Discovery Livechat with Capt Phil Harris from 07/01/08

Phil Harris:  The man every one would like to hear about and from these days!  His health crisis continues for a few more months so read up on one of ‘Deadliest Catchs’ favorite skippers.  He’s forever thankful to his fans and continues to make appearances throughout the summer as he works on his health.  Discovery has set up a link for fans to send get well wishes to Capt Phil…You may want to hop over and say your piece!

Phil Harris: I would like to thank everybody that sent cards and presents, little gifts, get well cards, there was a pile of them. I’d like to thank each and every one of you for doing that, you didn’t need to do that. I looked at and read every one of them, and I appreciate it. I’d like to thank the individuals who did that.

eddie and diann: Hey Phil, my wife and I think you and the Cornelia Marie are the best part of the show, so are you getting better?
Phil Harris: It’s hard to say. I’m on a six month program as far as medicine, and I still have 2 months to go before they go back in and see if the blood clot dissolved or if we’re going to have problems. I look better than I did, I was pretty run down. I also have to go to the hospital every three or four days, even now.

Time Bandit fan: Phil what happened to you during the hurricane?
Phil Harris: Well, it was blowing easterly about 100 out, we were hit by a great big wave and it launched me from the bed into the wall.

paula2317: We love watching the show, but being a parent myself, how hard is it to be the dad with the boys on deck as part of the crew?
Phil Harris: Well, it’s kind of hard with those two because Ding and Dong know exactly how to push my buttons like nobody else can. It’s rewarding, being able to watch your kids, and hang out with them in a work environment. It’s sometimes nerve-wracking also because those guys can bring my blood to a boil.

Laura: Hello Captain Phil. How is it working with the film crew?
Phil Harris: The film crew’s great. You start out and you have a time where they’re getting to know you and you’re getting to know them. It’s about a two week thing where you get to know each other and come to some ground and start progressing to where they can get some work done and I respond more to their questions. It takes a little bit, though, a couple week deal before I get to know the guy. The two film crews I’ve had on the boat were great guys. The one was very instrumental in helping me when I was sick. He kind of took care of me, went way above and beyond being a cameraman.

Sarahlu03: Captain Phil, thank you for giving us your time tonight, I am happy to hear that everything is going to be ok with you! I was just wondering why doesn’t the Cornelia Marie have a sorting table like the other boats?
Phil Harris: Number one, I’m not okay yet. Like I said, I still have 2 months to go. We don’t know whether I’m going to be all right or not. I’m kind of in a zone where anything could happen, that blood clot could turn around and go to my heart again, I wouldn’t survive it a second time. I still have 2 months of medication and then we see what’s going.
As far as a sorting table, we have one that’s built into our launcher which we sort from, which is different than the rest of the guys. It works, it’s a lot faster. As time goes by, I might switch to a sorting table like the other guys have. For the time being, our sorting table works great and the guys don’t want to change it.

HeidiJJ: OK, the mullet thing. I’ve been watching since season one, and have never seen any of you guys with an “authentic” mullet. Tell your kids to go rent “Joe Dirt” – that’s a mullet! So is this an inside family joke that just hasn’t been explained well in editing, or are your kids really too young to know? BTW – Your hair? The longer the better!
Phil Harris: Well, thank you very, very much. And that’s exactly the way I feel. They get a kick out of claiming that I have a mullet. They think that’s funny, I try to remind them daily that they’re idiots. But, I just have a normal haircut, it’s the way I’ve worn my hair forever. So, thank you very much for saying something nice about the hairdo.


Capt Phil signing the Deadliest Catch book

 Capt Phil signing the ‘Deadliest Catch’ book


Lhiiiz: Phil, you credit the camera man with watching over you during your illness, so do you think without him there things would have been…more dire?
Phil Harris: Yeah, they could have. He was there, kept an eye on me. I couldn’t lay down because my lungs were filling up with blood. When I was lying down, Todd made sure if I was falling asleep, that I could clear my lungs, they were filling with blood and you can drown on your own blood. He made sure I was up and okay so that I didn’t drown.

hrussell: Phil, how is your health going? What is going to happen if you can not be on the boat anymore?
Phil Harris: I don’t have an answer to that question, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m not ready to retire. I still love what I do. It’s going to be a bad day if they tell me I can’t go back. I don’t know what’s going to happen, I’d probably freak out. I don’t want to think about that. Crabbing’s the only thing I’ve ever done that I enjoy. I hope and pray that’s not the case.

Vickie: I read somewhere that you make bird feeders in your spare time. I was wondering if you sell them online? If so where can I buy one?
Phil Harris: Well, I don’t sell them online. I build them, custom build them. I built one for the president of Boeing. One for a memorial for a kid killed in Iraq. They’re a lot of money, like $1,000 apiece. They’re custom built and I make them especially for that person. I find out what that person likes, what his hobbies are – if he plays golf or whatever – and I build the birdfeeder to match what he does.

slushie000: What’s the rest of your family like?
Phil Harris: Well, there’s only my two boys, my dad and myself. I think everybody knows what my kids are like. And then my dad, He’s kind of the rock of all of us.


Laura: Was there any other career you wanted to do besides crab fishing?
Phil Harris: I had dreams like any kid, I still feel like I’m a kid in my mind. Sure, fly airplanes, build things. There’s all sorts of different things I’d like to do. We might be trying them out here shortly if things don’t go right.

