Discovery has posted their livechat with Johnathan and Scott Hillstrand from April 29th. Learn a bit more about this skipper and his up and coming fisherman son! Later, after tonight’s new ‘Deadliest Catch’ episode, you may want to make the jump over to the Discovery website and join in on the livechat taking place with Sten Skaar of the F/V North American! From Discovery…
Johnathan Hillstrand: Hi everybody! Thanks for being fans. I’ve met some really great people, and I love you all.
chip2004: Were you happy with the results of your prank on Capt. Phil
Johnathan Hillstrand: Yes. It’s hard to do a prank out there because we can’t drive around forever, and Phil was the perfect one. It was a green truck – no engine, no transmission, no batteries, no axles. He was the first person I found and I wanted to find Phil, because he wanted that truck. It’s hard to do a prank because it’s a huge ocean; you don’t have time to look for a boat. I found him, and knew where he was fishing.
Lisa: I met you in Philly last week at the DC fan thingy, had a blast!! Were you this popular with the ladies before the show?
Johnathan Hillstrand: <laughing> Ladies always love sailors and pirates. I don’t know how long that’s been going on, but hundreds of years. Ladies always love seamen! I’ve always loved ladies too.
Turtlekins: John, I am currently reading your book and loving it! What made you and your brother decide that it was time to put it all down on paper?
Johnathan Hillstrand: We wanted to show the people the real, uncut version. The show is candy-coated, and we wanted to lay it down behind the scenes. When you watch the show, you just see crab fishing. It takes us a week to get out there, and a week to get back. That’s a whole story in itself.
sissyann39: Do you ever get scared?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Yes. When we have 80-100 knot winds, which we had two last year, you know how small you are in the universe. You’re smaller than a speck of sand. The thing I’m most afraid of is a boat fire. If you can’t put out the fire you have to get off the boat. If I’m in trouble on a 100 foot boat, the last thing I want to do is get in a little 10-foot rubber raft.
phoenix rising: Hello Johnathan! What do you like doing when you have some off time?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Hotel rooms, room service, ladies. I love horsepower. I have a Corvette with 540 horses, and a Fat Boy Harley with 296. I love jumping out of airplanes. I used to love diving. Anything that gives me a rush, and you forget about all of your worldly problems. Sort of like crab fishing.
sissyann39: If you could do it all over again, would you do another job?
Johnathan Hillstrand: <laughing> No. I would do the same thing again. I have no regrets.
Lisa: Did you get hurt falling off the boat?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Yes. I fell 13 or 14 feet and fell in the water sideways, like a sideways belly flop. I pulled every muscle in my arms, and I scraped about 8 feet. Just do a belly-flop of a high dive and you’ll know how it felt. I’ve just started getting back to doing pushups, and it was in October I did that.
Sandi: With all the great things that have come from your celebrity status, have there been any drawbacks?
Johnathan Hillstrand: No. I have good times everywhere I go. I have a lot of great fans. Haven’t really received a lot of money; we make more money crab fishing than we do off the show. And thank you for being a fan. We don’t think of ourselves as celebrities though.
Bandita Erin: What do you do on board during opies while Andy and Neal are captaining?
Johnathan Hillstrand: I do whatever I want. I can go on deck, work with the guys, help Andy with the boat. I have no weight on my shoulders like Andy – he has all the stress. Oh, and I can read Hugh Hefner’s novel. <laughing>
storms brew: When you have down time, do you go to a lot of Harley events?
Johnathan Hillstrand: No. I wish. I fish 8 months out of the year, and have 4 months off. So I’m usually traveling, promoting the show or the book, so I don’t have that much fun time.
Instigator Kate: Hey Captain Johnathan–I know Captain Andy has a horse farm, do you/did you ever ride?
Johnathan Hillstrand: No, I don’t ride horses. Superman died on a horse. I think my brother is crazy. 😉
linzer: I’ve gotta say, the Time Bandit is tops when it comes to pulling pranks. Do you think you’ll ever be able to out do the pick-up truck?
