The weekly series on the discovery channel follows eight to ten crab fishing boats and their crews throughout the dangerous crab fishing seasons. The King Crab they fish for, frequently called "red crab" or "red gold" only comes to the surface after 16 hour work days in what could be lethal conditions.
The fourth season just started last week and the Brewer is a big fan. My favorite boat is the Time Bandit but I also like Captain Sig Hansen’s team of the Northwestern. I don’t get to watch every episode but I catch one or two a month and love it every time.
The Perils of Fishing
Last year the producers of the show were able to document the rescue of a man that fell off his boat and was miraculously rescued by the crew on the Time Bandit. Others have not been so fortunate. A boat featured in season one, The Big Valley, sank at the start of the 2005 season; five of the six crew died. It was a terrible tragic loss.
Whatever the reason, the risk and the consequences of error or just being in the Bering Sea in January, are absolutely real. I would like to think I could “man up” and do that but I know in my heart I couldn’t. I’m too old and too fat and I get seasick way too easy. I love to fish and I love adventure but I have learned you don’t have to move to Dutch Harbor for dangerous adventures in fishing.
Sleeps with the fishes
Through the years, there have been all kinds of documented reports of how serious fishing can be. From The Perfect Storm to Moby Dick, there are some whoppers out there.
There is a famous story about a guy named Marshall Jenkins, surviving after being ingested by a huge whale in the South Seas during the fall of 1771. As the Boston Post Boy newspaper reported on October 14, 1771, a whaling vessel from the port of Edgartown, Massachusetts harpooned a whale that turned and attacked its pursuers.
First, the whale bit into one of the boats, then swallowed Jenkins and submerged. When the enormous whale finally rose again to the surface, the whale vomited Jenkins onto the floating wreckage of the broken harpoon boat, "much bruised but not seriously injured." Jonah, eat your heart out.
Fishing for Men
As dangerous as it is to fish for sea creatures, there are about 40 countries in this world where it is much more dangerous to be a Christian and fish for men.
The metaphor of fishing was used by Jesus himself and in a lot of places in the world; a Christian is still the deadliest catch. People don’t realize that while places like Saudi Arabia are funding millions to build Mosques all over Europe, they will execute anyone trying to build a church in Saudi Arabia.
Fishing, especially for Christians, is still perilous.
One of my favorite fish stories is about a guy named Wally Magdanga. He was arrested in Saudi Arabia for being the Pastor of one of the largest underground Christian Churches in the land of Mecca. The most wanted man to the Saudi Government’s secret police was a Pastor that dared to print tracts with Bible verses. He had the audacity to give people the good news of Jesus Christ in a country controlled by Muslims. Something that is never permitted in a country controlled by Muslims and this of all places the home of Mecca.
The day they tore down his front door, assaulted his wife and children and arrested all of them is a day Pastor Wally will never forget. Sitting in the back seat of a secret policeman’s car, about to be taken off and tortured, the officer in the front seat turned around smiling.
“I have finally caught the big fish” He gloated through yellow teeth
“No,” Pastor Wally replied, “You have only caught a little fisherman.”
There are at least 40 nations in the world right now where Christians are routinely imprisoned, tortured and even executed.
The worst place for Christian persecution in the world is North Korea, according to Open Doors’ 2008 World Watch List. The annual country persecution list ranked North Korea in the No 1 spot for the sixth year in a row.
In second place behind North Korea is the kingdom of Saudi Arabia where fundamentalist Wahabbi Islam dominates society and oppresses believers. Under the Kingdom’s strict interpretation of Islamic law, apostasy (conversion to another religion) is still punishable by death.
The 2008 top ten worst offenders list for atrocities against Christians looks like this. 1. North Korea 2. Saudi Arabia 3. Iran 4. Maldives 5. Bhutan 6. Yemen 7. Afghanistan 8. Laos 9. Uzbekistan 10. China
You can also visit the Brewer at www.freshfromthebrewer.com