Production Diary #12: MAGIC & WONDER

This is the new production diary posted just now on the Discovery website by Doug Stanley, producer and photographer of Deadliest Catch.  During filming, Doug was part of the team that travelled with the F/V Timebandit. 

Film and Photography crews in Alaska

Every once in a while, when I’m aboard the Time Bandit, the subfreezing temperatures, wind and spray combine and, magically, water freezes before my eyes. We have never managed to catch it in the act, so it has never appeared on the show. This amazing phenomenon occurs when the boat hits a wave and spray jets upward from the bow. Gravity kicks in and the boat and the droplets fall at the same speed. For a few seconds water hangs suspended in midair and is literally frozen. When the boat stops falling the droplets all suddenly tumble to the deck as ice and scatter in many directions. It is a magical moment.

One of my favorite things to do on a crab boat is to climb into the crow’s nest on the foremast of the ship. The bow is usually tossing and rolling. Climbing the narrow steel ladder is a challenge all by itself, especially when it is icy. To stand and face the sea in the crow’s nest while waves bash the bow below, sending spray vertically as you arc forcefully through the air, wind in your hair and seagulls as your escort is wild, brash and amazing. It is another of the magic moments one can experience at sea.

Once a killer whale came up to the surface within 10 feet of where I was standing on the boat’s starboard rail. It was matching the speed of the vessel and swimming parallel to it. As I watched in amazement it rolled a bit to its starboard side, exposing its left eye to stare directly into my own. The whole moment lasted only five seconds. Then the whale disappeared, leaving me in awe and wonder.

Being a member of the Deadliest Catch production team has provided me with a long string of these unforgettable experiences. Many of these were captured on film, but some were not. For me, there is another Deadliest Catch magic moment that happens when I am traveling or working in a foreign country and chance upon a fan of the show. Usually it happens when they say something like, “Hey, remember when the Time Bandit pulled those two king crab pots that had 156 crabs in them?” As I look at them quizzically and respond, “Yeah?” I just can’t help but feel amazed that this person intimately knows some of my personal experiences. It is almost as though he had been looking through my own eyes. Now that I find truly amazing!

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