Kris: On the show tonight your boys seemed composed at the news about your health. Tough guys; how were Jake and Josh really dealing with the news?
Phil Harris: Well, their maturity kind of showed, they kind of kept themselves together. Jacob is a very private man, he just shows his emotions, he holds that by himself. He worries just as much as Josh about me, he just does it in a different way. Where Joshua is a little more free-wheeling. I’m proud of them both. They knew what was going on with me but they were able to hold it together, keep going and do their jobs. That’s a big deal to me. I was worried about that; if those guys are not doing their job, someone’s going to get hurt and then we’d have a hell of a problem then.

Tiger: Phil, have you had any other major problems with your heart, lungs, etc., since your blood clot?
Phil Harris: No, I haven’t. In the hospital, they came and checked out my heart and my lungs. They told me the only reason I survived this thing in the first place was my heart was in real good shape. They said on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being best, my heart was a 10 if not an 11. And they looked at my lungs, they were kind of surprised, my lungs were clean for as bad as I abused my body. One person said they looked like the lungs of an older person’s who didn’t smoke.

hurrican47: How old were you when you first started crab fishing?
Phil Harris: I was 17 years old when I first went fishing.

Bandtia TBWench Lori: Hi Phil–Bandita Lori here. Is it your hope that one day your sons will take over the boat? Become the captain or co-captains of it? Thanks for chattin’ with us!
Phil Harris: That’s entirely up to them. It would be great for me, but that’s a big deal. That’s a major, major big deal. They have to go to school and get their licenses. They’d have to do so much stuff, put in a lot of time, they’d have to really want it. I don’t know if they’re prepared to put that kind of time in. Jacob maybe.
When I first started running boats it was a lot easier to go up in the wheelhouse and run a boat. There’s so many different licenses and regulations now, you have to really want it to run a boat. I probably would be more proud of the fact that they get the knowledge, and learn how to run a boat. In all honesty, you really have to have your stuff together to run a boat. Not only for the insurance but the Coast Guard. You have to be voted in by other fishermen to get insurance and be able to run the boat and get insured. You have to be voted in an insurance pool. So other fishermen decide whether I’m able to run a boat. If they made it even that far I’d be exceptionally proud of them.

Sheryl: Playing practical jokes between Captains makes it seem like you guys really like each other. Blake seemed to appreciate the attention you paid him when you welded his pot. What’s your most memorable practical joke that was played on you?
Phil Harris: Wow! There’s been so many. I’ve had a mannequin come up in the pot all dressed up in raingear, and it looked like someone got stuck and went over with it. They’ve turned the clocks ahead on me and made it appear we slept for 12 hours when we actually slept for 15 minutes and got me all in a tizzy. They’ve done stupid stuff, put something in my bunk or cellophane over the toilet, etc. The list goes on and on.


Capt Phil & Crew, season 4. (photo courtesy of Discovery)

 Capt Phil & Crew, season 4. (photo courtesy of Discovery)


Slithinator: If you had to choose between having no Red Bull for a day, or having no cigarettes for a day, which one would you choose?
Phil Harris: Well, I’m trying to stop smoking, but I’d have to say I’d rather have the cigarettes than Red Bull. I’m really trying to quit, I really need to quit. I understand I’m not going to do it in a day, but I’ve cut back by extreme amounts, and trying to get myself in the mindset that you just can’t smoke anymore. So, I’d have to say cigarettes.

FVCM rocks my world: Hi Phil! Last week Josh mentioned the new clothing line added for the Cornelia Marie – and he credited you completely for the creation of the polka dot thong. Any plans to continue making CM stuff for women?
Phil Harris: Yeah. If you go to our website it just got started, but we’re coming up with new stuff all the time. If anyone has ideas, feel free to email me or send them through MySpace or the Wiki at We’re looking for suggestions all the time.

Laker07: How has your life changed since being on the show?
Phil Harris: You know, for starters I wake up every morning, I look in the mirror and remind myself I’m a crab fisherman first and foremost. Everything about my life has changed. The notoriety this year; I can’t go to the store, dinner, or a bar anymore without causing a small riot. I’ve gotten to meet some pretty exciting people, and that’s a lot of fun. The notoriety I guess, I get to do things people don’t get to do. I’m not a TV celebrity, I’m not anything but a crab fisherman that happened to be on a television show. I remind myself of that every single day and keep a good head about things.

goaliegal18: So we know the Hansens are Norwegian and the Hillstrands are Swedish. What are the Harris’s
Phil Harris: I’m Norwegian.

Shari Omaha: Captain, please settle a bet! Do you guys eat Spam on crab boats? Thanks! And hope to see you healthy for ’08 King Crab season.
Phil Harris: I personally don’t eat Spam, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it, I just don’t think we have any on the boat. I wouldn’t want to make a steady diet of it, but I’ve had it a few times and it’s okay.

dwnbythbay: Are there any special things that the crew of the Cornelia Marie does to initiate a greenhorn?
Phil Harris: Not really. They start at the bottom. It’s a big deal to just get with the program. We’re probably one of the hardest boats of all of them to work on. I’m pretty demanding and just the way we fish. The poor guy starts out doing bait. Our pace is pretty rigorous. The guy’s got enough to do without us screwing around with him. I don’t like to frazzle the guy right out of the gate then he’d be no good for the whole time. We’re hard on a guy when they’re first starting out; it’s brutal.


