In this 13th season of the Deadliest Catch, the captains have had some of their biggest challenges in crab fishing. Yet, none of the usual tests on the fishing boat has been as uncertain as what has been going on in their personal lives.
This season, it seems like the worry over Sig Hansen’s health has overshadowed crab fishing. But Sig has been on top of the crab from the start.
A year ago in February, the popular captain nearly died of a heart attack, and many surmised that he was going to have to quit fishing. But this season, Sig Hansen has persevered. Even though the cameras showed the stubborn and determined crabber had hallucinations on one episode, Sig still kept himself in charge of the F/V Northwestern — a decision that could be considered questionable, as the captain has to think of the safety of their crew first.
But in this episode, Sig finds himself at his doctor’s office, and it is not too pretty. On the drive over, Sig is concerned as the “doctor can give you the ‘denied’ stamp,” and Hansen could be forced to call up his daughter Mandy to sit at the helm of the family boat.
Inside the office, the doctor point blank asks Sig if he stopped smoking cigarettes. Sig sheepishly admits that he still hasn’t kicked the habit that he has been trying to stop for years.
“I’m down to about a pack.”
Does this mean that the doctor is taking away his career? No. The cardiologist believes that crab fishing is important to the captain because this is “where you feel whole, in your element.” He signed Sig off as OK to continue to fish.
“If you’re doing your work and feeling good, I’m in support of that.”
This season, F/V Saga captain and former F/V Northwestern deckhand Jake Anderson has been able to fulfill his crab quota, but his worry is over medical concerns.
Recently, Jake’s wife Jenna had called him to surprise him with the news that they were going to have another baby. Jake was over the moon! But when she returned back from her sonogram, the doctor was concerned that the baby had a thick neck, and that this could be a sign that the baby has Down syndrome. The doctor ordered up a blood test to see what exactly was going on.
Jake, who has struggled with adversity throughout much of his life, admitted, “God, that’s scary,” but he calmly told his wife that they were going to deal with this together, head on. They were in this together.
“We can face whatever comes our way.”
Thankfully, this was only a scare, as the doctor contacted the couple and assured them that nothing was wrong and that the baby was healthy. This was quite a relief for the couple.
So, what about Johnathan? He is not dealing with a medical issue, yet his life is about to completely change. Set to retire after the fall fishing season, F/V Time Bandit Captain Johnathan Hillstrand has declared, “I want to go out with pride and dignity. God bless America,” as a member of the crew raised the flag of the United States.
The patriotic crabber has been fishing for 37 years, and in the Deadliest Catch Season 13, he is riding his last wave for the Discovery Channel show, as well as for his career.
Quoting Jon Bon Jovi, he declared that he wants to end his career “in a blaze of glory.”
But retirement is still in the distance, as John is tested once again. The episode showed footage of Hillstrand skillfully maneuvering his boat through troubled waters, in order to get the F/V Time Bandit’s full tanks back to Dutch, without any dead loss.
Over the years, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand’s heart has embodied the essence of why fans love the Deadliest Catch: his Swedish family fishing traditions, how he cared for injured birds, and his speed and expertise, when, a few seasons back, he, along with the crew, helped rescue a fisherman who went overboard, saving his life. The emotional scene between the rescuer and the rescued was unparalleled. This showed how fragile their lives are, working the most dangerous job in the world.
Do you think it is necessary that Johnathan goes out in a blaze of glory? Do you think Sig should do whatever he can to quit smoking and save his life, or do you think his comment that everything has been “unicorns and rainbows” is sufficient for him to keep doing what he is doing? Please share your thoughts and opinions below!
[Featured Image by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images]