Johnathan Hillstrand: That was a laugh. I’ve got a thousand tricks up my sleeve. In fact, there isn’t one day that goes by on the Time Bandit that someone doesn’t get Punked.
phoenix rising: How often does the Coast Guard board the boats for inspection?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Way too much. <laughing> We get boarded by the Coast Guard before each season, and then we have to report to the Coast Guard when we sail. And then they board us out on the fishing grounds. But lately we’ve been working together, and it’s made things a lot nicer.Instigator
Kate: Hey Captain Johnathan. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Would you bring anyone with you? PS-great meeting you last week!
Johnathan Hillstrand: I would come see you again! <laughing> I’ll have to think about that one.
chip2004: Of all the places you have gone to promote the show what is your favorite so far
Johnathan Hillstrand: New York. You can get lost there. You can go to a different restaurant every night for a year, but I have to go to the same ones. I think they spoiled me when they sent me to New York.
Mama nutmeg: Do you have a lot of people asking for jobs since the show has become so popular? And do you ever employ anyone that says they came because of the show? Lastly, my husband and I take every Tuesday off just so we can watch it together! We LOVE it!!
Johnathan Hillstrand: Thank you, but if you watched tonight’s show, look at that young kid that’s so physically fit, and with all the bruises on his body. A lot of people want this job, but don’t know what they’re getting into. I could probably take out Dennis Rodman, and he’d be crying for his mama, but his mama would be too far away. They don’t know what they’re getting into.
Johnathan Hillstrand: Hey, my son Scott is here. He’s been running the Time Bandit, and doing a hell of a job. Love you, kid!
Scott Hillstrand: I’ve been doing the best I can. The boat’s looking sharp, and I think they’ll be impressed with what they’ll see.
Johnathan Hillstrand: I’m a lucky man.
Scott Hillstrand: It hasn’t been easy, with the rules different from Alaska to here. It’s been rough, but we’ve managed to work through it, and I think they’ll be happy with what’s been done.
Bandita Jackie: Hi John! What do you think was the most valuable thing that your son Scott learned this season?
Johnathan Hillstrand: I don’t know. Scott?
Scott Hillstrand: Family comes first. In the end, that’s all you’ve got is family.
beanie07: Hi Johnathan – I have to say that the flour pot is my favorite prank so far. Do you brainstorm ideas in the wheelhouse?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Yeah, in my off time, everywhere. Always coming up with good ideas. The flour pot trick never gets old – kind of like the pie in the face trick.
grudawg-3: Was there any damage to the boat at the end of last year, when you were in the ice field?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Yes. We’re currently in the shipyard, putting about $300,000 in the boat. The new boat is pretty impressive.
Nancy Catch Fan: What would you do with your quota and your boat in the future if your son doesn’t take it over?
Johnathan Hillstrand: We make more money if someone else fishes our quota, so if my son does not take over, we will have someone else fish our quota.
phoenix rising: Do you think Scott will commit more in the future?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Let’s ask Scott!
Scott Hillstrand: I wouldn’t be putting in time in the shipyard if I weren’t going to commit in the future. It was great spending time with the new baby and the wife I just married. It took commitment from both of us, and there will be a lot more in the future.
Instigator Kate: Hey Captain Johnathan. Does it hurt to see Scotty say that you were never around when he was a kid?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Scotty said that? I wasn’t, and I wish I had been. The seas robbed me of that; I can never get that back. I’m trying to make up for that now.
miso: Was there anyone who really stepped up this season and impressed you? What did you think of Scottie’s performance by the end of the season?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Eddie with the broken leg, who still fished through the season, and my son who was such a good stand-up guy. I’m a lucky man.
Lesley: Do you respect your son’s decision for leaving in the middle of the season?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Well, no. But I respect him for standing up for his family. For the boat, no, but I respect his values.
sable2043: What is it like to have your son on the boat?
Scott Hillstrand: I don’t get to see much of my father when he’s in town, so it’s a little like being on vacation, but not. I get to have conversation with him when we’re out there, more than when we’re not. So for me, it’s good father/son bonding time.
