Deadliest Catch exclusive: Captain Harley Davidson’s bad luck day may throw the season

Captain Harley's face tells a story as a rogue wave breaks a block on deck. Pic credit: Discovery
Captain Harley’s face tells a story as a rogue wave breaks a block on deck. Pic credit: Discovery

On Tuesday’s Deadliest Catch, the season may be wrapping up, but that doesn’t mean calamity can’t strike.

And strike it does as it hits Captain Steve “Harley” Davidson’s boat the F/V Southern Wind with ferocious unpredictability. His crew is shown reeling and cursing in our exclusive clip below.

The reason?

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A rogue wave smacks them that is so powerful it breaks a block that is crucial to their work of hauling up (hopefully) crab-filled pots

Understandably, it was a pretty bad day for the man who raced into Dutch Harbor this season, stealing thunder left and right from stalwarts like Captain Keith Colburn (his biggest arch rival) and other boats like the Northwestern, Brenna A, and the Saga.

He was all Johnny Confidence in the beginning. Will he have bragging rights at the end of the season?

In the clip, you see Captain Harley Davidson watching the action on deck. A huge Bering sea slapper of a wave came out of nowhere and hit at an angle with such velocity that it broke metal parts.

His face registers the damage, and you can almost calculate the dollars if it takes him out of the game — between the fuel, repairs, and salaries with no crab profit to offset the costs.

Narrator Mike Rowe explains the action:

“After days of constant freezing spray, a massive wave snaps the power blocks, weakened [the] steel shackle leaving the 500-pound piece of equipment hanging precariously from a strained quarter-inch safety chain.”

Harley muses his options as his crew absorbs the implications knowing that if they can’t get the thing fixed, they will be done fishing for some time. And “some time” costs big bucks when you are crewed up and on a tight schedule around legal fishing seasons.

On Deadliest Catch this season, the action has been mostly on the positive side with big hauls for the captains, but Harley and Wizard captain, Keith Colburn’s relationship has a long and bitter history. The two are wary adversaries among their fellow fleet crabbers.

Not as big as the Wizard, the Southern Wind is still a big boy at 148-feet long, and it made a massive splash in Dutch Harbor with attitude and a go-getter work ethic out of the gate.

Harley, who has captained the Southern Wind for 15 plus years is a career fisherman. He has many a crab season and more under his belt. He heads up the Southern Wind, a boat with a crack crew known for efficient fishing methods.

As previously reported, Harley moved to Washington state when he was 10. His family ran a billiards parlor where Steve talked about “hanging out” when he was growing up in Kent. A football scholarship led to community college.

He left after one year and ended up going to Bellingham, where he hooked up with some fishermen. Years later, he became the captain of his own ship.

Colburn and Harley’s history aside, the Southern Wind is in it to win it this season. Make sure to tune in to see if this setback takes Harley out of the running or if an eleventh-hour miracle happens for the Southern Wind.

Deadliest Catch airs Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. on Discovery and Discovery Go

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Gene Caruso
Gene Caruso
3 years ago

He is a scavenger, jumping on real hunters take. No better than a claim jumper. If you can’t crab get a better job. Maybe welfare is what you need.

2 years ago
Reply to  Gene Caruso

Yep….he keeps saying that his “momma didn’t raise no fool”….but she DID raise a piece of s**t….