Hey, guys, it's Mike Rowe, and this is the way I heard it, the only podcast for The Curious Mind with a short attention span that's been recently expanded to include a conversational component that will hopefully increase listener engagement and allow for a modest level of enhanced monetization.
Too much to worry. Yeah, I've been struggling to find a new and snappy way to introduce the podcast, since it is no longer for the short attention span among us.
The new and improved version is a bit lengthier, as you have no doubt noticed. I'll work on it, see what I can come up with next week. For now, we're posting the second chapter of my book, which deals with three separate catastrophes, each of which have touched the lives of millions of people, and each of which I happened to witness sort of Chuck and I then discussed the role of booze in each of these disasters, along with the advantages of drinking shots with famous people.
And the reason that I am not currently hosting one of the longest running TV shows in America. We then reveal my proudest moment in the history of dirty jobs and the network's bizarre decision to pixilate my vomit in prime time.
It is all modesty aside, another riveting conversation with my old buddy Chuck that I like to call the way I talked about the way I heard it.
And it's all part of episode number 179, A Shot in the Dark. And it all starts right now. And by right now, I mean approximately one second after I thank my friends at NetSuite for sponsoring this episode, NetSuite by Oracle is the world's number one cloud business system. And if you run a business, the time has come to ditch the quick books and abandon your old spreadsheets and start the new year with NetSuite. Why? Because NetSuite gives you instantaneous visibility and control over your entire business, no matter where you are.
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Then without any further ado, is episode number 179 a shot in the dark? Chapter two, a hero under the influence. Like everyone else at Ground Zero, Charlie was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He'd spent all day in the kitchen overseeing a crew of 13 junior bakers, churning out breads and cakes and pies and pastries for a crowd that never seemed to dwindle. Charlie had always hoped to make a name for himself in a famous kitchen.
He'd headed off to a far away famous city armed with dreams of success. Now, those dreams were coming true as the chief baker in one of the world's premier restaurants, Charlie was practicing the trade he loved and devoted to pleasing his customers. To be clear, Charlie was drunk on the day in question, his blood alcohol content a few hours after impact would have confirmed an almost inconceivable rate of consumption.
But that's the point. Charlie's drinking did not precede the impact. It followed it. And really, who can blame him? When the walls and floor shuttered around him, Charlie knew something had slammed into the towering structure, something big. And when he saw the extent of the damage, he didn't panic. He merely retired to the bar of his now empty restaurant to enjoy what he knew would be the last drink of his life. But what exactly does one drink as one ponders his own mortality and considers one's final actions on Earth?
For Charlie, the options were endless, from the finest champagnes to the very best Italian wines, they were all there for the sampling and Charlie sampled them all. There were delays and Sherry, Drambuie and absinthe, cognac and Armagnac, endless rows of schnapps and beers from around the world.
Mostly, though, there was some old Irish whiskey. I guess that was just what the doctor ordered, the perfect elixir to prepare Charlie for the job at hand, the job he believed he was duty bound to execute. Charley pounded half the bottle and poured the rest into a large flask, then he filled a sack with breads and pastries and made his way slowly up to the top floor. Elevators were not an option, so he took the stairs, encountering dozens of panicked customers along the way, people who just a few hours before had been sitting in his restaurant eating his cakes and pies, luxuriating in five star elegance.
Follow me, he said, I know the way out. Up top, it was pandemonium, Charlie did everything he could to calm his customers first he handed out his pastries, then he offered shots of courage from his bottomless flask when it became obvious that the first responders weren't responding. He did what he knew had to be done. He began to push his customers over the edge. Understandably, many resisted, but Charlie knew there was no other way out.
He grabbed them one after the next and heaved them over the side. But when the opportunity came for him to follow suit, he said no. He grabbed another customer from the panicked crowd and insisted she go in his place. If you've seen the movie, you might recall the dramatic finale to lovers standing on the pinnacle of that doomed and crumbling edifice waiting for the inevitable collapse. Well, those lovers weren't really there, but the chief baker was Charles Joughin, filled with adrenaline and booze, had taken it upon himself to fill multiple lifeboats with dozens of terrified women and children, all of whom were loathe to leave their husbands and fathers behind.
