Tonight’s episode of “Deadliest Catch” was titled “The Final Battle” as opilio season is winding down.
As the episode opens, Sig is relating that at the end of the season is when you need to be focused and keep your head on straight. As the season wanes, tempers are shorter and the grueling work has put its toll on captains and crews.
The fleet is in the final grind, as veterans and young captains and crews await the end of the opilio season. Some crabs have managed to elude their captors, as they continue to grow until another day.
On the Northwestern, Edgar is the captain for the last opie trip of the season. Sig went home leaving him in command. This will be Edgar’s baptism of fire in the opie grounds. Edgar did well during the blue crab season. Before Sig left, it was the first time the Northwestern went to harbor with less than a boatload of crabs. Now Edgar must prove himself once again. While the crew is catching their sleep, an alarm goes off denoting a low fuel level. The centrifuge that separates water from their fuel stopped working, and the motor was burned up. With 360 miles to go, there is no way they can make it without a centrifuge. Contaminated fuel with no centrifuge could leave the single-engine boat dead in the water. Now they have to return to Dutch Harbor. If they cannot locate a motor, the trip is over before it starts.
On the Wizard, thirty miles below the polar ice cap, they are hauling crabs and hoping to fill their tanks before the rest of the fleet. Suddenly, the throttle gets stuck at full steam. There is no way they can haul pots going that fast. Lenny, the engineer is called to the engine room. Keith suspects an air leak in an actuator. As Lenny and Keith’s brother Monty tending to the engine, Keith spots eleven boats in his radar screen and does not want any of them to beat him to the crab. They attempt to haul at high speed, and one miss will leave the pots behind. They are getting the first few pots up quickly, as the guys work feverishly below deck. As Freddie is working on the slippery deck, he attempted to put the line in the block and was nearly pulled overboard; thankfully, he is alright. Lenny found the faulty actuator valve, and the Wizard has to power down and drift in twenty-five-foot seas. As the Wizard is a dead duck in the water, and one big wave could turn them on their side, Lenny is doing his best to switch out the actuator on the rolling boat. The Wizard is still adrift, as the gears are still not working properly. Lenny comes to the wheelhouse to replace the shift handle’s innards, now all is well. Lenny is the wizard of the Wizard.
On the Time Bandit, the crabs are still not coming to the pots. This has been a tough season for the Hillstrands. First, a botched overhaul, now the crabs are keeping their distance, and the ice is drawing near. If they do not find crabs soon, the season will be a financial loss. The cost per day to run the boat is about $8,000. If they do not catch something soon, it will be a long cold winter for the crew. Andy calls the crew to the wheelhouse without their raingear. The meeting revealed that they must haul their gear and stack the pots. The season is over, and they will be paid. The Bering Sea has won this battle.
Just below the polar ice pack, is the Saga. Elliott is waiting to put a painful season to rest. The boat has cost him with mechanical breakdowns, and his love life is in shambles. Now he plans to roll the dice and set his gear on the edge of the ice. Will Elliott or the ice win this one? Stay tuned for part two of this story of “Deadliest Catch.”
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