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.