Deadliest Catch, Season 8

Series: Deadliest Catch, Season 8

Deadliest Catch, Season 8
Deadliest Catch, Season 8

It’s been a while since we’ve watched any Deadliest Catch, but I needed to feel good about my job again, so a dose of this Discovery Channel favourite was required.

There are a couple of younger captains this season; we were interested to see how much they talked up their abilities, and how often they took ridiculous risks that endangered their crew. One of them in particular brought his train wreck of a personal life on board at the start of the season, which culminated in a restraining order from his ex girlfriend and almost no pay for his crew.

We also found the family dynamics interesting. There are many fathers and sons, and pairs of brothers, working in the fleet, and family feeling is strong. Some of the relationships are deeply unpleasant. The captain of the Kodiak, who demonstrates repeatedly what a mean, vindictive person he is, repeatedly belittles his son after losing patience with him when he doesn’t learn fast enough. By contrast, the supportive learning environment provided on board the Northwestern enables some of the young crew to grow and learn. Edgar, one of our favourite people in the show, gets an opportunity to spend some time in the wheelhouse when his brother Sig (who is an awe-inspiringly consistent fisherman) lets him take a turn at driving the boat.

One of the boats featured in the series had a crew member medevaced as a result of a panic attack (the official line was “seizure disorder”, but he was clearly having a panic). This hasn’t happened before – there is always a feature with the US Coastguard, but it has always involved other boats up to this point. The calm of the helicopter pilots and rescue swimmers is very impressive.

The latter part of this season had a soap opera feel to it. An ice-induced hiatus in the opilio crab season led to many of the captains taking a break from fishing, to wait for the ice to clear from the crab grounds. The film crew follows the captains and crew home, and – in some cases – deep into their personal problems during this period. Tony and I were relieved when they got back to fishing, although it was nice to see the beautiful homes, mostly in Washington State, that the big bucks earned crab fishing can buy.

Did this help me feel better about my job? Yes it did: sitting at my desk in a winter sunbeam isn’t too bad, or too difficult. The chances of losing the end of one of my fingers or being struck on my head by a chunk of ice are slim. Small mercies.

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Clare

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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