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Is it April yet?
One of my guiltiest television pleasures is the Discovery Channel series Deadliest Catch. As I’ve discussed before, I have no clue what really drives these men to do this insanely dangerous job, but to be honest I don’t really care as they keep doing it. And the season 5 premiere in April just can’t come soon enough.
For those unfamiliar with the show, it follows the King Crab and Opilio Crab fishing seasons in the Bering Sea off of Alaska. While it doesn’t sound that dangerous at first blush, you will change your opinion quickly after just a few minutes of this show. It is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and it not uncommon for one or more ships to sink each year. According to the official blog of Deadliest Catch season 5, a cod fishing ship, the Katami, was lost in the same area as the crab fishers with 4 survivors and 5 fisherman losing their lives back in October.
Yesterday I was mentioning to my family that I wondered how the new season was shaping up, and which ships and captains were out this year. As curiosity got the better of me, I decided to snoop around the Web to see what I could find out. Luckily on December 23rd, the official blog anticipated my curiosity and posted about the ships being in for the holidays, but with no hints as to which ships are out there this year.
So, being a nosey person, I decided to search some more and located the official websites of some of the ships.
Cornelia Marie – They were out fishing for sure, but no mention if Capt. Phil Harris had returned after his health problems last year. As he is still pictured on the front page, I am suspecting he is back.
Early Dawn – There is next to no information on this boat, or Capt. Rick Fehst.
North American – Season 4 was the first season for this ship, and its captain, Sten Skaar. Their site has very little information, and I really couldn’t guess either direction if this boat is even fishing, let alone on the show this year.
Northwestern – Their site really doesn’t spell out that they are out there, but seeing as Sig Hansen and Edgar Hansen have somewhat become the poster boys for the show, along with their ship, it is doubtful that they wouldn’t be out there.
The Wizard – Captained by Keith Colburn, their website doesn’t seem to be updated very often, so no clue if they are even out fishing.
Time Bandit – Andy Hillstrand and Johnathon Hillstrand co-captain this ship, and while the site states they are in port for the holidays, no clue if they are on the show this season. As Discovery Channel just showed a video on their site of the bothers promoting the show, I think this is another safe assumption they are on this year.
In short, I think Cornelia Marie, Northwestern, The Wizard and Time Bandit are safe bets for season 5, while Early Dawn and North American are up in the air. My biggest question is if Phil is back on the Cornelia Marie, but I have a feeling there is really nothing that would stop him from fishing.
If you have never watched the show, give it a try. It is oddly engrossing to watch these men battling the elements, the crabs and, at times, each other. And for those of us who are already addicted to the show… is it April yet?
UPDATE: See information on Deadliest Catch Season 5 Adds A New Boat
UPDATE 03/24/09: The Deadliest Catch Season 5 Premiere Announced
UPDATE 02/10/10: Capt. Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie has passed away