"After the Catch" is a great way to really know the captains and crew of "Deadliest Catch" while they are away from their everyday duties where fans have either admired or despised them. Slugging down a few beers with announcer, Mike Rowe, in a lovely setting on land has become a welcome addition to the high seas that fans have been accustomed to seeing.
This year they're in Breckenridge, Colorado in the Rocky Mountains. In a scene reminiscent of the show "Bonanza" stood four mighty crab fishermen on horsebackÂ—a truly unexpected sight. Captains Johnathan, Andy, Sig and Keith stood tall as they do in their captain's chairs.
Noticeably missing from the captain's table at the bar called the Whale's Tale is Johnathan Hillstrand who attempted to ride a steer and in less than one second was thrown off and broke four of his ribs. Ouch! Captain Keith also tried, managed to stay one about a tenth of a second longer than Johnathan, but made it to the table, which declares him the winner. Before his injury, Johnathan gave viewers a mechanical version of how a horse operates and unlike his ability to drive a crab boat it was hysterical. He gave fans his lesson called Horse 101. The ears were the throttle and the clutch, checking to see if the carpet matched the drapes; he checked the mane and tail. He also mentioned to watch out for the exhaust, as anyone who ever road in a horse-drawn carriage would vouch for. Then he told fans how a Swedish person mounts a horse and laid across the horse's back. Hopefully he will be back at the table and feeling well next episode.
Joining Mike and the captains was another captain, Wild Bill Wichrowski of the F/V Kodiak. Bill told Mike that his pots were dragged 27 miles by the ice. They all described what happens when the pots are moved and how they can lose the crabs and/or their gear entirely. With the different depths of the Bering Sea, they can get dragged in the mud that will suffocate the crabs, or be turned over so the crabs can all escape through the tunnel in the pot. Their first trip was for fishing and the second one was for managing their gear and hoping that they could somehow beat the oncoming ice.
Sig told fans that one boat lost all their pots totaling about $300,000 worth of gear and untold amounts of crabs. Keith had his crew break up the ice with the new crane, a dangerous and never heard of act of desperation that could have cost him lots of money, but he felt it better than losing the entire boat. Finally a tug boat was brought into Dutch Harbor to break up the iceÂ—something the fans did not know until this was disclosed.
They recalled scenes of when Travis fell overboard on the Time Bandit when they were tying the boat up and how Andy reacted by yelling, "Don't ever do that again!" just like a father scolding a child, but Andy has pulled people from the Bering Sea beforeÂ—some alive and some not.
Mike asked Keith about his greenhornsÂ—a sore subject to fans of "Deadliest Catch" who have mixed feelings about Keith's temper. One of the horns they hired came highly recommended by Keith's brother Monty. Chris came to the wheelhouse to tell Keith that he was terrified and not long after, was airlifted off the boat by the Coast Guard. Freddy Maugatai got to appear on the show and apologized to Chris for being hard on him, which was his job to teach him right in a dangerous situation. Chris appeared on "After the Catch" to prove he is still alive and well and now that he is fine, the guys around the table got to tease Keith about touching Chris' "peepee" when he had to pee before going in the helicopter. So nice to be able to joke with someone who might have been dead if not for a quick thinking captain and crew.
Fans were able to see how the rescues are handled in the Rockies using certified rescue dogs who sniff out people buried in the snow after an avalanche. A beautiful dog named Tally, who was scheduled to be euthanized at the pound was rescued herself and now is certified to be a rescuer. With her fellow rescuer, Hunter Mortenson, he recalled how she and another dog found someone buried under 10 feet of snow.
Elliott Neese, captain of the Ramblin' Rose, joined the table to recall how the weather was affecting them during a big storm. While docked in St. Paul harbor, it was so rough that they were taking on green water over the bow. Green water means the full force of the wave, not just the white water or top of the breaking wave. After the storm, Elliott told them, there were about 15-20 boats that lost their anchors.
Then joined by Captain Scott Campbell, known as Junior, he described how he made it into St. Paul harbor with just one engine was like driving a car at 50 miles per hour with one flat tire. Sig described it well, with twin propellers, it is harder to steer a boat because the prop works just one side of the boat. With a single engine, the propeller is centered distributing the power much easier and Andy agreed that it was like having a flat tire on your car.
Finally Edgar Hansen joined the table who returned after a short season of retirement and got to watch the Northwestern on television without him on it as deck boss. Then before they closed the episode they showed them having a dog sled race using scooters and dog teams in honor of Captain Phil, in loving tribute to their friend and fan favorite on "After the Catch."
Photo source: Flickr