Ken: Hello! I was wondering if you feel a house aft configuration like Cornelia Marie is better than house forward like Northwestern??
Phil Harris: I feel a house aft is way more safe, it’s safer – it’s like apples and oranges. The boats are way different from each other. And all the little quirks are different. The wind and the waves have to travel about 80-90-100 feet to get to you, where they don’t on a boat like Sig’s. The windows are right there. There’s just a lot of safety issues that the boats have, that I feel the aft house is a lot safer.

Wayne: How often do you talk to the other crab boats when fishing and do you ever give each other hints on your special spots?
Phil Harris: Oh yeah, we work together. I’m always talking to somebody; one of the guys. You have your fishing partners, we have strategy where we work together. You’re out there, it’s not rocket science you’re just trying to catch crab. Now that we have rationalization things aren’t the way they used to be. They’re a little bit more easy, it’s not so top secret as it used to be.

Lisa: I would love to send you a card. Where can we send them?
Phil Harris: You can send them to Bonnie Rasmussen, she’s on my site, she takes care of the site for me. She’s the one you’d want to send it to and then she gets it to me. I would love to give everybody my address, but we’ve had some people that kind of abuse it, so now I have to go with sending everything to her and then she sends them to me. We had some people that did some bad things before. So, sorry about that, we have to do it that way.

tekcnc: What would be your idea of a perfect vacation?
Phil Harris: Right now, if you asked me that – staying at home for about two weeks would be perfect. Just doing nothing but lounging around the house. And that I know, isn’t an answer, but for right now that would be my answer. That would be a perfect time for me right now. I like to go bike riding, take off on my Harley, take a couple or three weeks cruising the United States. I’d rather see the United States than go overseas, see what we have to offer and meet people. I would really like to go across the United States, I’m just fascinated by the people when I get to travel to the East Coast or down south, they way they talk and live. So, just a bike trip or in my car, across the United States would be the ideal thing.

Dee: You’ve said that Sig and you go way back. What’s the story behind your relationship?
Phil Harris: Well, I’ve known Sig for 20 years probably, but I knew his dad very well. I know Sig, but I knew Sig’s father as well if not better, and his dad was a hell of a man.

Earnhardt_3: Hi Phil, glad to know you’re OK and that you’re on the road to recovery. I wish you a complete and speedy recovery. My question to you is this: Have you been able to have that engine fixed that kept giving you problems? Between that and losing a flute on one of your wheels, you and the crew have had it tough. True to your character, you guys hung in there and got the job done. Take care of yourself – F/V CORNELIA MARIE ROCKS
Phil Harris: Thank you! The propellers on the boat are state-of-the-art, it was somebody else’s screw up that made it break. It was human error. So I can’t blame it on the propellers. As far as the engines go, we’ve had problems, particularly with one main engine. Hopefully this next rebuild we do will take care of that. All engines fail, Caterpillar, any of them, they all have their set of problems. We’ve had a lot of problems with that one. We’re going to try to rebuild it. To change engines in that boat is about $700,000-800,000. I don’t know if it’s worth that right now. So, I’m leaning toward rebuilding. It’s a long and complicated history behind that one engine, without getting into it we just got unlucky with one engine and we’re trying to make it right.

Laker07: How much does fuel cost for a season? Has it been more difficult with the higher prices?
Phil Harris: Yeah, King Crab season, we went through probably close to 50,000 gallons of fuel at $4.00 a gallon. There’s $200,000 right there, off the top. It’s in the back of the mind when I’m running the boat, but when we’re fishing it’s balls out, I don’t worry about the fuel situation. If I need to get some gear, or find a spot where the fish are biting I go all out and don’t worry. I’ll have to start in the future maybe not going on such a long run as it gets more expensive, or throwing some pots out for the hell of it. I may have to tone that down. When we’re fishing I don’t worry about that, I just worry about getting the pots out and catching crab.

bgum: What is a crab biomass?
Phil Harris: Crabs travel in a herd like cattle do, or if you’ve ever seen a swarm of birds or bees, they kind of travel in a ball. Or you see that swallows travel in a big ball. Biomass is all the crab out in the ocean. One big school. It just means all the crabs in one concentrated area; biomass is all of them, altogether.

Harley: How many tattoos do you have? What do they show?
Phil Harris: There’s probably 25 different ones that are all in there together. There’s everything from a pirate to a sea serpent, I can’t even describe it. There’s just little things that remind me of things that have happened in my life that are on there. Part of my first tattoo I got was when I got really drunk, and part of that I kept. I have a pirate, sea serpents, a frog. All sorts of little things. People would really have to look to see because it’s kind of all jumbled together.


Capt Phil at Nascar in 2007. (Photo courtesy of the Crabbroker)
Capt Phil at Nascar in 2007. (Photo courtesy of the Crabbroker)


Cornelia luver: If the doctors tell you not to go back out on your boat as Captain would you be willing to Co-Captain with another trusted Captain? If so who? Not being able to have you on DC and the Bering Sea would devastate us all.
Phil Harris: Well, thank you very much. The whole point of the thing is, I can’t be away from a hospital at this point. I have to be able to get my blood checked and be able to do something about it if something goes wrong. There’d be no point in going out if you can’t get back, and that’s the point of the whole thing. If I could go with somebody else, I’d just go out by myself. I can’t be away from a hospital right now for very long.

