Saturday, December 03, 2005

Crazie Christmas Advent 3

I'll start with the picture today...

Your starter for ten? Yep it's a boat. It's a boat called the NorthWestern and it is a crab fishing boat in Alaska. When you munch on your king crab salad, this is one of the boats that catches it for you.

See the big crates on the back? They are crab crates, and can hold hundreds of pounds of crab. The crates themselves weigh in excess of 100lbs. They are handled using a huge crane and are among the most dangerous things I've ever seen! :-O

Now the explanation for this picture on my Advent Calendar.

This household has been glued to the recent series on Discovery Channel called 'Deadliest Catch' and the Northwestern was one of the half a dozen of the crab boat fleet featured in the documentary.

The unusual thing about the Northwestern, and why it caught my eye particularly, is that is it crewed by three brothers from a long fishing tradition. 'Sig Hansen, whose father was one of the original crab fishermen of Dutch Harbor, has been a captain since the age of 22. A fourth-generation Norwegian fisherman, Sig is very superstitious, but always brings back a big catch. He and his brothers not only work on the Northwestern, they own it. Living proof that blood is thicker than water, this three-brother crew has fished together for almost 20 years' (Discovery Channel bios). The Hansens (Sig, Norman and Edgar) and their fellow deckhands go out in the most atrocious weather in the Bering Sea to catch your delicious(!) Alaskan King Crab and Opilia Crab. And they're still talking to each other!! :-)

The more observant of you will know I am a strict vegetarian (which includes shellfish!) but when I saw the controls that are operated during crab season, I felt a little better about watching this show. Only fully grown males are caught, females and juveniles are put back in their watery home. And once you start watching, you are hooked on the men (and yes, some women!) on the Northwestern, Billikin, Retriever, Maverick, Lady Alaska and Vixen.

In fact, according to the Northwestern website they are out there now! The 'Gone Fishin' shingle has been hung out!

I popped in to say hello, and signed their visitors book. They like visitors!

So my advent for the 3rd December is to wish all the crab fishermen of Alaska a safe season, to come home to their families, a profitable catch, and a very Merry Christmas.



Jean-Luc Picard said...

That was really informative, CQ, about what the crab fisherman do. Thanks for sharing it.

Michele sent me here.

kenju said...

Very interesting, CQ, I have seen a few programs about commercial fishermen before, and it is a hard life, I think.

Michele sent me.

craziequeen said...

Morning jl and judy,


oh dear :-)

hmm - time to lower the tone I think... :-)


Aginoth said...

saw that documentary myself...very hardy souls

YellowRose said...

My son really gotten into the documentary "Deadliest Catch." It was amazing what they go through to make a living, very hard life.

I like your Advent calendar...great idea! :)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This is great! I haven't seen this documentary, but you make it sound so fsscinatung I'm going to look for it! Thanks for that CQ. Discovery just sent me a catalogue....maybe it's in there!

And about 'the field of rape', no one has mentioned the problems with it or the smell...we weren't close enough to get the 'drift'...(lol) but Mrs. A. commented after you and said how much she liked it!
Based on what you said, I don't think I would like to smell it...but the color was sure pretty....

Shelli said...

Hello, Michelle sent me.

This was fascinating. I myself enjoy crab, but I have seen what they go through to catch them and I know how dangerous it is.

Dak-Ind said...

oh man, we were so addicted to this show when it was airing first run. we watched every single week (often rewatching the previous weeks because they would show the new one at 9 and the previous weeks right before it at 8) we never missed an episode. i was saddened a few times, jubilant a few times, adn in the end frustrated to know what was done. for those of you who havent see it thru i wont tell you how it ends, suffice it to say i walked away sad that the DC wont be airring another season.

craziequeen said...

I'm sure you can keep up with the new regulations on the Northwestern website - Sig was reasonably vocal about his opinions :-)


Carmi said...

I watched that doc on Discovery, and freaked out at how unbelievably dangerous that work is. Indeed, the trust between crew members has to be absolute. Thanks for shining the spotlight - otherwise, most of us would never know.

Back from Michele's. You always manage to captivate.

craziequeen said...

Thank you carmi, the feeling is mutual :-) I love your photos and stories :-)

I'll never forget seeing Edgar Hansen hanging off the pots in a Bering storm....over the side of the boat! Buns of steel, those men!