PTR Senior Staff Writer
He's back, baby.
And would you believe ... nervous?
Not sure I thought "nervous" and "Captain Phil Harris" would go in one sentence, but alas, this week's episode of Deadliest Catch proved that they did.
Phil was understandably a bit ... well, nervous returning to helm the Cornelia Marie after nearly a year away recovering from the complicated health issues caused by a blood clot passing through his heart.
Recall: he almost died, and we weren't sure we'd ever see him again in the Captain's Chair.
But $100,000 in repairs later, Opilio (Opie) season is underway for the Cornelia Marie!
And everyone else.
Murray Calls It Quits: As if the Cornelia Marie wasn't on my mind enough during this week's ep (what with Phil's big return and all), my favorite runner-up Captain/senior deckhand/all-around good guy Murray Gamrath is QUITTING! Whaaaat?!?!?! The CM is just not going to be the same without him. Such a steady, calm presence. And the new guy taking his place ... what's your name, again? You have big shoes to fill ... and boy don't Phil know it.
Paging Captain Sig Hansen to the White Courtesy Phone: So, Captain Ahab - er, I mean Sig - was delayed a couple of days by weather. Meaning those little Horizon Air crop dusters couldn't fly into the ol' airport, and the crew was twiddling their thumbs until Ahab - er, I mean, Sig - arrived. There was something funny in that seeing as Sig is so ... intense? strict? Didn't think being late was possible for him.
Payback is a ...: So, the Time Bandit boys finally hit a snag in their perfect crab season - striking out on their first string of pots for Opies. Now, seeing as they could do no wrong during King Crab season - meeting their quotas WAY ahead of everyone else - this seemed completely fair to me. And the crab gods (or would that be Bering Sea gods? Davy Jones? Poseidon? Somebody? Anybody?) seemed to agree.
WTF, Keith?: So, the Wizard's Captain Keith sets off with what I'm pretty sure amounts to about 8,000 pots. This seems particularly bone headed considering nearly every OTHER boat reduced the number of pots they were carrying given this is Opie season in the dead of winter on the Bering Sea. And the weather outlook seems even more bleak than usual. (You know ... snow. Freezing spray. Ice build up. Top heavy ships capsize. Remember?) But perhaps even more boneheaded is Keith's idea that he can put up a super-duper tarp - yes, a tarp - at the front of his boat to actually PREVENT freezing spray build up on his pots. So, he dispatches his crew to ... uh, hold on for dear life as they struggle to unfold the darn thing AND not get washed overboard. Seriously, Keith? Wow. Even I could see THAT was a bad idea. The giant swell about to smash into your boat not withstanding. I need to see next week. If the previews are any indication, this was one of Keith's WORST decisions as a Captain. He fuxored up his crew big time.
New episodes of Deadliest Catch air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Discovery Channel. Visit the official Deadliest Catch Web site for the latest on the captains and crews of the Northwestern, Cornelia Marie, Time Bandit, Wizard, Early Dawn and North American and the new boat, the Incentive. You can also catch up with Deadliests Catch folks on Twitter: fvnw_erin / CaptPhilHarris / northwesternpat / NorthwesternPR / captjohnathan / northwesternsig / DeadliestCatch (which is actually the Cornelia Marie) / DiscoveryChPR.