Then, defying the laws of gravity and the basic rules of intoxication, the inebriated baker crawled over the side and scampered all the way up to what must have felt like the top of the world there. Flask in hand, he rode the ruined remains all the way down, waiting until the last possible second before stepping from his perch into the twenty eight degree water. He should have died just like everyone else who didn't make it into a lifeboat, but he didn't.
He splashed around the North Atlantic for three hours until the Carpathia finally arrived and plucked him out of the black I.C.C. with little more than two swollen feet and a lingering buzz. It was the booze, they said, that had kept him alive, thinning his blood to the point where hypothermia was kept at bay. If James Cameron had allowed Leonardo DiCaprio a few slugs of whiskey, his character too might have survived that terrible night and grown old with Kate Winslet.
But of course, there was no happy ending for Jack and Rose or for the 1900 real people who perished on their way to New York City. Thanks to an open and unguarded bar. Charles Josefin was not among them. He was busy putting his customers first and preparing to step into history as the inebriated baker who just happened to be the very last person to abandon the Titanic.
Of all the dreadful details to fixate upon, I think about the conditions at the time of the sinking, no wind, no waves, dead calm according to every account. The Atlantic was flat when the great ship went down flat and black like a duck pond, a dark mirror with no reflection. How terrifying must it have been to be slowly pulled beneath that tranquil surface? How terrible for the captain who knew he'd been driving the ship too fast. In 2004, seven years after Leonardo DiCaprio sank to the bottom of James Cameron's sea, the Discovery Channel invited me to host a documentary called Deadliest Catch.
It's not really on Brand. They told me it'll never go to series, but at least you won't be crawling through sewers. I get suspicious when network executives tell me what their brand is, seems to me your brand should be whatever your viewers are willing to watch. But I was happy for the work and eager to see Alaska. Why are you calling it Deadliest Catch crab fishing is dangerous. The executive said, plus, it's a snappy title. I chuckled, I'd grown up fishing for blue crab on the Chesapeake Bay, tying raw chicken next along strands of twine, tossing the bait off the end of the dock, reeling in the crabs as they clung to the poultry and watching my brother scoop them up in his net.
Oh, yeah, I knew all about crab fishing. How dangerous could it be? I arrived in Dutch Harbor a few days after Thanksgiving. The flight had taken me from San Francisco to Seattle, which was pleasant, Seattle to Anchorage, which was also pleasant, and then over the vast Bering Sea to Dutch Harbor, which was not pleasant, not pleasant at all. Technically, I guess it was turbulence, but not the kind I'd experienced in the lower 48.
It was the kind of turbulence unique to islands with big hills that flank narrow runways buffeted by constant crosswinds. It snapped the overhead compartments open. It sent a beverage cart careening down the aisle.
It was the kind of turbulence that would make hardened fishermen blubber and curse and prey all at the same time. One hundred feet before touching down, our pilot aborted the landing and flew to Cold Bay, where he put the plane down on a runway that had been built for the space shuttle. We spent 24 hours there waiting for the weather to clear, enjoying a variety of stale treats from vending machines in the empty airport.
When I finally did arrive in Dutch, I headed straight to the docks with the film crew, was waiting to board a crab boat. Was it the fierce allegiance, the maverick, the bountiful? I don't remember.
What I do remember is that the rain was blowing sideways and turning to sleet as I climbed aboard. Remember, it was 2004 and all I knew then was that I was hosting a documentary about crab fishing. I didn't know what the show would become. No one knew. But the director wanted footage of me baiting the massive 800 pound pots and chatting with the crew, giving the viewer a sense of how crab boats worked on the open ocean.
It was an odd role to assume part host, part greenhorn, part reporter, a strange combination that left the deckhands confused as to what my actual purpose on their boat was.
It was a confusion I shared. Twenty miles out of Dutch, things got sporty, green water rolled over the bow as we plunged under wave after wave and 12 foot seas, the wind picked up, I threw up. The waves got bigger and bigger, but the work never stopped in the wheelhouse. The captain kept a lit cigarette in each hand, even as one dangled from his mouth, he looked like a human chimney on deck. The massive 800 pound pot slid back and forth as the swells built around us.
