Catching Up With Deadliest Catch, Again

by Heligirl on April 12, 2011

in Beyond Mommyhood

If you’ve been hanging around Heligirl for at least 11 months, you know I had the opportunity to attend CatchCon, the Deadliest Catch fan event, last year as a member of the press. I shared my experience here. Well, guess what? I got to go again this year as a last minute thing, and had a BLAST.

It followed the typical formula, captain’s forum, deckhand’s forum, crab skill games (sorting crab, baiting pots, “hooking” at line), autograph sessions, boat tours, and various other entertaining features, it was none the less entertaining to see who changed boats, hear gossip about what happened while filming, and get the first hand glimpse of the new season which starts this week.

But, by far the coolest thing EVER was when Captain Sig invited me to ride on the Northwestern back through the Ballard Locks to its shipyard. You see, while I do try (and I think I do a fairly good job) to be an impartial reporter when I’m covering things like this, I’m still going to carry my personal prejudices. And this here mama’s favorite crab boat captain is Sig. While I’ve had the pleasure to talk to all the captains, and find them each fascinating, down to earth, and quirky in their own ways, I’ve got this soft spot for Sig.

So imagine this chickadee’s pleasure when invited by the blue eyed captain to take to the Puget Sound and not only take my first trip through the Locks, but do it on the Northwestern. I held it together until I left his presence, then I got pretty close to needing to be resuscitated.

So, with no further ado, here is a photographic expose on my super cool day last Saturday, and the 60 minute boat trip that turned into 2 hours.


In the beginning, the press was invited to chat with each of the captains. I sat with Andy and Johnathan first. I think Johnathan is telling me how he needed to conduct intervention on Andy's harsh rule during Opies 2011.

OK, be honest. What hot blooded woman doesn't get a little flutter looking at those blue eyes and dimples?

This is what the room looked like. I'm interviewing Sig.

Keith from the Wizard pulled his ACL skiing. So he was on ice while we spoke.

Josh Harris is a kitten on crack - cute, cuddly and bouncing off the walls. It was fun to get to know him a bit.

Wild Bill from the Kodiak. He sure is a nice guy.

And then I turned into the Time Bandit's social media guru. I'd taught Andy and Johnathan how to tweet when I spoke with them. While I was talking to Bill, Andy came up and asked for help. As a side note, after I taught Johnathan, he walked away leaving his phone with me. Took me a while to find him. Lesson to you Johnathan, leave your phone with a reporter, you've also just given her your phone number. Johnathan Hillstrand's phone number is now available to the highest bidder...

Remember that social guru thing. When I got on the floor of the event, I ran into Mike Fourtner who asked me for help with his tweet.

The seasoned Captains face their fans.

Johnathan and Sig are answering a question, but this looks like they're singing a duet, doesn't it?

The captains!

Cute shot of Wild Bill. Oh look, and Sig too.

Had to include this for the Johnathan fans. Remember, highest bidder ladies...

Look closely. What is my Sig doing with his hand on Johnathan's knee? That's just NOT right!

That smile, those dimples...

Then off to the boats with me. I felt like a million bucks when Edgar Hansen (Sig's brother) remembered me and reached out to give me a hug. He really is a great guy once you make it past the tough exterior. Sig's other brother, Norman, is standing there too. Yeah, yeah, Jen likes the Hansens. We know this. Moving on...

Talking to Edgar about his decision that will change things on the show this season. You'll have to watch to see...

I put my butt where Sig puts his butt. 'Nuf said.

The deckhand's panel. Or as Discovery called it, The Crew Strikes Back. Only Jake Anderson struck, but it was x-rated, included an elephant sized schlong and Sig Hansen. This is a family blog. No photos of THAT here...

The captains were in the front row for the deckhands forum.

Back onboard the Northwestern. Sig's prepping her for the trip home.

Looking out the pilot house door behind Sig's chair. Bye bye Seattle.

Edgar comes up from the deck to hang with us in the wheelhouse.

Sig looking out the back door. Seattle in the background.

Honestly, I did take as many photos of other people than I did of Sig. I swear...

Adorable Jake Anderson shows a boy onboard how to drive the boat. Sig is trying to coordinate where everyone is going to party afterward.

Waiting for that big boat behind us to pass, then we can go through the locks.

