Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Is That a Crab in Your Pocket or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

What happens when seven people living in a house...oh, wait, wrong reality show.  What happens when seven people, most of them tired and hungry, start a quest along the Seattle waterfront to find a restaurant open for dinner at 3 PM?   Three restaurants, two more people, no buses, and about two hours later, they end up right back where they started.  Ahh, the first crazy unofficial, non-Discovery sponsored night of CatchCon 2011...what memories!
For all of you who are scratching your heads and wondering what the heck CatchCon 2011 is...let me take you back several years ago to my bedroom late at night (this is totally PG so get your minds out of the gutter!)  I was a recent grad school grad wide awake worrying about...well, probably something stupid or inconsequential.  I was surfing the channels in the wee hours of the morning when, hark!  What did I discover?  Deadliest Catch (DC), a show about Alaskan crab was like the deadliest job or something.  It was interesting and, okay here's a confession (and I could really lose some of my DC cred right now but you'll still like me, right??) I thought Blake was hot.  There I said it.  To make a long story short and to employ one of my favorite puns, I got hooked.  By the end of the show, I already had a favorite boat and a favorite crew (Blake was pretty but the Northwestern is prettier!)  Eventually, I became a member of my first online fan forum and joined a loyal band of Northwestern supporters.  DC became a Tuesday night staple for me (don’t bother calling me, I won’t answer), I started learning about the world of the Alaskan crab fishery,  my mom and I began to go to fan events, and uninformed people began to look at me like I was one crab short of a full pot.
So, that’s some background on the show, but what is this CatchCon business?  In 2009, I heard that there was going to be a convention for the fans of the show in Seattle, Washington.  I so totally had to be there, but, um, this was before Adventurous Denise and the idea of flying to a city all the way on the other side of the country where I didn't know anybody...well, that was just impossible.  But, as always is the case with me, I had a great crew of friends, both in real life and in cyber world who encouraged me to go for it.  So I did.  And that's how I found myself in Seattle two years ago, meeting fellow fans, making new friends, and oh yeah, getting up close and personal with some of the crews and boats featured on the show.
Last year for CatchCon 2010, I took my mom along because, well, she's better at the whole groupie thing than I am!  Once again, we had a blast so, obviously, when we heard about CatchCon 2011, we knew we were going...with or without tickets (by the way, the whole ticket procurement process is an event in and of itself!  I won't put you through reading about that...but, once again, I gotta thank my pals for coming through for me for two years straight!). Each year CatchCon gets a little bigger but for the most part, there's a core group of Northwestern fans that I hang out with and while we talk to Wizettes and Banditas, we know that our boat is the best.  You can call us fans or groupies but don’t use the “s” word or we’ll throw you overboard without a survival suit!    

My CatchCon "Bling"

The Northwestern going
through the locks.
Here's a typical CatchCon agenda:  Friday morning - wait for the boats to arrive (it's only the Northwestern and the Wizard...sorry CM and TB fans!).  Friday afternoon and night, you chill with fellow fans and catch up with your friends.  Saturday morning, you get in line super early so you can get into the event as soon as possible (and so you can wait under cover!). Once you're in, you get your trusty lanyard (I've got three now!!) and then you’re off - you can go on the boats, get autographs from captains and deckhands, play (and lose) games, peruse the Discovery store, eat lunch, listen to the captains and deckhands on discussion panels, and have your picture taken more than you can count.  It’s a full day of fun!  A post-CatchCon tradition for many of the Northwestern fans is to see the boat off and then high-tail it over to Ballard to watch her go through the locks (if you’ve never seen this…find the locks nearest to you and check it out, it’s awesome!)  After that, we usually have dinner at the Lockspot (featured on After the Catch).
It’s a busy weekend and while meeting the crews and getting to go on the boats is awesome, for me, it’s all about getting to see the friends I’ve made over the past few years.  We live all over the country and come from very different backgrounds but a show about Alaskan crab fishermen brought us together and that’s pretty cool.  To my Deadliest Catch friends – this year was a blast and I can’t wait to see you again at CatchCon 2012!!   
Our annual "Waiting in Line" photo...
but where are Carole and Rich?!
(The next few posts will be about my vacation and CatchCon!  I didn’t blog much while I was away because I was too busy having fun!) 


  1. Great blog post Denise! CatchCon was such a good time. Being a fan is such fun - and a growth experience. Everytime my stomach starts to churn before a presentation, I think of these "regular joe's" who get up before thousands just as relaxed and themselves as you please, not to mention being on the show with millions of fans. Also, when I get nervous preparing for a project, I think of them carrying on each season, never knowing whether it's going to be a boom or a bust. Gives me the courage to move forward. See you next year!

  2. Thanks Muriel! It was such a great time! And what a great time I have to get up and talk to people, I'm just gonna channel Captain Sig! If he can do it, so can I!!