It was an impossible situation to shoot, and our attempts to do so annoyed the captain and the crew. I recalled the terrific line at the start of Ulysses. The sea, the snot, green sea, the scrotum tightening sea. I survived, and by Christmas, I had actually gotten used to the snot green sea by New Year's Day, my scrotum had returned to its normal state. It might have remained that way. But for the events of January 15, when the weather did something truly terrifying, the wind stopped howling, the waves stopped rolling, and the temperature rose to a balmy 30 degrees for the first time all month.
The Bering Sea settled down. The boat that sank that day was called the Big Valley. She slipped beneath the surface while I was sleeping back at the hotel. Conditions were not to blame. In fact, when the ship left port, the Bering Sea was flat and black, like a duck pond, a dark mirror with no reflection. Maybe that's why the captain went out with too many pots, far too many, but the Bering Sea is an unpredictable place and when the wind picked up, the big valley became unstable, a deathtrap.
Six men perished as a result, 70 miles off St. Paul Island. How terrifying must that have been to be slowly pulled beneath the surface, how terrible for the captain who knew his boat had been carrying too much weight? I can still picture the faces of the men I met a week later at the memorial. Hardened fishermen who blubbered, cursed and prayed all at the same time. Deadliest Catch had lived up to its name, I suppose, but it had done so in ways that we'd never imagined or wanted, ways that haunt me to this day.
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Man, it is hard to believe Deadliest Catch is looking at season 17 as we speak.
That's that's pretty amazing. I actually don't think there's anything on TV that's like it. I mean, some shows have have probably stayed in production longer, but no reality show or at least no nonfiction show that that takes place in such a crazy environment. I mean, it's truly unprecedented. And you were there.
Yeah. On camera. Yes. That is something that people ask me a lot about today. I was I was on camera for every scene of that first season, which consisted of, I think, at least 10 episodes. And like I said in the story, I wasn't sure why I was there or in what capacity exactly. Part host, part correspondent, part greenhorn. You know, the network didn't know what the show was. A guy named Tom Beres had conceived of it a couple of years earlier and put three episodes of something called Deadliest Season on the Air.
And the network didn't know what to do with it in the same way. They didn't know what to do with the three pilot episodes of dirty jobs that I'd shot for them the year before. Those those ideas were just too early. And so they sat on the shelf for the better part of a year.
Remember, this is before like the only reality shows that were out there.
I mean, it was Survivor, which was a competition show. Right. And I guess maybe Jesse James, you know, building motorcycles, but that was it. And so nobody knew nobody really knew what this thing was or what it would be. And it wasn't until I got back and they looked at the footage that they realized, no, this is not a documentary. This can actually be a show. But, um, but you can't be in it.
And how did that come about? How how did you become the narrator and not on camera? Well, a couple of things happened. The the three episodes of dirty jobs that we shot as a pilot back in 2003 rated very well. But they didn't look like the show that the Discovery Channel wanted their viewers to love. In other words, it was off brand and so it went on the shelf. And by the way, as you know, Dirty Jobs was a tribute to my granddad, was a very personal show.
I wasn't I wasn't trying to sell a franchise or even a hit. You know, I'd check the box. I did three episodes. My Pops saw the first one before he died and loved it. And I felt really good about doing that. So it's not like I had a burning desire to do dirty jobs. What I wanted to do was go around the world on Discovery's dime as a gadfly, you know, and just see cool places. And so I pitched them this idea where I would I would do that, you know, they they'd give me a small crew and we'd go to Kilimanjaro and, you know, we went to Egypt to host Egypt Week Live, you know, not long after dirty jobs got got shelved.
And so I was on my way to doing these series of adventures and they were pretty cool.
In fact, I had a deal to go to the Titanic, really with James Cameron later in 2004. It was just one of a dozen different expeditions we were going to do.
But in the middle of that, the network said, you know, we're looking at this footage of these crab boats up there in the Bering Sea in distress. And it really looks like the kind of thing having done dirty jobs, you would probably enjoy this. And so everything else that's relevant, I I told you the story, I think, except for the fact that when I came back from that trip, I mean, it was it was really two trips.
And I spent six weeks up there and went to six funerals.
Oh, my God. What time of year was it?