Railroad draw bridge. I put this in for someone specific. You know who you are...

This lady bid on and won a charity auction to ride on the Northwestern. She's showing her tattoo of a crab and the Northwestern logo to Sig and another passenger. Sig was very diplomatic, to say the least.

Finally, in the Locks. Oh look, there's Sig.

Edgar showing his "I've had about enough of this day" face.

Oh look, a captain in the background. Maybe I need intervention...

Jake Anderson watches the bow.

Perhaps there is a 12-step program for me. There was a lot of waiting around, what was I supposed to do? Take pictures of myself?

Fine, here you go. A photo of me. We're still in the Locks because we then had to wait for the Wizard to join us. No matter, more time on the Northwestern for me!

And from my friend Amanda who came to the Locks to see the excitement:

This is what we looked like from land.

Edgar's slap happy face.

I was...I'm uh...I've got no excuse for myself.

I had no idea crab tattoo lady was behind me. Kind of adds to the "we're on the "special" boat" image though. Oh look, Sig's standing there. Imagine that.

I'm officially committing myself to a clinic now...

And that, folks, was my day with the guys from Deadliest Catch. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.


Twitter: audcole
April 12, 2011 at 6:32 am

Super jealous!! I got a ticket to CatchCon this year but then couldn’t make it and turned it back in. I mean to be so close to getting to cross “Hug Jake Anderson” off my bucket list and then not get to go… *Big frowny face* (Yes, that’s really on my bucket list.) Anyway, it looks like you had a blast!!

I’m not sure if I’ve left you a comment before or not, but I love your blog. I don’t have children yet but spend a lot of time with my niece. Your insights are awesome. And sometimes work on husbands too. 🙂
Audreya recently posted: Kitchen Mojo

Twitter: Heligirl
April 12, 2011 at 8:19 am

Thanks so much Audreya. Jake is such a sweet guy. His hug is well worth the wait. I hope you make it next year to chat with him and all guys. They’re a good bunch.

LOL about the parenting advice working on husbands. I hear you. Some days it sure feels like we have one more kid than we bore. 🙂

Twitter: TheJenLars
April 13, 2011 at 7:02 am

Don’t feel bad about all the Sig pictures…if I’d gone, people would think the only one I met was Norman. 🙂 So, also, more pictures of Norman next time, please. lol

Twitter: Heligirl
April 13, 2011 at 7:29 am

LOL! Norman is such a sweetie. Thing was, he’d see the cameras and disappear. He was with us with his girlfriend and she had me take a photo of them together in the captain’s chair. I couldn’t get him to smile, and when I finally got him to laugh, he complained the photo didn’t look like him because he was smiling. Sigh. Did you see the show last night? They actually got Norman saying something!

Twitter: TheJenLars
April 13, 2011 at 8:10 am

He spoke twice…and once was actual sentences, plural. Crazy! If he talks all the time, there’ll be no mystery to him and he’ll be left alone. 😉

Janet Rojas April 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Love your blog and photos…thanks for including Johnathan and making MY day! By the way, I’ll let you know if I ever hit the lottery and I’ll be bidding on that phone number!!!

gayle April 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm

just now catching this post even though i meant to look for it immediately after that saturday. my favorite sig picture – of the ones you posted and heaven only knows how many more there are 🙂 – is the one where you first mention the 12 step program. he looks so relaxed. i wish i’d gotten your reply tweet that day but i hope you did give them both a big kiss for me! i LOVE that you got to ride on the boat and sit in the captain’s chair. that’s awesome! there are a few perks to being a member of the press huh? 🙂 by the way, i’m getting your tweets sent to my mobile so that i don’t miss any of them now. left you a long comment on fb re: the mile in my shoes post. unbelievable.

Geoff Warren September 22, 2011 at 11:46 am

How do I get a good contact or e-mail for Sig Hansen…. I am trying to have him come speak to a group of Coast Guard Reserve members in October.

beth Fuhs November 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Hi there I love Sig Hansen Brother

Julie Wriston July 29, 2014 at 11:22 pm

I’ve been a fan of the Catch since the beginning. Having lived in AZ my whole life I have always had a passion for the sea. Props to Mandy for having the courage and drive to follow her heart and dreams. I would love the opportunity to go fishing with the Northwestern crew! You guys are awesome! Wish you all safe trips! God bless!!!

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