drew54729: What is the treatment regimen the doctors are thinking of putting you on?
Phil Harris: What happens now, I go to a coumadin clinic and they check the thickness of my blood. They poke you, get some blood, put it in their machine, it comes back and tells me how thick my blood is, then they adjust my dosage of medicine according to that. Then I go to the other doctor, he looks at my back because my back was broke about three years ago. He’s trying to keep that under control because I can’t take any medicine for that, so I have to get that looked at. He puts me on things that I can be on that jive with coumadin. Because of the back, I’ve had problems with that since this whole thing started. I took some medicine a few weeks ago. A normal person’s blood is 1.0, they’re trying to keep my blood at 2.5 or 3.0, three times thinner than a normal person. When I go get checked, that’s the target number we’re trying to hit. Two weeks ago, my blood was at 7.0, as thin as you can possibly get and you’re in a danger zone then, you start bleeding from your eyes, well, all over. You have to adjust your medication to that without killing yourself. It could go the other way, and thicken up, that’s a green light for the blood clot if it’s left and not dissolved, having it thick will send it right to my heart. Then it’s game over. I’ve had it checked and it’s been at .09, meaning way thick and that’s a bad, bad, bad thing.


chip2004-2: You said your mom just died of the same thing on the show – how recently was that?
Phil Harris: Well, my step-mom died three years ago virtually of the same thing. She got a blood clot in her leg. She called the doctor about 7 o’clock at night and told him she didn’t feel so well. He told her to come into the clinic the next morning and he’d check her out. She’d just had lung surgery, so was in the hospital with lung surgery for three days, got out and was home for 1-1/2 days, started feeling funky, and he told her to come to the clinic the next day at University of Washington. She indeed went to the doctor and keeled over dead right in his office from a blood clot.

megs: What inspired you to launch your Deadliest Brew coffee line? And how many cups of coffee DO your drink a day? haha
Phil Harris: It depends whether I’m fishing or not. If I’m fishing I always have a cup of coffee going. Always. I enjoy good coffee. I got in contact with a guy I met, he roasts coffee, that’s what he does. So, we got together, I thought it’d be neat to let people drink the kind of coffee I drink. We’ve got 6 or 7 blends of different coffee now. I enjoy coffee, I really like the taste of a good cup of coffee, I know it’s not for everybody. I thought it was a good idea to put out the same type of coffee I drink on the boat. My particular one is 24/7, but we have enough different blends that people can pick one that suits them. There’s nothing nicer in the evening than a good cup of coffee or at a bar, nice to sit and have a cup of coffee.

Slithinator: If you could choose any type of pet to own, what would it be?
Phil Harris: I’ve got a dog, the first little dog I’ve ever had, a purebred Yorkie, his name’s Gizmo. He’s a pretty cool dog. I love all animals, I’m just a sucker for animals. I like Siamese cats, and I’m kind of a sucker for German Shepherds. And now Yorkies. I used to have parrots, snakes, fish, 2 macaws, an 8′ boa constrictor and had 5 or 6 big piranhas and babies.

Kylie: Hi Phil. Hope you are doing well. How well was Murray as temporary captain ?
Phil Harris: Murray does great, I wouldn’t let him run the boat if he didn’t. He’s very conscientious, he does a good job, he gives me 100 percent. Murray’s been with me off and on for 25 years, he started with me. He’s just a damned good guy, looks out for my best interests. He does a good job.

BONNIE: Hi Bub!! On tonight’s show, Mur changed out the Captain’s chair. Is that out of respect?
Phil Harris: No, it’s because I have this chair that’s broken in for my fat ass. There’s a brand new chair that we’ve got that he likes and I have my chair that I like that I’ve had for years and years. It’s just one of those things, it’s kind of made for my rear-end. I think it’s a more comfortable chair, he doesn’t like it. Just preference I guess.

wvmoonsister: Phil, how much do you rely on the computer GPS systems versus the printed maps to find the crabs? Thanks for talking with us Phil!
Phil Harris: What’s in our computer is like the printed the map, it’s just in that form instead of having big, cumbersome paper charts. They’ve all been compressed and put on disk, so we’re actually looking at charts, just in a different format. We rely on them a lot. Those plots represent different depths. And they’re accurate. So I see different gullies and stuff that crabs would live in. We had one that was expensive and almost too detailed, it shows every nook and cranny. We use that one too. Crabs can be laying at one depth or in different places. So, we know what we’re setting on exactly.

Heather24: Is there anything that really helped you get through the time that you were alone in the hospital, it looked like phone calls from the Ship helped. Was there anything else you used to help get you through?
Phil Harris: I was pretty embarrassed. It was just the fact I could talk to my kids, I didn’t know if I would live or die at that point. I wanted to talk to my kids, that was a big concern of mine, that was the dad in me. The support of different people that are close to me, that called to wish me well. When these people send me packages or cards I take that seriously, to take time out of what they’ve got going on in their lives to turn around and send me a card or gift, that’s a big deal to me.

Heather24: Phil, now that you’re aware of this problem, are you doing more to walk around and keep your legs moving?
Phil Harris: Oh yeah. They came out now, the Fishing Vessels Owners’ Association, they came out with a newsletter that this is happening, I guess it’s happened to someone else now. You can’t be doing business, sitting in that chair for 50-60 hours straight. My record is 6-1/2 days sitting up there without sleeping. So, we just can’t keep doing that.

Irene: What is the greatest moment you can remember being on your boat?
Phil Harris: Getting the news I was getting a divorce – just kidding! I don’t think it’s one moment, the fact that it would be a nice calm day, we’re catching crab and I have my kids with me, it’s nice out and things are going well, and I’m very thankful that I have that gift. To me it’s a gift.

