Andy Hillstrand’s Online Chat Transcript, June 5, 2007

9 / 10

Dorien: Do you ever play pranks on the crew if they start to whine too much for no reason?

Andy Hillstrand: Oh yeah! We've played pranks like setting the clocks back, tying a string to their foot, throwing a bucket overboard, taking the airhorn and blowing it right in their ears when they're sleeping. You have to use all your years of captaining to know you're not going to get punched when you do it! You use pranks to try to bring up crew morale. This year we had a guy whining pretty bad, so it makes you want to do mean pranks. We don't normally tolerate whiners or quitters, because you have a choice to be out there, and one whiner can make it miserable for everyone else. We're all in it together.

Nicole71: Hi Capt. Andy. I saw you wearing a Penn State hat in one season. Just wanted to know if you went there?

Andy Hillstrand: No, I never went to Penn State. I just happened to be in a store, and thought it was a pretty cool hat. I thought it was a jaguar or a panther, and it wasn't until I bought the hat that I found out it was a Penn State hat. But I've always liked Joe Paterno.

Nila Stauffe: I read in your bios that you train horses in Indiana. We live in Indiana and love to ride and train TWH to trail ride. Do you race, show, or trail ride, and what breed of horse?

Andy Hillstrand: I train quarterhorses. I was a 3-time state champion barrel racer in Alaska. But nowadays I just train natural horsemanship. That's my specialty — using psychology. I pretty much love being around horses, doesn't matter if it's barrel racing, training horses — they all need a good foundation.

Fedesna: What kind of schooling background do you have?

Andy Hillstrand: I'm a high school graduate, and the School of Hard Knocks. But my father and grandfather were very entrepreneurial, and my grandfather started a hotel in Homer, Alaska. He was in the State Legislature in Alaska for a while. My father started a fish business in Alaska. They passed on their work ethic. We wouldn't want to work for anyone else. And I like being my own boss.

Keylayne: Is there anything special that you and your family like to do, or any place you like to go when you aren't fishing?

Andy Hillstrand: We like to ride horses. Believe it or not, I like to fish. And hunt. And I like to travel. I want to go diving in Costa Rica. I've never gotten to dive in warm water, although I have snorkeled, so that's one of my ambitions — to float around in warm water.

SultanaTX: Andy how do you get rid of the smell of fish?

Andy Hillstrand: About 2 cycle washings. Takes 2 washings to wash my clothes, or so my wife tells me. It takes a lot of hand washing to get the smell off your hands. But that's the smell of money, though — so you want to keep it on you as long as you can!

About the blog:
More on
Deadliest Catch