Original air date: June 16, 2009
Six hours after offloading $352,000 worth of crab, the Northwestern is hauling up a 100-pot string after a 48-hour soak. The ice pack has moved 20 miles (32 km) south in the past 36 hours, putting the ice 40 miles (64 km) away from the Northwestern’s northern strings. The crew rush through hauling up the southern string before moving 15 miles (24 km) to haul the northern strings. Captain Sig Hansen has the Northwestern on the crab, getting an average of 500–600 crab per pot, and wants to move west .75 miles (1.21 km) before resetting the pots to keep the fishing fresh and ahead of the crab, but the crew questions Captain Sig’s decision not to set back on the same spot like previous seasons. Still docked at Dutch Harbor, Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard has second thoughts about his decision making process regarding the accident that injured three of his crewmembers. The boat heads out with a full crew with retired Engineer Lenny Lekanoff and injured First Mate Gary Soper rejoin the crew. The Cornelia Marie is picking up the last 120 pots of her northern string, getting 500 keepers per pot, when Captain Phil Harris receives a radio report of an approaching storm with 41-foot (12 m) seas. Captain Phil puts the crew into overdrive to finish picking up the string and head to St. Paul for offload before the storm arrives. The Time Bandit arrives at St. Paul an hour ahead of her scheduled delivery time with approximately 90,000 pounds (41,000 kg) of crab on board. The tired deck crew hits their racks during offload, but nobody is assigned to take notes of the offload to check the cannery’s numbers. The cannery reports that they have taken off 85,000 pounds (39,000 kg) of crab and the crew can not confirm that the cannery is short two brailers. The discrepancy and lack of attention earns the crew a dressing down by Captain Andy Hillstrand. The Wizard finally drops the first pots of her season on the southern end of the fishing ground. Captain Keith notices that the Northwestern and several Trident Seafoods boats are in the area and he becomes concerned that he may be dropping on areas that have been fished out. While steaming for an hour to their northern strings, the Northwestern builds up 6 inches (15 cm) of ice on her deck and the crew spend the next four hours breaking ice. The Wizard crew offload their 204 pots in 60-knot (111 km/h; 69 mph) winds and 25-foot (7.6 m) seas. Captain Keith is still having doubts on the decision to fish and his confidence is shattered when Lenny is knocked off his feet by a wave. Even though Lenny is okay, Captain Keith calls off launching of the remaining pots on deck. The Time Bandit crew pick up right where they left off when their first string of their second trip of the season averages more than 700 keepers per pot. 10 miles (16 km) out from St. Paul, the Cornelia Marie is inching her way through the sea ice. Below decks, Engineer Steve Ward notices a small leak in the port crab tank circulation pipe. While grinding away the rust around the leak to attempt a repair, the leak grows bigger, setting off alarms. The crew, who had been asleep on the run to St. Paul, wakes up and heads below to help Steve apply a temporary patch to the pipe.