Original air date: April 29, 2008
The crew of the Wizard worked a 9-nautical-mile (17 km), 55 pot string that Captain Keith Colburn called a “man killer”. When greenhorn Jason Moilanen was not on deck for the start of the string, Captain Keith gave him some advice on how to cope with the long shifts. After three weeks of bad fishing and with 3 days to catch 88,000 pounds (40,000 kg) of crab for a scheduled delivery, Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie made radio calls to other captains to get some help on where to drop his pots, but received no answer. With no advice available, Captain Phil gambled on dropping a full load of pots in untested waters. Greenhorn Josh Harris and Deckhand Freddy Maugatai tried to change the boat’s luck by shaving their heads into a mohawk, but the sacrifice proved ineffective and the Cornelia Marie continued to pull pots with low counts, and the stress of a bad season began to noticeably affect Phil’s demeanor and already high stress levels. On board the Northwestern, Captain Sig Hansen and Deck Boss Edgar Hansen challenged each other over who could stay awake the longest without breaking. Captain Sig finally offered a truce after he nodded off at the wheel after staying awake for over 47 hours; in response, Edgar led a celebration on deck: “We broke the skipper!”. At Dutch Harbor for their first offload of the season, the Time Bandit lost a crew member when Captain Johnathan Hillstrand’s son, Scott, decided that family was more important to him than fishing and he left to fly home; Scott made the distinct point that Johnathan had been gone for almost all of Scott’s childhood, and Scott wanted better for his own children, which wounded Johnathan’s pride greatly. A flashback to three weeks earlier detailed a freak accident where Johnathan Hillstrand fell overboard while the Time Bandit was docked at Dutch Harbor. Time Bandit Deckhand Eddie Uwekoolani was taken to the emergency clinic where he was diagnosed with a chipped bone in his ankle that required a cast, requiring Johnathan to have to rotate Eddie to a position requiring less mobility while his boat was already a crewman down.