Sig Hansen’s Online Chat Transcript 07 May 8

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Mr Noodles: When you get back after a long time away at sea, what's the biggest adjustment you have to make being at home?

Sig: Try babysitting five grown men in a manner that probably wouldn't be too acceptable on land. Let's face it — we're not the most eloquent of speakers, and we kind of say things the way they are. And then jumping off a boat and into a family with women — it's a culture shock. I need to tread softly for a few days. And it's tough. I can't treat my family the way I treat my crew, and sometimes I forget that.

I love Blake: How many weeks out of the year are you out on the Bering Sea?

Sig: The Northwestern is diversified. We spend our summers on a salmon charter, we fish cod in September and January or when we can, and we fish crab when the seasons are open. These days, we're busy 5—7 months. And in the past, we've been known to fish 9—11 months of the year. Don't miss those days.

Kansacrab: Hey Sig, how old were you when you first started working on the boat and how old were you when you took over as captain?

Sig: I was 14 when I fished salmon in the summertimes. After salmon season, I would jump on the Northwestern and participate in blue king crab seasons. Or I would fish in Norway if I had a job there. As far as running the boat, I started at the age of 22 and I believe I was the youngest captain at that time. I never took it for granted. Looking back, I'd love to do it again.

Swahili: You are truly the last of the cowboys of red gold. I would like to know if you ever suffered from seasickness?

Sig: Of course. As a teenager I was sick. But you get over it. I can remember being seasick at one time, and we had steak for dinner. I couldn't eat a steak for 2 years after that. But if you want to fish, you get over it.

Sig girl: Hi Sig! You really got a knack for getting on the crab. Do you think that it's in your very nature and instinct that makes you as good as you are? You said in a TV interview that to be a fisherman, it had to be in your head and your heart. Would you attribute both these traits to your skill as a fishermen?

Sig: Absolutely. And because of my heritage, I've always felt I had something to prove beyond most. I think that gives us our drive. I take things a little more to heart that most guys. If I fail, I don't just fail myself; I've failed my family.

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