Thursday, November 12, 2009

Deadliest Catch

Remember way back in the Alaska journals when I mentioned that we found The Time Bandit's shop in Homer? Well, I didn't post completely about those visits. Let me explain...

But first, let me explain about The Deadliest Catch for those of you who don't know about it. The Deadliest Catch is a reality show on the Discovery Channel that chronicles the experiences of several captains and crews engaged in one of the world's deadliest occupations, crab fishing in the Bering Sea. We've been hooked on the show for years. We each have our favorite captains and crews. It's quite a show, full of hard, dangerous and weary work, thrilling and scary moments.

When we were in Homer, Alaska this past summer, we went down to The Spit. The Spit is a 4.5 mile long natural jetty which is home to the town's marina, many tourist shops, restaurants, etc. We've been there several times before but this time when walking along the boardwalk, we saw a building that said Time Bandit on it. The Time Bandit is one of the fishing vessels starring in The Deadliest Catch.

At the shop, there was a crowd of people spilling out the door. These boardwalk shops are really tiny, so we just thought there happened to be a big group of people shopping. So we hovered around the side of the shop waiting for some folks to leave so we could fit inside and have a look. Looking through the side window, I noticed a guy in a leather jacket bent over the counter. Hm. His jacket had a huge version of The Time Bandit's logo (which unfortunately is a skull and crossbones). Hm. I wonder........ Hey, wait...... I think that might be the captain of the Time Bandit.......and he's signing autographs!

I didn't want to post the WHOLE story before because we bought my nephew's birthday present there. He loves the show, too, so we thought it would be fun to get him an autographed photo of the Time Bandit. Just in case he wandered onto this blog, I didn't want to give away the secret. But now that we've given it to him, I'll complete the story here.

So we got in line, peered into the building better, and sure enough. It was Captain Johnathan. He and his brother, Captain Andy, own the Time Bandit together and they are both on the show, depending on who's out on what catches.

We came away with the photo for my nephew, a book for me, and t-shirt for my husband...all signed. (I'm glad I didn't get the book for my nephew. While I like reading about people's unusual lives, I don't think he likes to read that much. AND as I read the first few pages over the summer, it only took two pages for the *f* word to appear! Should be a colorful book. I should have known.)

I guess that "Shut up and fish" is his famous phrase. Captain Andy's is "No crybabies!"

So we got our autographed items.

And then...

What fun! I'm such a groupie.

While holding onto the photo all summer for my nephew, I began to second guess the purchase. What if he's not that into The Deadliest Catch anymore? What if this isn't that big a deal? What if it's suddenly and somehow not "cool" to be a fan of the show anymore? What if this gift I'm so excited about giving to him turns out to be totally dorky and just another example of a behind-the-times aunt giving stupid gifts?

When I went back to Alaska in the fall we went down to Homer again. We went into the shop again and found out that this time the Time Bandit itself was actually there. All 120 feet of her. The woman in the shop told us how to get to the Deep Water Marina and even went so far as to say, "I think they're on board. If you holler out, they might let you on board."

Well, we were all excited. We got over there and discovered there was another ship "parked" next to the dock and The Time Bandit was on the outside of it. I guess there are some permanently moored ships there and when a new one comes in from sea, it has to double park. On top of that, there was a huge semi-sized storage container right in the middle of the deck of the ship closest to us. We couldn't see the main part of the Time Bandit at all. So, there was no way we were going to stand on the dock and try to "holler" at the top of our lungs to catch the attention of people who may not even be on board the ship we could barely see docked two out. Dang!

But we did get photos of the front and back.

Regardless of my second guesses on the gift idea, I forged on ahead. I made prints of us with Captain Johnathon, the shop front, and the ship itself. I bought a plastic "sign frame" that stands on the table. I put the autographed photo at the front and then affixed the personal photos on the back.

When he opened it, he LOVED it! (Whew!) When I told him to turn it around, he said, "No way! You met him?" It turns out, not only does he still love the show, but it's his favorite ship and his favorite captains. How great is that! Here I was all insecure and it was a perfect bulls eye. It was SO fun giving it to him and seeing how much he liked it.

So, as Paul Harvey used to say, now you know the REST of the story.

The autograph hound strikes again.

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