Follow producer Doug Stanley as he writes about his travels with the TimeBandit during Deadliest Catch filming. To read more about Deadliest Catch, as always, visit Discovery.
Entry No. 2: Tossing Lines
With the majority of the eight Deadliest Catch vessels rigged with cameras and sound equipment, I finally step aboard the Time Bandit, dragging my own seabags behind me. I am happy to have drawn the Time Bandit as my assignment this time. To some degree, at least, I understand the Hilstrand brothers, Jonathan, Andy and Neil. They seem like my brothers already. The last few nights we have spent together in various bars. The sincerity and depth of their laughter is still ringing in my head. I feel welcome here. The Time Bandit is an ideal platform to continue my quixotic quest.
When people discover that I am one of the Catch producers who goes to sea with the ships, they often ask,“How can you do that?” I quickly answer, “Are you kidding? How can I not do this?” I have been on a quest for adventure and waves since I was a boy. Where else but to the Time Bandit could my quest lead me? To date I have only seen seas as big as 40 feet, but I have heard tales of waves over 100 feet high. Maybe this will be the trip that I will get to see them.
Many of the storms that I have seen out here have been vicious. Nothing prepares you for the wind — that part is always beyond imagination. When we are struck by winds above 60 miles per hour, the ship is adversely affected. Once you have heard the howling of severe winds through the rigging you will never forget it. The ice is unforgettable as well. I have had to beat and break ice off the ships and spent countless hours on deck trying not to slide or fall, all while trying to hold a camera still. I have seen the sea freeze nearly solid and have been forced to drift in the ice pack. I can truly say that the ice is very dangerous.
There are a few boats in the fleet that I consider “battle boats,” i.e., ships that seem to me to be stronger than others. The Cornelia Marie is certainly a battle boat, one of my favorites. The Time Bandit is another. She is a schooner, a house-aft boat, wide and steady. The Hilstrands helped their father build this boat. As I throw my seabags in my stateroom, I load a fresh tape into my camera and push RECORD. There is no time for delay. The lines will soon be tossed. The story has already begun. I look to the horizon with hope. Out there the waves and the king crab await us.