Monday, February 13, 2012

Deadliest Catch...and Ultrarunning

I've been worried that I could not seem to find any evidence that the 8th season of Deadliest Catch (image credit above) would be returning in 2012 on the Discovery Channel. Then I read where it traditionally airs in April for the fishing season just completed that winter, and that Discovery Channel has said it was coming back.

When Deadliest Catch does finally end its run, it'll be a bummer because the bride and I are longtime regular watchers of the show.  We were hooked even before it became a popular near-cult phenomenon.

The show follows various boats and crews fishing for king and opilio crabs in the Bering Sea, a God-forsaken piece of freezing water between Alaska and Russia.  It's a brutally tough and dangerous way to make a living.  The boats are based out of Dutch Harbor, AK, which is about the last outpost of civilization halfway out the chain of Aleutian Islands, with the Bering Sea to the north.

Each episode focuses on a story, situation, or theme that occurs on one or more boats, while side stories delve into the backgrounds and particular activities of one or two crew members, in particular the "greenhorns" (rookie crew members) on several boats. The fleets' captains are featured prominently throughout the episodes, highlighting their camaraderie with their fellow captains and relationships with their crew, as well as their competitive nature against the other boats in the fleet regarding the hunt for crab throughout the fishing grounds.

As the story moves from boat to boat during an episode, they flash a map with dots indicating boat positions, and say something like, "Meanwhile, 200 miles northeast of Dutch Harbor, the crew of the Cornelia Marie is exhausted from 24 straight hours of pulling crab pots."

So I like to say to the bride, for instance, in talking about a trail run, "Meanwhile, 4000 miles southeast of Dutch Harbor, Gary was fighting muddy terrain at the Blues Cruise 50K near Reading, PA."

I do it often enough that she is past the eye-rolling stage and is moving into active annoyance.  Maybe for the sake of our marriage I'd better back off.  Otherwise my Ultrarunning might suffer.


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