Discovery: Captain Phil, thanks for being here tonight! Before we have to end the chat, do you have any final thoughts to add?
Phil Harris: I want to thank every single person that was on here tonight that supports me, takes time out from what they’re doing to even care. I guess that’s one of the best perks of this whole job is having people like you guys to sit down and talk with. Sometimes there’s some really interesting stuff. Especially thanks to the people that sent gifts and cards. It doesn’t get better than that. I’m a fortunate guy to have people do that. It’s a very neat feeling and something that I’ll always hold dear to me, if after this is all said and done, the show goes away and we’re just back doing our thing this is something I can reflect on that was pretty damned cool. I want to thank everybody, that means more to me than anything.
There’s a couple people I would like to thank that have been great and without them, this whole thing wouldn’t have been possible for me, Bonnie Rasmussen and Skip, and my manager Russ, and my partner on the crab boat. Everybody else, I could start naming names but we’d be here all night. Bonnie is exceptionally dear to me, just the sweetest thing in the world. Laura and the people who take care of my T-shirts and Roger from Kicker have been nice to me and helped me through tough times when I was sick. I want to thank them. Especially Bonnie, she’s a sweet lately and she does great work for me.

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47 Responses to Discovery Livechat with Capt Phil Harris from 07/01/08

  1. manele says:

    Great interview. What a gentleman to share his time at this
    particular juncture with his health in an unspecified state.
    I am a big fan of the entire show and certainly of Phil with his
    kids presenting yet another family element to the mix. Hang in
    there Phil with the withdrawal from nicotine, I know personally
    that it’s a tough one.

    I enjoyed reading the details of becoming a captain things I
    know nothing about but now have a better idea of what’s
    involved and how yet another industry has been changing
    and creating new levels of knowledge to be had.

    Take care brother Phil and know that all of us are thinking
    of you and wishing you well – your sons too, you’ve done
    a great job with them! A hui hou – Aloha 🙂

  2. joyce sullivan says:

    capt phil i just wonted to say i am so glad you are doing alot better and if you are ever in tampa fla i would like to meet you.i think you are a great person.i lost my husband from lung cancer in feb 08 he was only 49 and a wonderful husband and father so i was afreid that you had lung cancer thank god you husband was a contractor and smoked for 40 years and worked his but off all his life so i understand .my son is 25 and he and his were wery close like you and your sons.god bless youll.

  3. Nat's says:

    Wow what a cracking guy, great live chat. He’s a hero in himself with keeping grounded about his health and also about the boat and everything else. Thinking of you Phil, take care. x

  4. Mr. & Mrs. Walt Harbauer says:

    Captain Phil –
    We just watched the “Ater the Catch” episode that you told us what had happened to you.
    I (Mrs) know EXACTLY what you’re going through. I have had 3 embolisms – the last one about a year ago – I almost didn’t make it (I had a 65% blockage in my lungs). I take cumiden – same as you – every day – probably for the rest of my life. Like you, I have back problems – and there’s not much a body can take for the pain – with the blood thinner!!!!
    We would appreciate it if you would keep us up on how you’re doing. We know how hard it’s going to be if you can’t get back to the Marie …. just don’t go bonkers because of it – find something else to fully occupy yourself (I had to … I had to retire early!!!!)
    Hang in there, Captain Phil – we’re 100% behind you!!! Whatever you do!!!!

  5. Cheryl says:

    Phil, you and yours are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for being a good Dad and not being afraid to show how much passion you have for your life, your sons and your vocation. As an avid birdwatcher, I also appreciate that you craft houses for these creatures! We have great blue crab here on the Gulf Coast. You would be welcome here anytime!! Please continue to take care!

  6. Mike says:


    I watch the show for you and your crew! Thank you for the fun!

  7. diana says:

    Hello Captain Phil–I have watched The Deadliest Catch since its beginning and I cannot tell you how much I admire the guts and grit of crab fishermen. But this season, watching what you went through and are still battling with, made me feel that there is still a man among men, even in the fishing industry. His name is Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie. To watch you sit in that chair, in so much pain, with so much worry on your mind, determined to stick it out come hell or high water, well let’s just say, that I am definitely a member of the admiration society for Captain Phil. But you know, I was of mixed minds when that episode aired…on one hand I admired you so much for your grit, and on the other, I want to shake you and tell you to get your butt to the hospital. And tonight we learned that you still have 2 months to go until you are reasonably sure you will be all right. If prayers and good wishes can do anything (and I BELIEVE that they can) then you are going to be all right. Keep the faith and tell the boys that they can be really proud of themselves for the way they are handling this crisis.

  8. cheryl says:

    Hi Phil, my husband & I watch the deadliest catch & love the show. We have been deep sea fishing a few times & it is hard work so we know what you guys do is much more so. Having health issues can not be easy for you. We wish you good health & hopefully all the prayers will get you through this with a healthy body. We quit smoking alot of years ago & I can’t begin to tell you the benifits. It isn’t easy but with some will power & the will to be around for many more years for your sons, will get you through. Good luck & God bless.