Johnathan Hillstrand: It’s great having him on the boat. Any time I have a chance to hang with him. He’s one of the best people I know.
sea2see: HI Jon! Me and my 10 year old little girl love ya bunches! She says she’s a bandita. She has a question for her fav captain. Before you became a fisherman captain, were you very interested in fishing?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Thank you! I love all the banditas. And yes, ever since I was 6 or 7 I used to watch my dad sail off into the sunset to go crab fishing. I always wanted to be a crab fisherman.
heroic man: Hey Scott do you cook for your dad when you’re on the boat, or who does the cooking?
Scott Hillstrand: My dad loves grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, and that’s easy to cook. I don’t do it very often, but he loves my tacos that my wife taught me to cook so well.
Bandita Terri: Scott…Is running the Time Bandit something you would like to hand down to Sawyer?
Scott Hillstrand: Yeah, I would. I could always wish that he’d stay in school and make more money, but I’m going to let him make his own decision. And if that’s something he wants to pursue, I’ll be behind him 110 percent. It definitely gets to a guy when you’re stuck in traffic every day, and then working 8-10-12 hours a day, and you don’t have time to spend with your family. But if you go out fishing, and spend that time in the middle between the seasons, you actually spend more time with the family if you add it up, and you can take off and have that family time.
(Photos courtesy of Discovery)
MDCrabber: Scott, is your dad as much fun off the ship as he seems to be pulling pranks on?
Scott Hillstrand: My dad is always fun. He’s the funnest guy I’ve ever met. We’re more friends than father-to-son. If you were to see us together, you wouldn’t know we were father and son; people mistake us for brothers. He’s a really fun guy to hang out with.
Nautical: Scott, How does it feel to be in your dad’s shoes–making choices between the sea and family?
Scott Hillstrand: You know, in my younger years, I never understood why he did it, but it’s a way of life, and how we were were brought up. When my dad was out fishing, I lived with my grandmother, who tried to tell me to stay in school and be successful in other ways. But it was hard to not follow in his footsteps, because I idolized him so much. I don’t regret
Mittie: So, are you spoiling your grandson when you see him?
Johnathan Hillstrand: I wish I could see him more. Every time I do see him, it puts a smile on my face all week.
Scott Hillstrand: You’re going to love it when you get back – he’s crawling around saying “Da-Da-Da-Da.”
Shane: Scott was it tough being a greenhorn for your dad?
Scott Hillstrand: It was the toughest job I will ever do.
Johnathan Hillstrand: I’m not the screamer guy, but everyone knows if I have to tell you what to do, you’re fired.
Scott Hillstrand: I’m not a very big guy, but I could out-work some guys who weighed 250 pounds.
kat: Scott, how does your wife feel about the family business?
Scott Hillstrand: She comes from a family that always have done 9-5 jobs, and she had anxiety attacks. She didn’t understand it, but she’s starting to now. She understands now how good it is for me to be able to spend nights and more time with Sawyer. Definitely an occupation that you have to ease somebody into.
Koa: How do you two feel about millions of people watching you on television?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Sort of scary. It’s getting into pretty personal stuff, but everywhere I go it seems I meet the nicest people and we have the nicest fans.
Scott Hillstrand: The personal level is definitely getting there. But before the show started, people wouldn’t even shake a fisherman’s hand, but now people realize how difficult the job is, and how much we commit to doing the job. It’s been kind of a trip now, watching my family and doing the stuff they do. It’s cool.
vieuxcarre1313: And Scott, what do you think was the most valuable thing that your dad learned this season? 😉
Scott Hillstrand: Always three-point contact when getting on a vessel. <laughing>
Johnathan Hillstrand: These young guys, they just jump across! Sometimes they’re six boats out. And sometimes people die. Every year, in every port.
Scott Hillstrand: It’s just as dangerous GETTING on a crab boat as it is FISHING on a crab boat.
Instigator Kate: Hey Captain Johnathan, how many tattoos do you have? What/where are they?
Johnathan Hillstrand: That’s for me to know, and you to find out. 😉
chia42728: How much coffee and cigs do y’all go through in a season?
Johnathan Hillstrand: A pack and a half a day, and you don’t want to see me on coffee!
