From The Chicago Tribune . More than 200 people turned out Tuesday night to have dinner with Capt. Sig Hansen, skipper of the F/V Northwestern, at Shaw’s Crab House in Schaumburg. Despite being postponed a week on relatively short notice, organizers told us, not one person cancelled reservations.
Fans know Capt. Sig from the Discovery Channel Show “The Deadliest Catch,” about the crab-fishing fleet and the dangers it faces in Alaska’s Bering Sea (check show times at discovery.com). High seas, vile weather and 24-hour work days make crab fishing one of the most dangerous businesses in the world. Hansen and his brothers, Norman and Edgar, own the F/V Northwestern, which fishes year-round. The brothers are fourth-generation fishermen whose great-grandfathers fished in Norway.
The crowd was adoring. Hansen was mobbed at every turn, besieged by requests for autographs and photo opportunities. While diners feasted on steamed crab legs and crab cakes, Hansen answered questions from the floor. Again and again, he praised his own crew and the other members of the fleet whose crews work just as hard as his own. He said that the Discovery Channel series had brought welcome understanding of the fishery’s complexities to the public, although the film crews always seemed to be in the way.
I was captivated by the gallantry of Hansen’s response to my question. “I respect the hard work you and your crew have done to bring us this food,” I said. “How best can I show that to you?” Said Hansen: “You’re doing it. By eating our crab, you’re doing it. We’re honored to be able to bring you the crab, and to see people appreciate it so much, well, it’s just overwhelming.”
The Hansens sell their catch to Trident Seafood of Seattle, which supplies crab to Shaw’s.