deadliest Catch Season 4

Series: Deadliest Catch, Season 4

Deadliest Catch Season 4
Deadliest Catch Season 4

The fourth season of Deadliest Catch (we’ve watched Seasons 1, 2 and 3) was quite harrowing – far more serious and, for want of a better word, consequential, than the first three. For one thing, the weather that the fishermen had to deal with was insane… Week after week of pounding waves, ice on the boats, and sub zero temperatures. I still can’t get my head around the physical demands that this job places on the men who do it.

There seemed to be more accidents and near misses (or at least, accidents and near misses caught on camera) – unsecured pots flying off the launcher, Johnathan Hillstrand of the Time Bandit hitting himself in the face with the picking hook, greenhorns falling all over the place, and the incredibly bad tempered Keith Colburn of the Wizard falling every single time he ventured out on deck.

There also seemed to be a lot more humour. Edgar Hansen of the Northwestern spends four hours preparing a prank on his brother Captain Sig, which fails to trick him but caused us much mirth. There are also a couple of montages of tomfoolery – one inspired by the lack of sleep that the fishermen endure.

The opilio crab season was a bit emotional and draining to watch, as Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie became ill – it later turned out, with a pulmonary embolism – and was forced to leave his boat and go to hospital, where he remained for the rest of the season. Tony and I are quite fond of Captain Phil, and have enjoyed seeing his two sons, Jake and Josh, interact with their father and develop as crab fishermen on board his boat. By the final episode Phil is out of hospital but not out of the woods.

There are only one or two items on our wishlist for the show (and I know that us having one is kind of silly, as the rest of the world is already on Season 7)… But chief among them are some underwater shots – what does the sea floor look like? How do the crabs move about? What does it look like as they climb into a pot?

And, at the end of the season, when the boats motor down to offload their crab, what have they done with the pots? They all have empty decks. Then, right at the end of the season, all the pots are back on board. Is this just aggressive editing? We have seen some of that – miraculous growth and re-growth of a beard in between bouts of clean shaven-ness, apparently during a single conversation, for example!

The DVD box set is available here if you’re in South Africa, and here if you’re not.

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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.