Scott Hillstrand: You’re like a hamster up in that wheelhouse, running around in that wheel!
sissyann39: Since Deadliest Catch is our fav show, what is your fav show?
Johnathan Hillstrand: I watch Two and a Half Men.
Scott Hillstrand: My wife holds the TV remote. I watch Rock of Love, because my wife likes it.
Johnathan Hillstrand: My other show was Spin City, because of Heather Lockyear.
sea2see: Hi Jon!!! I just want to start out by saying thank you for allowing us all to share your fishing experiences and life with us fans! I just wanted to know what season in your whole fishing life is the most memorable and why? Thanks again. 🙂
Johnathan Hillstrand: I’d have to say saving Josh White’s life. If you’ve seen the show, you know why. I’ve saved other lives in other seasons. You’d have to read our book.
Scott Hillstrand: I still get tears in my eyes when I watch that. It’s intense.
Johnathan Hillstrand: You should read the new Discovery book also.
Brandon: Do you still keep in contact with the guy you rescued from the Bering last season?
Johnathan Hillstrand: We hired him. He went herring tendering and salmon catching. And he fell off our boat also.
chip2004: Which one of your crew do you think had the best costume?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Oh, Spiderman, by far. He was totally naked, except for a sock on his…you know. And girls kept grabbing the sock. I’ve never seen Spiderman smile so big!
Bandita See10: Capt John, does your sodium lights flashing have a meaning, or is it just something the boats do…whenever?
Johnathan Hillstrand: No, it’s just cameras making it look like that. The lights are bright, and they work all night.
djdebsing: Did you take your mother’s predictions to heart? It seemed as if you did.
Johnathan Hillstrand: Yes, I did. When I fell in the water I was hoping to God and praying that was the worst thing that was going to happen. I hoped that’s what she was talking about.
Aman: Do you and your brother make all the decisions regarding the boat together?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Yes. And my son’s helping us now. He’s been running the boat in Washington at the shipyard.
Capt Charlie: Johnathan, who’s the best greenhorn you’ve ever had on your vessel?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Clark Sparks. He went to the east coast with me and ended up on another boat, being pulled overboard by a long line. I miss him still. He was one of my brothers.
Angelo: How did you feel that Phil wasn’t catching and was looking for help from you?
Johnathan Hillstrand: I would help Phil out and Phil would have helped me out. We’ve been friends long before the show, and will be friends long after the show is over. Phil is another one of my brothers.
Michelle: What’s the strangest “good luck” ritual that the crew of the Time Bandit has?
Johnathan Hillstrand: We really don’t have one. We do a left-handed Swedish spin, turning back the hands of time on a Friday. The thing about superstitions on a boat is that once you start doing something, you don’t want to NOT do it for fear of turning the luck around. We knock on wood a lot, but that is the only superstition we do a lot on the boat.
jstanton: What do you do when you have to fire someone in the middle of the Bering sea?
Johnathan Hillstrand: You don’t. You get as much work out of them as you can, but you don’t ever bring them back. It’s sort of like knowing child psychology, so you let him sleep for 2 days, and if he comes out for 2 hours, you get another 2 hours work out of him.
Scott Hillstrand: Another reason to read the book. You can get a smile out of him.
witchy one: You seem to have such a positive attitude all of the time, you joke a lot. How do you stay so positive in the face of some serious situations?
Johnathan Hillstrand: Even if I worked at McDonald’s I’d be playing hockey with mops and the other clean-up boys, and we’d be having a great time.
Scott Hillstrand: It’s a different lifestyle – like cruising down the highway having a great time, while everyone else is white knuckles. We’re just living our lives.
Anything to add, before the chat comes to an end?
Scott Hillstrand: Live, Love, and Fish.
Johnathan Hillstrand: Live, Love, Shut Up and Fish! Watch the show, or I’ll come and find you!
Discovery: Send a shout-out! Call the guys toll-free and leave a message fDiscovery: Johnathan, thanks for being here tonight to answer fans’ questions! Is there anything you’d like to or your favorite crew. http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/deadliestcatch/audio-messages/audio-messages.html
And, don’t miss the next episode of Deadliest Catch, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. E/P