  9. julia says:

    Hi. I don’t get to watch “Deadliest” too often, but caught “After the Catch” last night. Sorry to hear about Phil’s health issues. I wish him all the best and the ability to beat it and be able to resume his fishing .I have some questions regarding how the boat can actually be profitable considering cost of fuel, shares for crew, insurance ect..ect… the gamble involved in getting your catch, and as always BOAT stands for.. break out another thousand. In your case add more zero’s. Not to mention the incredible physical risk to crew and ship. You all are truly crazy and I admire that. Is it truly worth the money. You all probably hate seafood anyway.

  10. CJ says:

    Hi Phil. My family never misses an episode of Deadliest Catch. We make small wagers every week on our favorite boat. My son, who is blind, has always picked the Cornelia Marie and was upset to hear of your illness. We have added our grandaughter to our family. My daughter was killed in a tragic accident and we are now raising her daughter. At 10 years old, she is very fickle (as most females are :). She started off rooting for Northwestern, but your boat was kicking their butt, so she decided to root for you and your crew. She is praying every night for your recovery. We rely very heavily on our faith to get us through and we will most certainly add you to our prayers as you recover. May God bless you and your family.

  11. Lin731 says:

    Phil, I have to say you are my favorite Captain on the show. I love the closeness you share with your boys. It’s nice to see that kind of family closeness still exists. I’m sending along all the good juju I have for a full recovery. God Bless, you and yours. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying you’re in my thoughts and prays.

  12. graham says:

    I hope Phil reads this. Believe me phil, I am not a religious freak. I have experienced some things(signs)though. Do you think you were thrown into a wall to make yourself deal with a medical concern? I truly believe that you were given a sign, because you are going to heal, and you needed to know this. Take care, and I just wanted you to know that if I had to work on deck, it would be for you and one other guy on this show. The rest, I would punch out and throw overboard. You have two good sons, but they aren’t ready for the business yet, as you exclaimed on “After the Catch”. P.S.- Stop friggen smoking, if you haven’t already, find a new hobby when you get bored

  13. trudy says:


  14. coffee says:

    Hi Capt. Phil, when you and the other Capt.’s was in Mass. did you or the others know anything about the “perfect storm” when it was happening? Oh, one more question, how much time do the boats stay out. Take care

  15. Mark S Ringgold Ga says:

    Dear Capt.Phil

    In april 2002 i was diagnosed with a rare type of lymphoma cancer, it is called mantel cell lymphoma.When i was diagnosed with the cancer i had never been sick other than a common cold.This cancer brought me to my knees i went thru chemo from may 2002 to sept 2002.Then in oct 2002 i had a stem cell transplant i thought the chemo was hell the chemo was a warm up for what i was about to go thru.On top of that i was tryin to deal with a old back injury that came back with a vengence i was swollin percocet 10/750″s.So for the last 5 and a half years the hell continues the cancer is in remission but the radical chemo and stem cell has destroed my body i have to be checked twice a month for blood clots.ct scan.But thru it all with all the pain meds and other meds my family has been my rock im only 45 yrs on disability the drs say i will never be able to work again that in itself is a hard pill to swollow because of my back i cant live byself because i cant drive because of all the pain meds im on.So i try really hard to keep my head i understand where you are comin from and my prayers are with you and your family capt phil

  16. coffee says:

    On one of the programs you was missing a lucky ashtray, did you find it? The first thing that came to my mind was Jonny Carson’s ashtray being broken by Don Riddles. Maybe you don’t remember it, but I do. It split my guts open, ha ha.

  17. Darla says:

    Hi Phil. My family loves the show and is praying for your speedy recovery. I think Deadliest Catch is one of the best shows on TV. I enjoy the pranks, the sense of family between all the boats. I can honestly understand when you say “you have to be crazy to do this job”. You are so right but for us as fans it sure makes for great TV. God speed and take care.

  18. Hello, Phil! My family of four here in southern Ohio just wanted to let you know we truly care about you, adore you, and hope that all goes well with the treatment you are going through. We, too, hope you can get back to what you love so much because you do it SO well; and you should be proud of your boys for how they worked hard with the crew to get the job done while you were out sick. That was truly inspirational. Best wishes to you, your sons, the Cornelia Marie & Crew-we will continue to look for your return and hope for the best for you now and later. Keep up the great work and know you’ve got BIG fans in southern Ohio!!

  19. Linda Stiffler says:

    Hello Phil, My name is Linda Stiffler and I live in Ohio but was born in Fairbanks,Alaska. I work as a corrections officer and I have my female residents HOOKED on the show (Deadliest Catch). We all wish you a speedy recovery becouse w/o you the show aint worth an empty pot of crab.God Bless, We love you!!! Linda Sue

  20. Jena Pace says:

    Hi Phil, Hope this finds you feeling much better. Deadliest Catch is the best show these days. I live in Ky. But as a child I lived in Anchorage. After my husband passed away. I spent last summer there it is so beautiful. We went fishing but not anything compared to your fishing. Take care of you and those wonderful boys of yours they are great too. Love, Jena

  21. Mary says:

    Love to watch your crew on the Cornelia Marie. Glad to know you are feeling better, you gave everyone quite a scare. My Dad has had blood clots & it’s genetic. He has passed Factor V Leiden to 3 of 4 kids. Have your sons been checked out for this genetic disorder? Just wondering so this doesn’t happen to them too. Check out this website:
    Keep up the good work, get healthy & stay safe.


  22. Dawn says:

    Phil, the more I hear you are getting better and you are doing what you need to do to get better, I AM PROUD of you.

