Entry #6 Redemption
Today was a day of redemption aboard the Time Bandit. Each member of the crew had been suffering due to the poor fishing. I have been watching each of them closely as several days of bad luck have come and gone. When we are not filming the crews in their best light, like when the fishing sucks, the pressure on deck is increased by the presence of the camera. As each empty pot came over the rail I continued to film, knowing that something was going to have to change soon. As I peered through my camera’s viewfinder, I reflected back to my past king crab seasons. I thought about my time on the Maverick a couple of seasons ago. I smiled as I remembered that we had hauled an amazing king crab pot filled with 100 “reds.”
Although the fishing has been horrible, Capt. Johnathan Hillstrand is a confident guy. In this house-aft boat, he virtually overhangs the deck. His face is visible to the crew at all times. The crew looks to him for reassurance. When they get frustrated they also provide emotional feedback that reminds him of his responsibilities to each of them. He has been under a lot of pressure. It is his job to put the pots on the crab. As we steamed to our new location, I looked at the computer monitor and noticed that there were at least 90 pots waiting for us. Johnathan had high hopes. The guys geared up and hit the deck.
From the first throw of the hook, we knew that our luck had changed. The first pots came up huge — 80s … Wow! After the empty pots, these seemed incredible. But they were only the beginning. As the tempo increased it became clear that we were really on the crab. These pots had a good soak on them and we were sure to see some numbers. Still, I don’t think anyone would have guessed that the fishing was about to go from rock-bottom to all-time-best. But that is exactly what happened.
The Time Bandit struck gold. More king crab has come over the rail in the last 24 hours than I have ever seen hauled onboard in one fishing session. When a pot came over with 114 crab in it I was amazed, but the numbers kept getting bigger and the crab were all very large and clean. Pretty soon all of the pots had more than 100 crab in them. Two golden pots had captured an amazing 156 king crab. Ninety pots later the Time Bandit’s crew had filled her hold and turned the bow toward harbor.
The crew, elated with the fishing, celebrated with gusto and cheer. I feel lucky and honored to have been aboard on the day that each man on the Time Bandit credits as his best day fishing ever. Today the crew of the Time Bandit pulled 90 pots for an average of 114 crab each. It is possible that none of us will ever see a string like that again.