So let's skip on to April. April is my birthday month, and I spent my actual birthday the same way I'd spent it the year before...on an airplane, heading to Seattle. Discovery was hosting CatchCon, the Deadliest Catch convention, again this year and I was scheduled to do a little work and have a little fun. Unlike most of my flights, I did not sleep. Instead, I ended up talking with, through his protege/interpreter, a visiting professor of art from China. He was teaching in Houston and was from a Chinese province that I can't pronounce or truly recall. We exchanged drawings and stories, and took a picture together...on his camera.
Here is the quick sketch he made for me.Both of these guys were great and I enjoyed meeting two interesting people with lives so very different from mine. My flights to Seattle, they always seem to deviate from the norm. I've been proposed to (jokingly surely, but still with enthusiasm!), woken up to a stranger taking my picture with his camera phone, had song and dance (free!) cocktail hour with a flight crew, and now a drawing exchange with a Chinese art professor. I really should fly to Seattle more often.
Upon arriving in the Emerald City, I met up with two of my most rocking friends, Cindi and Carrie. Cindi and I work on the Wizard site together and Carrie is a Wizard fan who became a close friend thanks to her predisposition towards awesomeness. Our mutual friend Travis Arket and his friend Jay were gracious enough to pick us and all of our luggage up from the airport, and whisk us off to our hotel.
After dumping our bags in the room, we headed to the Westin, where we heard the party was in full swing. All the familiar faces were there, from Captains and crews to friends from far and wide.
Josh Harris. ( I really don't know him all that well, but he's always nice to everyone.)
...I don't think I took many pictures that night. It was mainly just a great night to catch up with friends, hang out, and have fun. The next morning came all too early though. I believe we had to get the boat moving by six or seven AM, which of course means you have to be aboard all the earlier.
The Northwestern crew was having an early morning as well.
Here we are underway before the guys had to get to work, and before I decided I'd be most helpful by taking a nap.
Our friends Sheila and Jim, here with Capt. Keith, came along for the ride. Sheila's been a fan of the Wizard since it first came on the show and setting sail on her was, she said, a real treat.
photo courtesy of Faye StevensonOnce again, the Wizard and Northwestern were docked along side the convention center and open for deck tours. I was on camera duty this year. If you attended the convention and stepped foot on the Wizard, you met me. I (or Carrie!) probably took a picture of you with the Wizard guys. If so, I hope it turned out OK!
Photo courtesy of Sheila Stowers.After the memorial, we headed over to the Crab Pot restaurant for a bite. The folks on the right, we met in line waiting for the memorial service to open. Meet Aaron and Stacy Peterson. Aaron fishes crab on the F/V Silver Dolphin. It's not a 'show boat,' but meeting Aaron and Stacy was one of the highlights our my, Cindi, and Carrie's trip. They are fantastic, genuine people and we really enjoyed getting to know them. Plus, their boat jackets were slick, some of the coolest I've seen! (That's actually how we started talking to them. "Hey, great jackets! Yeah, yours are nice too...") Aaron says the whole DC phenomenon completely blows him away. I can understand that. It's got to be odd seeing your (grueling!) job become prime time entertainment for millions of people.
Butt seriously folks....Speaking of celebrity fishermen, here I am with my bud, Travis Lofland, "deckhand extraordinaire" as he refers to himself. (He's showing off his best side.) He's actually on the season six dvd cover, behind Gary Soper, another Wizard guy and all around excellent dude.
Gary and TravisAnyway, here are some shots from around the con...
Winnie! ...oh, and Trav. I was so glad to finally get to meet her. She's friends with most of the guys and does a few publicity ventures with them. She's also a wine judge with a pretty sweet blog.
Unexpected photo!Here is an unintentional picture of Andy Hillstrand. I was actually trying to take a pic of Trav setting up for the deckhand game he was about to play with some fans, but as I went to take the pic, Andy, who I thought was a random fan standing by Trav turned around and walked right into my picture. So, there you go, Time Bandit co-captain Andy Hillstrand is a picture bandit. I felt like a paparazzi!
R.I.P Phil.I believe this lovely tribute was painted by one of Phil's buddies. They made smaller reproductions of this work and gave them out to the fans. The original was for sale, though I can't recall the price.
Well, like all good things, the convention...after many hours, thousands of people, and a ton of "if you'll stand up there by the crew, I'll take your picture"s later, did end. I'd say it was another successful CatchCon.
With the convention over, Saturday night was spent at various parties at various locations with various people. Sunday however, a few of us decided that it would be fun to see the Mariners play. I'd never seen a pro baseball game before, so I was excited!
Photo courtesy of Jackie.We still all had a great time.
Sunday night, things wound down and I ended up just hanging out with Arket at his director's house, watching some footage from a commercial in which he'd recently starred. Other than that,we just cruised around and talked. He was leaving within the next few days for a multiple month hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. I just wanted to see him one last time; since I was sure he was soon to be eaten by coyotes. Well, that pretty much sums up my trip. It was great fun, saw lots of old friends, made a few new ones, and possibly cursed a baseball team to lose the world series. All in all, a pretty good trip.
Oh, and a current event update: The Wizard pulled into Dutch last night 11/1/10 for this season's first offload of King crab! Wish them well as they head back out soon!