Oh, we went up the first time in late November and I came back for Christmas and then I went up in early January to shoot the opilio season, you know, so it was and that's that's when the accident happened, you know, and in early January. And so it got very real, very fast, you know, and and I was suddenly the host of this show where people were dying. That's weird. It was crazy, Chuck.
It was crazy because nobody knew no one knew what it was and nobody knew what the network wanted it to be. In fact, there's a chapter later in the book that talks about an attempt to turn it into a reality show which went horribly wrong. Right, right. We'll get to that later. But at this point, I was just a guy who was pretty happy with. This gig with the network, he always wanted to to work for suddenly hosting a show that was the very definition of reality, you know, and people were actually dying anyway.
I came back with that footage. The network looked at it and said, yeah, this is a show. All right. But we think if this works, dirty jobs might work after all. So we want to bring that back, too. But you can't host both the Sophie's Choice.
Actually, not really. When in doubt, pick the show with your name and the title. The title. Right. So Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe went into production around the same time as Deadliest Catch and not Deadliest Season and not deadliest season. Very good name change on their part. That's right.
Deadliest Season became Deadliest Catch, a show hosted by Mike Rowe very, very briefly. In fact, they cut me out of all of it. And I remember thinking at the time, God damn it, you know that. I mean, there's footage of me that nobody's seen and not not to sound all vainglorious about it, but there's footage of me in a crow's nest in 20 foot seas.
40 feet above the deck and a helicopter tracking behind us as I'm talking to a a west cam.
It's that. Right.
And it it is one of the greatest shots that I've ever been in in my life. Its master and commander. Right. It's like that shot with Russell Crowe.
Yeah. And I mean, literally, this is how self-absorbed I get when I when I talk to you about these things.
But I literally just gave myself goosebumps.
You know, not everyone can do that. Like, that's a special gift you have. Hey, I never leave the house.
No, I that that footage I thought, you know what, that's that's going to be very useful for me and and my career.
And where where is it. Nobody no one ever said you saw it though. Oh, I saw it.
And in fact, they may have used it in a Deadliest Catch lookback, you know, but the network has all that original footage. I'm on black sand beaches, you know, walking along during a purple sunset, talking in a crisp, well modulated baritone about the fickle sea and about how you can't script the Bering Sea, which is another theme, you know. Yeah, that's in another chapter, too. Yeah. But look, it's a it's a big point.
And I'll make it preemptively now, too, because you just reality TV is obviously here to stay and it's a lot of different things for a lot of different people. But but why is Deadliest Catch still in production? Why do people still watch a show that could be retitled What's in the pot crab?
No crab crab. No crab. It's crab. I think I'll smoke some cigarettes. Here comes a big wave. What's in the pot? Crab? No crab. It's right.
I mean, it's a show that's utterly predictable and every single way except for the way that it can die. Yeah, right. Right. You can't script the Bering Sea and that's why that show's still on the air.
I think that's that's amazing. Did the did the crew and the captain's mess with you treat you like a real greenhorn? Did you have to eat? Did you have to like, chew a fish's head off or anything like that?
No, it was too early and there was so much chaos, you know, because, look, if the network doesn't know what the show is and if the host doesn't know what the show is, the captains don't know what the shirt's. Nobody knows what the show is, really. And we were seen primarily as an intrusion, just something to be kind of, you know, tolerated. Like why are these people here with their cameras? Don't they realize how dangerous that is?
And of course, we didn't. You know, but I'll tell you, you you're very familiar with safety. Sure. You know, my foundation right now is, you know, selling masks that say safety third. And I've written all sorts of articles for all sorts of safety organs about the unintended consequences of a safety first culture. Yeah. And yeah, feel free to take a deep dive on that if you're really bored at home at some point.
But that's where Safety Third started. A captain on one of the boats I was on, I don't even remember which one looked at me when I walked into the green, into the wheelhouse. I was terrified I'd been stacking pots in 20 foot seas. Everything was icy. Things are sliding around. I mean, it's a disaster. Yeah.
And and I, I just didn't feel safe. You know, the crew didn't feel safe. My crew was shooting. But these guys are just working through it, you know, and the wind's blowing sideways, the slits all over the place, rogue waves all around us.
