It’s the fifteenth week of the new season and as the episode opens, Josh puts the call in to his brother at the rehab facility in Seattle telling him; “we lost Dad, dude.” The angry seas make the opie hunt a treacherous one as the news spreads that Captain Phil lost his valiant battle. As you must know by now, Phil had a massive stroke and after a twelve hour operation that removed part of his skull, he was in intensive care in the Anchorage hospital. Just when things started going well for him and after apologizing to Josh for not being a better father, Josh got the call to return to the hospital because his father had another episode. They worked on him for about an hour, but it was too late.
On the Time Bandit, Captain Andy has also shut down his fishing because of the wind and high seas for a short while. Then once the seas subside a bit; back to fishing and doubling the bait that Jeremy has to hang in the pots. Andy gets the phone call that Phil has passed and also spreads the news to his crew who also reacts in the same manner as the rest of the fleet.
On the Northwestern, Captain Sig is busy fighting horrendous waves and asks the crew to come into the wheelhouse an tells them that they have to stop pulling pots because he does not want to lose anyone as the deck is being hit with waves that keep going over the bow. He would rather lose a few thousand pounds of crab than any of his crew who is his family. As the Northwestern pulls into St. Paul, Sig notices the Cornelia Marie and heads over the meet the relief skipper and as he sits in the galley, he finds out that Phil passed away. He is dumbstruck and tries to comprehend what he just heard. Sig returns to his boat and shares the news with the crew and they are all in tears at the thought of the news, as I am as well, while reporting this to you.
On the Wizard, Captain Keith is fishing next to the ice and is hauling in tons of crab. The ice pack is closing in on them quickly and Keith comes out on the deck to give them the lowdown on just how close the ice is and that they need to work faster and stop congratulating themselves on each catch. He calls Len to the wheelhouse and gives him a quick lesson about stacking the pots on deck. Keith does not want Len to be a bait boy, he wants him to be a fisherman.
On the Cornelia Maria, the relief skipper Derrick Rey gets the call from Josh while he is docked in St. Paul. The crew is overcome with grief, strong men who have been through the worst of times on the high seas break down like little boys at the thought of losing their boss and beloved friend.
On the Kodiak, Captain Bill went closer to the ice pack in search of better crab. The crew is working better together since deckhand Clint was let go and Bill brought in two new greenhorns who get their baptism of ice; not fire with temperatures of forty degrees below zero and almost zero visibility. The cold is no numbing that it is almost impossible to haul gear but Bill marches on until the hydraulic lines start to freeze. The engineer turns off the hydros while the crew is pulling a pot and it swings wildly and nearly takes out the crew. They put the hydros back on just long enough to steady the pot.
As the fleet comes in to port, sadness is all around as they see the Cornelia Marie docked. Jake Anderson, who recently lost his father, is grief stricken. A brief showing of Phil’s funeral is shown.
Up next, my report of Phil’s life.