These particular Deadliest Catch skippers began their journey or tour across the “lower 48” by heading to Dover Downs, Delaware earlier this month. They then travelled to the midwest for a night of feasting at Bob Chinn’s Crabhouse in Wheeling, Illinois. The next stop for these “Bad Boys of the Bering Sea” is Sarasota, Florida, where they will hunt for something other then crab, raise funds for a children’s charity, and attend a crab fest, Sarasota style. Cynthia Kane offers more details below. Read the entire story at the Herald Tribune
“From the busy docks of Dutch Harbor, Unalaska, Alaska, hail the Time Bandit fishing vessel’s captains Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand, the Sea Star’s Capt. Larry Hendricks and the Wizard’s Capt. Keith Colburn. The four — familiar faces to viewers of “Deadliest Catch” (Discovery Channel) — will fly 12 hours on their own dime to the beastly humidity of Florida.
Billed as the “Bad Boys of the Bering Sea” by event sponsors William Davis and Eric Donaldson, the skippers will make appearances to help at-risk children who need early education, developmental services and therapy. Davis owns Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Restaurant and Market, and Donaldson is a partner in The Crab Broker.
These characters are larger than life, as smooth as calluses.
“They’re all great guys,” said Donaldson. “I’ve known the captains for years.”
His company supplies cold water crab to Barnacle Bill’s restaurants, and he annually takes clients to Alaska to see how the crab is harvested, handled and processed and to spend a day on one of the ships in the bay. Davis and his brother went last November.
“People don’t realize the logistics of this stuff,” said Donaldson, who has been running fresh, processed crab out of Dutch Harbor for 17 years. “It’s 800 miles (a three-hour flight from Anchorage) out in the Aleutian Islands.
The fundraising plan was cooked up after Davis learned of the gator-hunting sojourn. He told Donaldson they should do something more with the fortuitous visit.
The men will visit the Florida Center for Child and Family Development in Sarasota, a community-based agency providing early childhood education, developmental and therapeutic services and programs to more than 550 families.
Public appearances will include a fundraising autograph session and a private limited-seating king crab feast and auction. Items to be auctioned include a case of fresh Dutch Harbor crab (in season), a life ring from one of the Dutch Harbor ships, dinners at Barnacle Bill’s and a slot on Donaldson’s annual “sea to plate” tour to see the vessels firsthand in Dutch Harbor, including a day on one of the vessels.
Donaldson said folks often note the high dollars the men earn for several days’ work during the fleeting crab seasons.
But, “they’re not rich. They’re hardworking guys and they do what they do because they love it,” he said. “Johnathan (Hillstrand) will tell you, ‘I just cannot be on land too long.’”
‘Off the hook’
Donaldson expects the drinks will be flowing the evening of the auction.
“That’s gonna be off the hook,” he said. “They all have their poison of choice.”
Indeed, the Duck Farts will pour (it’s an Alaskan favorite of one of the captains: equal parts Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Crown Royal, and in that order).
“They work hard, and they play even harder,” Davis said.
Despite their popularity, “they haven’t taken on the air of being stars,” Davis noted.
“Sarasota should feel somewhat privileged that four of them are coming,” Donaldson said.
Captains from the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” series will sign autographs from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 26 at Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Restaurant, 1526 Main St., Sarasota.At 4:30 p.m. Aug. 26, there will be a private, limited-seating dinner. Cost is $75 for the charitable dinner and auction. For location of the dinner, or information on all events, call 365-6800 or 355-7700.