Original air date: June 5, 2012
The 2012 opilio crab season arrives with an ominous sign of danger: the harshest Bering Sea winter since 1972 is pushing the polar ice park southward with stunning speed, threatening the fleet’s ability to catch the increased quota. The Wizard gets back relief captain Monte Colburn along with new greenhorn Roger Schlosstein, but Monte and engineer Lenny Lekanoff are still dealing with injuries. Fortunately, Captain Keith Colburn’s luck is better than that of the rest of the fleet, as full pots come over the side on the first string. On the Ramblin’ Rose, half the crew is new after a trying king crab season, and deck boss Kevin “Kado” Davis defects to the Seabrooke after being cut loose by Captain Elliott Neese for attitude problems. Captain Elliott’s job in the wheelhouse is on the line, but his mind is with his children and ex-girlfriend, who he broke up with in the offseason and isn’t returning his calls. The Seabrooke is forced to turn back to Dutch Harbour after Captain Scott Campbell, Jr. discovers the port engine is running hot, threatening to delay the start of their season for weeks. The Time Bandit’s luck is worst of all – in rapid succession, deckhand Travis Lofland falls overboard at the dock in Dutch, the coiler is damaged beyond use after the crew foolishly decides to use mortars to de-ice the boat (forcing the crew to coil by hand for the trip), and the first string set by Captain Andy Hillstrand comes up with blanks. The Kodiak dodges a bullet when an icy pot loosened by a snapped line barely misses Captain “Wild” Bill Wichrowski’s son Zack, while on the Northwestern, deck boss Edgar Hansen bumps heads with Captain Sig Hansen over stacking the pots, while deckhand Jake Harris gets under his skin for being first off the deck.