Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Deadliest Catch: CatchCon 2010

At last blogging, I'd taken a trip to Orlando to visit my sister's family. As I said, good times were had; no pictures were taken. February and March, outside of family birthdays, were, I assume uneventful. I don't have any pictures, which leads me to believe that not much happened. Apparently, my memory is photographic...literally.

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.

You might...


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 Stevenson
Once 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!

 Later that night, a public tribute to the late Capt. Phil Harris was held. Josh, Jake, Phil's best friend, and several of the higher ups of Discovery/Deadliest Catch/OP spoke. It was  well done, and gave a nice insight into Phil's life by those who were closest to him in life.

At the end of the memorial, baskets filled with carnations were placed dockside so that people could grab a flower and toss it into the water. Everyone seemed to appreciate the participatory gesture.

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.

After dinner, we all headed back to the Westin...which is always the 'starter party.' Capt. Keith and Carrie seal a deal with a pinky swear while Monte looks on knowing good and well that trouble's brewing.

 I ran into the delightfully tall Mike Fourtner again. ("Fun-size" Jackie is behind the camera which really enhances the 'hey look, giants!' feel of this pic.)

Here's Larry Hendricks on the left...who Captained the now retired F/V Sea Star. I designed the logo for that boat. I don't think he has a clue who I am, but that's alright, because the check cleared. I'm not sure if he and Aaron knew each other previously, but probably. All of those guys know each other. (Still loving that jacket.)

...And here's Stacy with Keith, Monte, and Lenny. Bless her heart, she was shy about asking for a picture and didn't want to embarrass herself or Aaron, but I know these guys, so I just grabbed her up, introduced her, and snapped a shot!

Cindi and Jax talking to someone, and Cindi showing off her Wizard crew jacket. (I've got one as well, and man, it is the warmest thing I own!)

Good times were had, as always. We ended up in Ballard by the end of the night at a great little place called the Smoke Shop. After closing it down, we called it a night and left to get ready for the convention. The next day, thousands of fans from as far away as Scotland would converge on pier 66 for a chance to meet their favorite 'celebrity fishermen.'

 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 Travis
Anyway, 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.

 Lynn, Carrie, and Paul (the Wizard's Newest Deckhand) hanging out on the deck of the Wizard. Paul was Keith's mountain guide when he climbed Mt. Rainier...and a few months later, his newest employee.

Docked right across from us was the Northwestern. Sig had disappeared into the event hall for one of the Captain's events but you can see Edgar, part of Nick, Jake, Matt, and Norman. (Oh, and that's Lenny of the Wiz on the lower left!)

At some point I and my friends Jackie and Carrie made our way over to the Northwestern. We found the elusive Norman Hansen, (rarely seen or photographed...he's like the fisherman version of bigfoot!) and Nick Mavar and snagged a photo. I apparently, found something to my left very interesting.

 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!

Back to Lynn, Wizard crewman and great guy, I took a pic of him in front of the publicity picture for the Wizard. (I love how they're all so serious in the photo, because in real life...well, just look at him!)  Lynn, who at that point hadn't seen much of the show, wanted a copy of the DVD for season 6. I told him to just ask for it at the merch table. So, Lynn ambles up to the guy selling stuff. "Hey man, would it be OK if I took one of the DVD sets?" The guy is just kind of looking at him like, "uh?"  So Lynn continues, "I haven't really seen the show, but I'm on it. I work on the Wizard." Enlightenment dawns and the guy kind of laughs and tells Lynn to grab what he wants. Hey, if you don't get paid for the show, at least you can get a free DVD box set out of the deal.

 Here's another shot of Andy during the Captain's panel...and of course, the bossman, Capt. Keith. I didn't really get to hear much of this year's panel since I was working down on deck, but I did sneak in to take a few quick pics.

Here's John and Sig. I believe John was talking about Phil here and imitated his voice. He sounded just like him. It was truly eerie.

Jake and Josh Harris signing autographs for the fans.

I know this convention wasn't the easiest thing in the world for them to do. They lost their father in February, and his absence was palpable at the event. Still, they appreciated the heartfelt condolences from the scores of people who offered them.

 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.

Ha! Here's a cool shot I found today because I was trying to recall the pier number at which were docked. After browsing through the article, I landed on this pic, taken through one of the windows in the Wizard's wheelhouse. You can see me and Carrie in the bottom right corner!

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!

 We started off by visiting the Pyramid Alehouse, grabbing a bite to eat and drink before heading down to Safeco.

Welcome to Safeco!  The Mariners were taking on the Texas Rangers...who just last night lost the World Series. What's so odd (at least to me) about that is that I saw the Colts play last year and they ended up at the Superbowl...and subsequently lost. Apparently, if I go to a pro event one of the teams will make it to the championship game, but they will not win!

States represented: Connecticut, Washington, Minnesota, Alabama, Texas, and Florida...Hawaii is taking the pic!
It was cold enough that Trav actually bought this jacket at the game. It was a little drizzly too, which didn't help matters! I am not used to cold weather in May! I think I had on a tank, a t-shirt, and a giant sweatshirt. I would have been wearing my awesomely warm Wizard jacket, but like a winner, I'd left it on the boat.

 Lynn loves this guy! He told me to make sure and get a few pictures. Being a mascot must be a fairly fun job. I mean, look at this guy's day: 1.dress up like a cartoon moose. 2.Ride around on a fourwheeler. 3.High-five strangers who automatically love you. All in all, not a bad day at the office.

That's Ichiro, who is apparently, a big deal. (I don't follow baseball, ok?) It was great fun to attend a Major League game, yet after 11 innings, the Mariners weren't able to seal the deal, and the Rangers walked away with the win. 

 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!

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