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Deadliest Catch exclusive: Supermoon has the whole fleet on edge

Tonight on Deadliest Catch, will it be a bad moon rising for the fisherman of this long-running Discovery series? The ‘once in a lifetime’ supermoon could well cause havoc for the crabbers.

In our exclusive preview, we open with Jake Harris of the F/V Cornelia Marie as he says: “Big seas, big tides… just everything has been out of whack,” as he surveys the huge roiling seas all around him.

Jake Harris is concerned about this once in a lifetime lunar phenomenon
Jake Harris is concerned about this once in a lifetime lunar phenomenon

Narrator Mike Rowe underscores the gravitas of this celestial event, not common and never to be seen again in these men’s lifetimes.

He says: “An extraordinary force of nature appears on the horizon for the first time in more than a century. The fleet braces for a once-in-a-lifetime supermoon.”

Explaining the science of this moon, Rowe says: “The gravitational pull of the moon causes ocean tides because this supermoon is closer to the earth than it has been in 150 years, it creates a violent tidal flow. When up against the deep low-pressure system, the clash of tide and storm can drive waves to 30 feet or higher.”

Tides are affected by the Moon’s gravity so the Moon being closer during a supermoon event results in the side of the Earth closer to the Moon having stronger tides.

According to Science reporter and author Phil Plait, who writes: “During a ‘Supermoon’, the Moon is closer to Earth…but tides work with the cube of distance, so if the Moon is 10 percent closer the tides are 30 percent higher than when the Moon is farther away. The higher high tides we get when the Moon is close are called proxigean tides, and they happen every month.”

But, Plait warned in his supermoon tutorial, “there’s more.”

He adds: “When the Moon and Sun are in a line these forces all add up, creating even higher high tides (and lower low tides) than usual. We call these “spring tides”, and they happen twice a month, when the Moon is full and when it’s new.”

Wild Bill says he's "f****** scared sh**less!" about the supermoon
Wild Bill says he’s “f****** scared sh**less!” about the supermoon

There are panning cutaway shots to Summer Bay’s captain Wild Bill Wichrowski who has a somber expression and a watchful eye on the horizon and says: “Supermoon! I’m f****** scared sh**less! Never been so frightened of a full moon before.”

The fleet is in a precarious situation and the unpredictable tides and waves have everyone on edge.

The supermoon looms in the background as all the captains worry for their boats
The supermoon looms in the background as all the captains worry for their boats

Then the cameras cut over to Northwestern’s Sig Hansen who is seemingly pragmatic about the rare event.

He says: “It does affect fishing, we’re talking about the animal kingdom here, you know? And the oceans and tides and currents and gravitational pull from the moon and [the] crab know it’s coming… good or bad. We’ll see what it does.”

Deadliest Catch airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Discovery.

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