Living in the Pacific Northwest and having a family full of Alaskan Fishermen, I know how hard the life is on them. My uncles & cousins are in the business and they have had their share of close calls - both economically and physically. I am thankful that I have never had attend the funeral of one of them. But, there have been many deaths in the closeknit fishing community that is Ballard, Washington --- a community just north of Seattle.
When I first married David and money was tight, there was talk of David going fishing on one of my Uncle's boats. He even gave it a try one summer. He loved it. I on the other hand, hated it. Sure the money was great but the thought of raising my family without him here 7 months out of the year, was something I couldn't even imagine. We never went down that road again. But, my aunts did. They are strong amazing women who raised wonderful kids and learned to be both mom & dad for most of the year. My uncles are both retired from the industry now --- well, the actual captain part. One has gone on to captain a tug boat and the other still owns boats and works to make the industry a safer and more secure place for current fishermen. He also owns the Sea Star. The Sea Star was one of the first crab boats featured on THE DEADLIEST CATCH. It is now retired and serves as a Crab Fishing Museum as well as the CHASE boat during the filming season of the PBS hit show. All those beautiful shots are filmed from her. Over the summer, the boys and I went to the boat and helped my uncle out during a interview that was being filmed on the boat.
You can check out the news video here - http://www.seastartours.com/index.php
Crab boats are not a new thing to my family. The crabbing season has always been a topic of conversation at ever family function that I can remember since I was a baby. My dad even ran a cannery. It is everyday stuff for the large extended family that lives here in Seattle, WA. But news of a death in the fishing community never ceases to send shivers down my spine and make tears well up in my eyes. I've only met Phil Harris a few times in my life. But he is just a fisherman --- a good guy with a big heart who has led a tough life. THE DEADLIEST CATCH has made them celebrities and brought the life they lead to people all over. It still makes me laugh because they are dads, husbands, friends, and hard workers --- who would have thought that they'd also be stars. Gotta love the way life turns things around.
My heart goes out today to the family of Phil Harris -- to all his friends and buddies in the fishing community -- to all of us in the Pacific Northwest that know and love a fishermen. Life is not always easy --- but it's always exciting.
Another name to add to the memorial --- may you rest in peace.
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