And I go to the wheelhouse and I say, Captain OSHA. And he looks at me, you know, his cigarette hanging out of his mouth by his ears burning on the sex. He he he points out the window of the wheelhouse, green water coming over the right window. He's like OSHA ocean. And, you know, ha ha, very clever, I laugh and I say, no, seriously, how do you know? I mean, we're going to have to shut this down.
You know, it's not safe. He said not safe. He said, son, he's my age. He calls me son. Right.
He says, Let me tell you something. I'm the captain of a crab boat. My job is not to get you home alive. My job is to get you home. Rich, you want to go home in one piece that's on you.
And I'll tell you that for the first time in my life, I truly felt utterly responsible for my own well-being. And I doubled up on the life preservers, the life jackets.
I with my hands was just always three points of contact. Right. And look, I don't know if if the average person is listening to this and and realizing how strange it is, but when you're shooting television and when cameras are pointed at you and you know this from watching dirty jobs, I've told you the story a thousand times. But you go into a fake world and you feel weirdly bulletproof. Yeah. Like you can't get hurt. Like you can't get hurt on camera.
That wouldn't you know, that's not part of the rules. And so, you know, it's very easy to let your guard down. And it's very easy in a safety first culture to start assuming that, you know, some people care more about your well-being than you do. And of course, they don't.
They they don't. And and that kind of complacency is the thing that really puts people at risk, you know, so that that was a big day for me.
Looking back, you know, one of the things you mentioned in there, too, is that you threw up.
And I happen to know if just reminded me when I heard that of that that episode of Dirty Jobs, where I think you were in the Chesapeake Bay and you're doing a standup and it was a smaller boat and you're you're rolling and rolling and you're looking at the camera talking right at the camera, and then you just casually lean over the side and just a guard like a firehose of vomit goes over the side.
You wipe your mouth and continue your stand up.
And I said, that's that's that's that's committing to the bit. Well, you know what, Matt? Thank you.
It's actually in hindsight and this will sound weird, but it is one of my proudest moments. You know, it's in a way, it was more gratifying to see that make it on the air than the master and commander. I mean, they did blur the tape. That was fine. They pixilated my voice. Right, because my puch apparently is just too hideous to behold. But we weren't in the Chesapeake.
We were right where they shot Jaws. Oh, we were up in Martha's Vineyard.
And I went out early with a guy named Greg Scoble. We were doing a shark story for dirty jobs and big night the night before.
A lot of warm gin and some local tourists saw. And, you know, dirty jobs was becoming a thing at that point. And so, you know, people buying shots. And at that point in my life, I was drinking them. And and so we got up very early the next day to go out and shoot this story with Greg. And I was making chum and I had a meat grinder that was built in to the to the gun whale of the boat.
And I'm just.
Oh, yes, right. I'm dropping in mackerel and I'm turning the lever. And this unspeakable pink fish flesh is coming out the other side and that warm breeze pushing that funk into my face. I could taste the gin from the night before. And we weren't in big waves, but we were in what they called a a following, see. Mm hmm.
And so the waves that were behind, they were behind us and they were pushing us gently. When you get that kind of sea, the the motion in a boat is very specific. So a combination of a hangover of following sea and and just the stench of that chum hit me right in the middle of a stand up.
And you're right, I, I waited until I couldn't wait anymore. I turned my head, I vomited and I looked at the camera and and finish what I was saying. I was wincing. But again, the strangest things that happened after that involve, you know, network notes like, look, we can't have him vomiting on.
We just can't have a host vomiting on the air, much less in the middle of a stand up.
Yeah, like he he's not even in the scene, really. He's he's hosting the show and throwing up in the middle.
And I argued and I got my way. Yeah. But then in the end they pixilated it. And to this day I do think I'm the first host to not only throw up in prime time on camera, but to have his vomit pixilated.
Well, a dubious distinction indeed. It's the little things my brother.
Well, you know. As you were just saying, that, you know, where people would buy you shots or whatever, I don't remember what year it was, but for some reason we both wound up back in Baltimore and we went down to Fells Point.
And this was the first time that I realized, hey, I think my buddy might be famous because we you know, we we we do is we normally do it just sort of bar hop down there. You know, it's a really cool place. If you've never been to Fells Point, dear listeners, it's great. And every bar we went in and in between every bar you got recognized. And so we didn't buy anything that whole night.
