On Discovery Channel's hit reality TV show Deadliest Catch, it is hard, after all that has happened over the last couple of seasons, not to draw the same old conclusions about Jake Harris. It’s obvious that the crew and captain of the Northwestern have their suspicions about what is going on with the late Captain Phil Harris’s youngest son, but they really just do not want to go there. But, in the latest episode, it was obvious what was on everyone's minds.
While at St. Paul off-loading, Captain Sig was concerned that his boat could get stranded in the ice building around him. One of his major worries about being unable to leave was what would happen if Jake had some time to roam around in town:
“I’m concerned about Jake Harris. You know, guys get bored, they get restless, and it’s a good place to get in trouble. He’s had some up and downs in the past. I don’t understand what’s going on with him. I think he just misses the Cornelia. That’s my best guess.”
After freeing themselves from the harbor, Jake’s seeming inability to wake up and get out on deck was alarming. He appeared, in fact, as one crew member said, “knocked out,” sprawled out on the floor and appearing barely responsive as the rest of the deck crew tried to get him up and about.
“It’s early for being that tired," Edgar Hansen observed, shaking his head. "Young, too young.”
“In the raingear, knocked out,” Jake Anderson commented.
As the rest of the crew worked out on deck, Jake still languished around inside, rubbing his eyes and lazing about the cabin. Sig and Edgar joked about filing a missing persons report.
“I guess there’s a missing person on board,” Sig said. “I don’t understand what’s going on with him. With Harris, I think the enthusiasm’s just gone. We’ve still got a long way to go here. You know, you’re judged by your actions on a boat. If you’re the new guy on the boat, you gotta be looking for something to do, you gotta be like, ‘What do you want? What can I do for you?’ Put that extra effort in there. If your head’s not in the game, these little trips can turn into a long, long prison sentence.”
“He’s just doing enough to get by,” deckhand Matt said.
Eventually, the “missing person” appeared on deck, but not with a lot of enthusiasm or energy, even after his extended nap.
Time Bandit Captain Johnathan Advice to Josh
And, it doesn’t seem to be just on the Northwestern where suspicions about Jake are rising. At least, on the Time Bandit, Captain Johnathan’s words to Jake’s older brother, Josh, before leaving the boat to let his back heal, implied as much:
“You’re on the right road. Your dad would be real proud of you. I love your brother. I love Jake. I hope he’s doing good, but you can’t let him bring you down, dude. You’ve gotta do whatever you can do to get that boat, and then take care of him later.”
Good advice from a seasoned Alaska crab-fishing captain.
Jake said he likes working with the guys on the Northwestern, but that he just wants to get back to the Cornelia Marie. “I do like working with all of these guys. I miss being with my brother out at sea. I just want to get the season done with and back to what I know.”
Could it be that Jake is just homesick? Or, is he falling back on ways of numbing his pain that cannot be condoned on a fishing boat? And, how long will Captain Sig and Edgar put up with his slacking on deck? They would never put up with such behavior from a “real” greenhorn; will they keep treating Jake with kid gloves? Or will they finally make him step up to the plate and either do his job or get off the boat?
Image: Wikimedia Commons