Johnathan Hillstrand’s On-Line Chat Transcript 07 May 1

5 / 9

cypressqueen: Captain Jonathan, if you had to choose another profession what would it be and why?

Johnathan Hillstrand: I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up!

sisters: How many men does it take to crew your ship?

Johnathan Hillstrand: I like a bigger crew, so I like to have at least a 5-man deck. Then I can bring one in to cook and still have four guys out there. If we have seven pots left on a string I'll bring a guy in to cook, then we still have 4 on the deck. It saves a lot of time. When someone gets injured, he can be inside and we still have a full crew and keep fishing.

NNICU_RN: Maybe this has already been answered, but when the money is divided up between crew members, what is the captain's cut? How much money is put back towards the boat for maintenance, new equipment, gas, etc? How much does a trip cost going out from the boat's perspective?

Johnathan Hillstrand: The deck gets 30 percent. The boat and the brothers get the rest. Sometimes we'll take a crew's share also if we're on deck. Whatever needs to be done on our boat we do it, whatever it takes to take care of that boat. The boat's got insurance, $80,000 of insurance. It costs about $50,000 for fuel per trip. The boat's got to gross at least that much until it makes money. So, if you want to break it down, with a $500,000 season the boat's left with about $230,000 for maintenance and the captain pays his brothers.

STXCHICK: When the crabs are processed I noticed they snap the body in two. Do they take the meat out of there to process or is that thrown away?

Johnathan Hillstrand: That's all the meat, there's no meat by the head, so that's discarded. It's all kept, though, there's no waste.

Kristy: When you saved the man who fell off the stacks, his captain did not seem too emotional about almost losing him. Was there more emotion off camera?

Johnathan Hillstrand: The captain bought me and the crew dinner and drinks the whole night when we got to Kodiak. Our money was no good that night.

Charlee: I noticed that Andy works the deck during red crab season and drives the boat during opilio season. Do you work the deck during opilio season or do you just stick to driving the boat part-time?

Johnathan Hillstrand: This season I got out on deck. The only reason I wasn't there last year was because of St. Augustine the volcano where we live was shooting out for like 12 days in a row and we couldn't fly out. That's the first opilio season I've missed in 27 years.

Katie: Do you ever play music on the deck?

Johnathan Hillstrand: Yes. Rock 'n roll. The young guys like the rap, but I don't like it. Music gets you through the day.

About the blog:
More on
Deadliest Catch