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On Going to Sea

By December 1969, the Alaskan King Crab fishery had become, like Klondike gold and North Slope oil before it, another Alaskan “Gold” Rush. Those early in were reaping fabulous profits. The challenges of this winter fishery, for men and boats, were destined to become legend in the popular television series, “The Deadliest Catch.” Two college seniors, involved in the Pacific Northwest and Alaskan summer salmon fisheries, land crew positions in December 1969 for the delivery of one of the first vessels built in the Mobile, Alabama for this dangerous fishery. They barely make it to the Panama Canal as the vessel is beset with a late Caribbean storm and suffers many breakdowns.