And I thought, this is good. I kind of like this.
I like hanging out with my my buddy being famous now. Hello, Winchman. Know, we had some great times in Fells Point, but it's funny, you know, to to kind of reverse engineer this. You know, I'm talking about shots of gin in Martha's Vineyard. You're talking about shots and Fells Point. Yeah. And the story of the Titanic is the story of a guy who just got himself pickled. What a great Segway, you know.
And so, yeah, it's it's not the ocean that's the through line of Chapter two. Not really. It's the booze. It's the booze.
And when I read about Charles the Baker, you know, deliberately going into the North Atlantic drunk as a lord and surviving that, I mean, that that's really what would hit me.
And coincidentally, I wrote that story. It didn't drop until till June of a few years ago. But I wrote it on April 15th, which is not only Tax Day, it's it's the day of the Titanic sank, you know?
And so looking back on it through the lens of booze and drowning and reality and all of that stuff, you know, it was, you know, once again, personal to me, the characters came out on this one to tell you that, you know, hypothermia is actually worse, like when you have a lot of alcohol.
So this kind of story is kind of bohlmann. Yeah.
I mean, look, part of the reason we're doing the way I talked about the way I heard it, obviously is to is to admit when I when I got it wrong or at least come clean when I took some liberties. I'm not admitting in this case that I got it wrong. The characters you're mentioning are doctors. That's right. You know, these are medical professionals who said, look, that's not how it works. Hypothermia is actually exacerbated if you're if you're filled with booze.
And the story you just told is fundamentally contrary to that, except except for the fact that source after source after source says he was drunk and he survived.
Right. Right. So, you know, what does one do? Right. You can take the deep dive and go all the way down and talk to, you know, it doesn't have to be you I'm talking to. I could have called the medical professional who chimed in to tell me my head was on my ass. Right. And we could. But what's the point?
Right. You know, the the point, I think, is that there's an exception to virtually every rule. And with every one of these stories, somebody else is going to have heard it differently. And that's OK. That that's OK.
I wasn't there. Now, the character who did bust me on this one, huh, for real and quite rightly was you, because apparently I pronounced the guy's name wrong.
Yeah, unfortunately, I did it three years too late because as we were listening to it just now, I went on Wikipedia for Charles Jocund, just how it says his name is pronounced. Yeah. And I'm looking right now and that's and you're right, I somewhere I heard somebody pronounce it as Chafin. Yeah. It looks like Joff and that's the way I pronounce. I never I never questioned it.
It makes perfect sense. And, you know, the fact checking department was was not feeling like fact checking that day, I think. Well, and this was episode what, fifty eight. Fifty nine, something like that.
If the. I just nine.
Yeah, so this was around the time that I, I was running out of, you know, Mel Brooks's and Bruno Mars, right, where it's like, you know, it's it's easy to write a story about somebody who changed their name from something you've never heard of to something you know, that, you know, that's what Paul Harvey did. And those stories are what we call layups. They're easy. You know, you run out of those people pretty quick.
And so this story was really an attempt to tell you about Charles Johnson. But I also wanted to deliberately write an homage of sorts to 9/11. And so this was one of the early deliberate misdirects. Yes. Where the the fun of writing it and the point of writing it was to put you in the windows of the world at the top of the World Trade Center. Mm hmm. September 11th, 2001. And based on the feedback I got, hundreds of thousands of people were right there with me.
Yes. Until Charles stepped into the freezing water. Yes. And then it was like, oh, right, right.
And he's there and he's chucking babies over the side. And you're like, what is going on? I had no idea this happened.
And by the way, there's another account that talks about something else Jocund did after the Carpathia picked him up, he apparently went to the kitchen and crawled inside a giant oven and turned it on low.
He was so cold that the accounts say that's how he defrosted himself, which, of course, is another dumb ass thing that could have killed him as well, easily.
So he survives being in the water for hours and hours and hours because the sun had come up by the time the Carpathia got there. Yeah. So, you know, and then he survives the trip in the oven on low. So he's just an unusual guy. Well, right. And he survives what could have been alcohol poisoning. I mean, he was smashed. You can go to Wikipedia that says, you know, he had a bit of this and that.
