Hey, y’all! I hope everyone had a great Fourth Day Of The Month Of July. I stayed inside for most of it due to it being hot as hell here, but I did have some awesome peach cobbler, so it was all good. It’s what George Washington would have wanted (he had wooden teeth, right? A nice easy dessert like cobbler would have been perfect for him). A belated Happy Canada Day also for those of you up north, and an early Happy Bastille Day to you folks in France. I do hope you all enjoy the summer holiday season, and that Gandalf does your fireworks this year and not Merry and Pippin.
Now…on with the crab! With the Arctic ice pack having severely shrunk the crab fishing grounds, many captains have decided to put a hold on the opilio season for a while, at least until conditions improve. This means some time back at home for both captain and crew, which gives many the time to reflect – on family, on co-workers, on lost opportunities, and on the future. Two boats do set out to fish in the treacherous conditions, however, and bank on hauling in record-breaking catches with the rest of the fleet in port.
Northwestern: Captain Sig and crew are in Dutch Harbor, preparing the Northwestern for roughly a month in port. With great crab counts thus far, Sig has decided not to risk it with the ice and sends everyone home for some well-deserved rest. Before they leave, though, the Jakes have a little talk – Jake Anderson gives some advice and encouragement to Jake Harris, whose recent sullenness on the job has caught the attention of the rest of the crew. Indeed, Jake H. has had his mind on many things lately – the Cornelia Marie, his brother, and his uncertain future. Jake visits with his brother Josh back home, and the two start to think about what they can do to get the Cornelia Marie sailing again. The venture will require a lot of money, but the brothers are determined to make it happen – together. Jake Anderson also returns home, and tries to find some closure concerning his father, who disappeared two years previously (his remains were found just this year in a rural wooded area outside of Seattle, and he is thought to have been murdered as his truck was also found with evidence of gun-fire inside). As Jake thinks back on what his father meant to him, he reflects on the experiences of the Harris brothers who also lost their father to an untimely death.
Kodiak: Also prepping for an extended break in Dutch Harbor is the Kodiak. Captain Wild Bill sends his crew home – one of them for good. Deckhand Jason Rainwater has had dust-ups with the crew all season, and the situation with his temper doesn’t appear to be improving. Not wanting to have that sort of drama continue on his deck, Wild Bill lets Jason go. Jason asks the captain for another chance, feeling that the problem was with the rest of the crew giving him a hard time, but the decision is made. Jason’s career on the Kodiak comes to a close.
Wizard: Keith offloads his latest load of crab, but isn’t ready for a break just yet. Even though any attempt at fishing will be tough at this point, Keith has major debts to cover – debts which only got worse due to the awful king crab season the Wizard just had. After talking it over with his brother Monte (and after a final roll of the dice to let fate have a say in how to proceed), Keith sets out again. He steers the boat to a remote area near St. George Island on the western edge of the fishing grounds, hoping to take advantage of waters that haven’t been fished much yet this opilio season. And his intuition appears to pay off – the first string in this area produces lots of much-needed crab.
Ramblin’ Rose: Things appear to have taken a pronounced turn for the crappy on the Ramblin’ Rose. The crew is extremely unhappy, both with the lack of income due to poor fishing, and due to Captain Elliot’s leadership, which they feel has only grown worse over the course of the season as Elliot has become more and more preoccupied with problems at home. Elliot needs a break to deal with his failing relationship with his ex-girlfriend and mother of his two young children, and calls the boat’s owner to request one. The owner is not happy with the job that Elliot has done so far, and warns him that his days as captain are numbered. He doesn’t authorize a break, but Elliot decides to take one anyway, and sends the crew home. Back in Homer, Alaska, Elliot tries to patch things up with his ex, but their talk doesn’t go so well, and it seems clear that she’s ready to move on. As the dejected captain heads for a motel to mull things over, what his future holds is anyone’s guess at this point.
Time Bandit: Captain Andy steers his boat to an offload in Dutch Harbor and a subsequent break, but the extremely thick coating of ice on the Time Bandit has made the boat very top-heavy and makes navigating in the strong winds a dangerous challenge. In this state, the boat starts listing far to port, and there is a very real possibility that it may roll over entirely and crash into the dock. Andy guns for the dock, hoping that the dock itself will provide support for the boat and right it. His strategy works, much to relief of the nervous crew. It’s Miller Time for these guys, methinks.
Seabrooke: The only other boat in the show’s fleet to brave the ice pack this week was the Seabrooke, at the direction of that most ballsy tactician, Captain Junior. Like Keith, he hopes to score big on lightly-fished waters with the rest of the boats in port, but his plan takes the Seabrooke even closer to the threatening ice pack – barely a few miles from it at times. The first spot that the fish on is money – one stuffed pot even holds over 1,000 crab – yet after just one re-set in the hot spot, Junior decides to move on and find another prime location. This final gamble doesn’t pay off so well, as they only end up placing their gear in an area populated with mostly small crabs and females, which are always thrown back.
Hey did you know there are more Season 8 recaps on this site? It’s true.
Episode 8.1 (April 10, 2012)
Episode 8.2 (April 17, 2012)
Episode 8.3 (April 24, 2012)
Episode 8.4 (May 1, 2012)
Episode 8.5 (May 8, 2012)
Episode 8.6 (May 15, 2012)
Episode 8.7 (May 22, 2012)
Episode 8.8 (May 29, 2012)
Episode 8.9 (June 5, 2012)
Episode 8.10 (June 12, 2012)
Episodes 8.11 & 8.12 (June 19 and June 26, 2012)
Episode 8.14 (July 10, 2012)
Episode 8.15 (July 17, 2012)
Episode 8.16 – Season Finale (July 24, 2012)