    Keep the good health ideas coming into your hopefully very long life. My prayers are going out tonight for you.

    luv you man,

  23. Lucy says:

    Captain Phil, first and foremost, I am glad you are doing better. I just knew you had to be okay. You are my favorite person to watch and the show just wouldn’t be the same without you. Are you going to be able to return to your boat soon? And when exactly does the season start and finish? I would love to be able to watch you guys in action. How awesome would that be? But girls are probably off limits on these crab boats?

    Anyhow, I was watching the show tonight and it showed you at home recooperating, giving yourself a shot in your stomach (ouch) and with your two boys. Your boys look just like you. And I have to say that you looked so much better. I hope you felt as good as you looked.

    I wish you a speedy recovery and blessings for you and your family and crew.

  24. Hello Captain Phil Harris!!! My name is Virginia Zuban and I am 14 yrs. old. My family and i watch the show and LOVE you and your boat. you and the other captains have kind of become part of the family because all i hear is the bon jovi theme songs and the sound of the buzzer and crab pots.My mom is a teacher and My Dad owns two deep sea fishing boats. One is the 85 foot “Two Georges”(Tarpon Springs F.L.) and the 50 foot “Miss Virginia”(named after me!)(Port Richey F.L.) My brother Jesse is always out with my dad out on the boat. one night when i saw you on an eposode after you hit the corner of the dresser on your boat and i started to cry a little because i hated to see you pain. You were SO unbelievably brave and we have GREAT RESPECT for you.Jesse my 16 year old brother said, “Man, Capt.PHIL IS SUCH A COOL GUY, he can’t be off the boat!!!!!!” You and Capt. Sig Hanson are our two favorites. You guys have AMAZING skills!!!!! Please keep fighting and i would love you to write back but i know you are a busy man and must have buckets and buckets of fan mail. We just wanted you to know we love you SO MUCH and are praying for you ,and the saftey of your sons and crew on your beautiful boat. (727) 237-8569
    Full of love and support,
    Jesse,Jesse,Mary, and me Virginia from Port Richey Florida

  25. kevin says:

    Captin Phil , I really enjoy the show. I hope you recover from your illness. DC would not be the same without you. I’ve been farming in west Texas for 30 some odd years, and I thought my job was tough. You guys are an example of what made this country what is. Best of luck. Kevin

  26. Sue & Ken says:

    Captain Phil, we watch the show and love it.
    It’s amazing to see what you all do for a living and it’s truly unique. We are praying for your full recovery which will happen. My 50 year old brother in law had a very similar situation 4 years ago and did exactly what the doctors said, quit smoking after 30 years , took the meds and tried to eat healthier and is fully recovered now. I know fishing is your life and it would be devastating to have that come to an end but try to look at the big picture and know that you’ll be around alot longer to enjoy life & your family. You’ve raised great boys who will carry on the family fishing legacy.
    Best of luck and thanks for sharing your progress with the rest of the world.
    We are all praying for you, stay positive.
    Sue & Ken, Phoenix AZ

  27. David Ray Miller says:

    hey phill harris im a huge fan of yours i love watching the show i wonna wish you and your family the best of luck and i hope everying goes great with your health and you return to your ship health and ready to go …id love to give your job a try as a member but as i can tell from the show it takes a breed of man for that job other than a walk on ….and i also wonna say you drive a bad ass truck i like it , im not a duramax man but when i see an eye peeling truck ill give the guy credit me myself i like my dodge but best of luck with you and your family you do a great job , i wish my dad was like you but hey im not complaining ….well i cant wait till next season i hope to see you aboard your ship and healthy your in my prayers ……
    your biggest fan from

    David R Miller
    2531 shingle gap rd
    Millerscreek ,nc 28651

    Good luck …

  28. Judy says:

    Hello Phil
    I just wanted to tell you that I am saying lots of prayers for you and your health. It sounds like you already have angels looking out for you! I really enjoy the show, and have always enjoyed you and your crew. You are blessed to have such loving sons, too. You will never be alone – remember that! Take care, and I sure hope to see you back at the helm of the CM soon! Stay safe! You have tons of caring fans.
    Judy in So Cal.

  29. Patty says:

    I hope all is going well for you and that darn clot will soon dissolve entirely so you can get on with living your life.
    Maybe it was a wake up call- – -and boy what a wake up call- – HELLO.
    Take care,

  30. Sue Hucko says:

    I am watching your show for the first time. What a cool show!! Also I am impressed with how hard you guys work!! Wow-what a rough job! I have a cousin who lives out in the state of Washington and I was out there once on a trip. Everywhere we went they had salmon for sale and all the guys at her wedding talked about the shrimp season. I live in NJ and commute to NYC…so your lifestyle is really rough and rugged compared to anything I do. Man, you guys sure earn your money!! Wow you guys are really gutsy!! I am amazed you guys aren’t scared when the waves come up so high on the ship and also riding at night with the storms! You might laugh at me on this one, but your show is making me think of that old book “Moby Dick” when the captain goes after the whale. What a treacherous job. I give you guys tremendous credit!!! Keep up the great work and I hope you feel better.

    All the best, one of your new viewers,

    Sue Hucko
    resident of North Brunswick, New Jersey

  31. George & Trelley says:

    Howdy Capt. Phil,

    We’ve watched you and your crew on the show every season and were very dismayed to hear of your health problem. We hope that the clot completely dissolves and that you’ll be able to return to the work you obviously love. We look forward to seeing you and your boys back on the Cornelia Marie soon. Take care and God Bless. We will keep you in our prayers.