But no, he the doctor told him interestingly, the doctor told him, I look, do yourself a favor, drink yourself unconscious. It'll be more pleasant than freezing to death. Yeah. And so in the course of doing that, this guy starts grabbing babies out of the arms of mothers and puts them in the lifeboats.
That's the only way the mothers are going to leave their husbands. Can you even imagine? It's like I mean, 9/11 is beyond comprehension, but the slow motion way the Titanic now sank and the gradually you had hours to get up to speed.
Right. And it just it must have been just so incongruous to be out there. It looked like a duck pond. It was flat black, you know, and cold.
And, you know, to look back at Deadliest Catch and to look back at that at that terrible sinking of the big valley, you know, and suddenly realize, good grief, you know, how many boats have sunk over the years and how different must it be from boat to boat if it's different at all in that moment when you know you're going down and there's not a damn thing you can do?
And how hard do you fight in those last moments when you know it's a hopeless fight? How much is instinct that keeps you treading water for as long as you possibly can?
I'll tell you another quick story that very few people know involving the big valley. Remember, we're up there. We don't know what we're shooting. We don't know what the show is. Right. We've done the Kings season in December and we've gone back up. So now it's January. The weather's awful. It finally settles down. The big valley goes out and it sinks. Well, one of the guys who died on that on that ship was called Aaron Mars.
And Aaron was a Christian and a filmmaker. And Aaron Mars had documented the last four months of fishing on the big valley.
He filmed everything. He had interviews with Gary Wheeler, who was the captain. He had interviews with all the crew members. He had footage of all the fishing. He had it all. And before he went out on that final trip, he he sent it all home.
The footage exists of all the men who died on the big valley as shot by this this kid who died with them. And so one of the things. That really haunts me to this day when I look back at that, I think about what another network might have done or what another producer might have done, had the family, have the family let that footage go. That footage could have been used to put together. Imagine the first season of Deadliest Catch.
Most everybody listening to this has seen the show. Imagine getting to know the entire crew of a boat that was featured. Imagine forming the kind of attachments people formed, the Sig Hansen and Phil Wright and Phil Harris, all those guys.
And then imagine in the final episode, the damn boat goes down and they all die and they all die. So and by the way, they didn't all die, one lived, there were six men on the boat and there were six deaths that day, but one of the guys survived the sinking of the big valley. The sixth death was a crewman aboard the first rescue boat to get there was called the Shaiman. And I don't remember the guy's name, but he was washed overboard in the midst of the rescue.
And so that's what Chapter two is about. It's about it's about drowning and living and drinking and dying and dodged a bullet and and picking the show with your name in the title.
You know what this feels to me? Like it's becoming. You mean this thing we're doing right now? Yes. This crazy thing, aside from this incredibly self-indulgent but somewhat enjoyable way to pass 30 minutes.
Yeah. Is that's what it feels very much like a memoir of sorts, you know, going down.
It's sort of the second part of of the book. Well, you know, I hope people like it because because it is a memoir and it's and it's it's a memoir in part because I'm unpacking stories, but I'm doing it with you.
Mm hmm. And obviously, people are going to get sick of you after a few episodes and some already are.
It's but I can I could sit down and really chat with anybody who would want to sit down and chat with me. So who knows what the future might might bring for these things. Right. You know, it would be pretty cool to get Josh Harris on here with me. For instance, you know, we're wild Bill McCroskey or or James Cameron. I mean, I don't I doubt anybody knows more about what really happened on the Titanic.
This would be the episode to have James Cameron. So. So we blew that one.
James, I'm sorry it's too late, my friend, but remember that time when you and I were supposed to go see the Titanic and I got bumped?
Yeah, well, pay back and check. Well, this is a good place to. Yeah. Skedaddle this join us again for the next one. Or if you want to hear the whole book or read the whole book, you can get it wherever books and audio books are sold. Like maybe you just can't wait to hear chapter three. Right. If you're that kind of person, go ahead and, you know, go to Amazon, erodible or whatever it is.
But it's free like this. And, you know, you don't get that whimsical, spontaneous, nostalgic reminiscing that you get with this version. So, yeah.
No, but you can't autograph a podcast, Mike. So so get the book and listen to the podcast. See you next time. Yes.