Fans of Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch
Last night was the final Deadliest Catch episode for this season and I was uptight. I’ve missed a few of the shows this year but I’ve managed to catch most of them now. I wanted to watch this finale “in real time”. My usual disdain for anything reeking of consumerism and a popularity contest was not enough for me to quietly wait for it to come out on Netflix or on disc. So there it was; I really wanted to watch it. I knew I’d be missing out on the conversations that follow and to have to wait months seemed a bit cruel. There was also the camaraderie of a shared experience that I would miss. Talk about a cliff hanger, except I already knew the ending. All the boats came home, all of them made money. We did lose a guy right after (rest in peace big guy) but life has gone on for everyone involved and so will mine. But I didn’t want to move on any sooner than I had to.
Not having T.V at my house, it all depended on the whims of my Mother who lives in the house right beside mine. As fate would have it, she went out on a dinner date with my Dad. I got to watch her dog, my kids clambering all over me as I try to soak in every minute of waves, winds, and temperaments… and cook dinner. To that end, I made several dashes down to my house to retrieve items on commercials, my mind too pre-occupied, for some reason, to get it all on the first go.
It was a strangely cool summer evening. The winds gusting 15-20 miles an hour, tossing the trees like gentle ocean waves, lifting my hair and moving my senses. I softly closed my eyes and inhaled. It didn’t matter that the ocean was a few hundred miles away, instead of grass and sun warmed earth, I smelled instead the clean tangy waters, whiffs of diesel fumes and old bait. It was enough. Opening the door, I heard the block popping and somebody belly laughing; the hiss of the waves and the crazy celebration that marks the end of anything so strongly endeavored to finish. It stokes their fires for a well-deserved break that will supercharge them for yet another go around come the turn of the seasons into fall. I am so happy to share a little of their shear exuberance. The Mohawks were a nice touch.
And then, the Behind the Scenes episode played. I stayed glued. It amused in places, informed in others, made me a little tee’d off here and there and affirmed answers I had only guessed at before. All the while, the boats loom over the waters, the engines grind, and day follows night back into day.
I know this is the last that I will see anything new this year of what they chose to share with us. But it is enough to stoke my own fires, to face my own struggles of balancing home and work, family and desires. When I scratch for the right words, the right phrasing to put down, I know many a Captain who has similarly scratched their heads as they tumble the myriad of options around before settling on the one that they stick with and stand by. Don’t worry, Wild Bill, I will stay thirsty. There are those of us that watch the show that will always be thirsty.
This Saturday, when I go to work at the Gorge Amphitheater to tear down a show and load the trucks, I will blare my favorite Metallica CD all the way there, screw my hat on tight and get ready to sweat, hoping the breeze will rise off the mighty Columbia river to cool us. Afterwards I will drive home to the rising sun, tired but satisfied of a job well done. But I’ll remain thirsty. Only a few million gallons of ice cold sea water can quench this kind of thirst.
So until we get to another taste of life on the Bering Sea, crashing around on a crab boat, we will live just a little bit more. We will ride with our windows down yowling out our favorite hard driving tunes into the manufactured wind. We will laugh in a lightning storm, smile at a blizzard, squint into the sun. We will protect our friends and harass those who step out of line. We will strive to push our limits and stay above the pettiness. We will live, just a little bit more and will stay thirsty.