    George & Trelley
    Houston, Texas

  32. Earl McGhee says:

    CPT Phil: Know that your in my prayers and hope that you continue to get well. You and your hard charging crew are what got me interested in watching the show from the start. I am active army for past 25 years, and have a son that is also active stationed at Ft Lewis, WA. Would love to get a chance to meet you when I fly out to visit him later this fall. Again, god speed and good luck next season! SFC McGhee, Ft Knox, KY.

  33. Anne says:

    Hey Phil! Hi from Kentucky! Just wanted to tell you that every time I eat crab now I think “Thanks, guys!” Hope you are feeling better and get back in the wheelhouse soon!

  34. Chris Morgan& Family says:

    Hey Mr. Capt. Phil,
    Our family really enjoy’s watching the show. You guys really work hard and are dedicated, to your work. We really are hoping the best for your health, and your sons. We are looking forward to seeing you and your sons next year!!!!!!!!!
    If you need anything please let us know wwe will do our best to help.

    Best of Wishes, Chris Morgan

  35. Kelly says:

    Hey Capt. Phil..
    You are the BEST! I have to tell you, after watching your show every week, plus the reruns of course, you get to be a part of our family. I was crying when all this happened to you. I felt so bad for you and the boys. You know when you were so sick on the boat and you were coughig up blood, you kept saying you weren’t so tough after all, You are still tough. Being tough doesnt have anything to do with taking care of your health. It takes alot of balls to do what you guys do. Being a good parent, being a good Captain and being respected as a man makes you tough and that is what you are. Best wishes to you Phil. My prayers are with you for a full recovery so you can get back on that boat where you belong. 🙂 hey, by the way, you mentioned on After the catch that you met someone new. Maybe we can see her on one of the episodes (hint, hint) Haha..God Speed my friend!

  36. Danielle says:

    Dear Capt. Phil,
    I hope and pray that you find yourself well and ready for the next season. Your condition is serious and I would be lying if I wasn’t being selfish and wanting you back for another season. As a Seattle girl my dad used to take us to watch the fishing boats go out and come in as a girl. It was the most awe inspiring thing watching you guys come in and out. We did this for many years. My three year old watches the “crab show” with me and I tell her how someday I will take her home to see the big boats. I sure hope you are there! Please take care and know that many hearts are holding prayers with you today. If you do retire, you can be proud of your children who will carry this torch for you and continue your legacy.
    Take care Captain!

  37. daniel says:

    hello captain i whis you ol the best end i hoop that you are feeling wel end better end i am a bick fan of you end god bles you i zie you on tv everie day on discoveri its nice toe zie the crew on boord i whis you oll a goed cats this jaar end take care toe you oll end god bles you

  38. Steve Barrow says:

    Hang in there, you give us all a reason to feel fortunate for the things we have. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to stand back and appreciate the finer things in life we so often take for granted. As a husband and father, I really appreciate your outlook on life and love for your kids.
    You’re “good people”!

  39. casey says:

    I’m madly in love with you Phil.Take care.


  40. Linda M Vacca says:

    hey captain phil, I so hope you’ll be O.K. you are in fact my favorite capt. I have two boys myself(7 yrs. apart) and like you , damn they can yank my chain and they are totally night and day, as yours are to, and as your goes quote) yeah,” I know why lions eat thier young” etc. my other favorite is the Time Bandit, I have actually partied with jonathinm way back in my parting days , aint drank and such in over 10 years, any how, I have some rather serious health issues to, and like you I wont let anyone just how serious, I only hope you the best and would really LOVE to give ya a really awsome hug. like I’m sending ya how. love phil l.vacca covington washington

  41. DeAnna M Chapman says:

    Dear Phil,
    I am a nurse by profession and for the first time people had thought I had lost my mind that night you started spitting up blood. I kept screaming at the TV you have a clot in your lung please go get help I like watching you to much and your kids need you.
    I am so glad you are doing better and I really do hope that you get the OK from your docs to go out on the boat . Please listen to them. The Cornelia Marie would never be the same.

  42. tatiana dolores verissimo da hora says:

    Oi Capitão Phil, adoro assistir voce, e procurei tudo na enternet sobre o programa. estou escrevendo este email, para dizer quanto o adoro. Se um dia quiser es crever alguma coisa para mim irei adorar. Beijo Tatiana

  43. You guys are freakin crazy! But thank God! This show really opened my eyes to what hard work really is. I have friends in mexico that drive me crazy making me interpret whats going on. No more soaps for them. Captain Phil I have been saying prayers for you and your sons. You seem like a hell of a man/dad. And what a great loss I would feel without you so I can not imagine how your family and friends would feel. Thanks for doing this show. I really enjoy it

  44. Terry Falzone says:

    I’m a big fan of the show and noticed that you have a tattoo of a pirate on your left arm. The pirate’s face seems to resemble you – is it a self portrait or just a coincidence?

  45. Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting past. ~Jack London

  46. John C says:

    Rest In Peace Phill. You will forever be missed. CAPT PHILL HARRIS 1954-2010

  47. hello all, Im looking for afull view of Capt Phil’s tattoo that’s on his left arm.I took one look at that bad boy and I was in love with it.But I have looked high and low two find a copy of it .No luck,if you can help me out I will be forever greatfull to you.If you need money just let me know the price,and it’s on the way
    Thank You Keane Spencer

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