The descending polar ice cap has moved more south. The captains struggled to keep fishing. Wild Bill said it best, “The ice is winning”.
The Time bandit left harbor directly into a strong arctic storm. Captain Andy was forced to leave right away to make sure he could get to his gear before the ice covered it forever. Jonathan had to stay back because his back was torched after a few minutes on deck on the last trip. Jonathan did give Josh Harris some great words of praise and encouragement. The Time bandit found its gear with no ice nearby, which was a great sign. The boat also had a new machine coiler to save the crews precious energy. The first few pots were stuffed with crabs. Giant numbers were bitter sweet as the numbers filled the tanks, but because of the ice, captain Andy had to stack his pots instead of setting them back. All 80 of the pots were rescued just as Andy saw the major part of the polar cap approached and Josh Harris proved himself by mastering another big part of the boat’s operation.
The Kodiak was already busting its way through some ice covering the grounds. His string was in serious trouble and he had to work fast to get them. Bill needed to try and salvage as many of the 45 pots that were covered by the ice flow. Rumor has it the Titanic lost vs. an ice berg and these fishing boats are not built as well. Jason was able to barely hook the first pot, but on the bright side, there were a lot of crabs in the pot. Rainwater and the crew continued to boil over in the freezing weather.
The wizard went in to offload the 400,000 lbs of crab on board. He was very nervous he would be blocked from going back out and his gear would be lost. Keith was stuck about 20 feet from the dock. He had to work some angles and reverse course a few times to clear some ice. The pain staking maneuvering eventually allowed the wizard to magically dock after 8 hours. After off loading his catch Keith struggled to break away from the dock. He cranked the engine up and gave it a full power rock, but he was not able to get out of Dutch Harbor. Keith then snapped at long time reliable deckhand Lenny about his yelling skills. Keith had to resort to craftiness as he used the crane to bust some ice to make a hole for escape. The plan worked and Keith was able to inch out of the harbor into open water.
Captain Sig on the Northwester was also in Harbor offloading and he was very concerned his season was over. The crew worked very hard to break the ice around the boat, but Sig wanted his gear. Sig was also concerned that Jake Harris would fall off the wagon with so much idle time in between trips. Sig saw a very small path and decided to go for it using the dock as leverage. It worked and Sig was able to back out of Dutch Harbor and into clear water 100 yards from the dock. Jake was mysteriously passed out as the boat steamed to save their endangered gear. The first boats were not threatened by the ice and they were over stuffed with crab. Jake was missing for the first few pots and only the big numbers saved Jake from Sig’s wrath. There was no room for any other crab in the post they were so stuffed. It was unread fishing, like the crab knew the season would be short and they needed to eat up. Jake continued to sulk and look depressed and he missed his brother and his Dad a lot.
The Seabrooke was 2 weeks behind the rest of the fleet and it still had 3 new crew members to break in. Engine repairs set Captain junior back 70 thousands and 2 crucial weeks in what is certain to be a very short Oplio crab season. Captain Scott Campbell junior got to set his first pots of the Opilio season and he was not happy about having a rookie on the crane.