Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A REAL Memorial To Captain Phil Harris, The Dutch Harbor Fisherman Article and Link

The Cornelia Marie Docked at Unisea Yesterday to offload 60,000 lbs of Crab before the remaining crew and their families fly off for the Funeral.

The Crew is Exhausted and worn out. I would never even think of asking to take a picture right now so just a few shots of the Boat offloading.

It really says something about this crew and the QUALITY of her people that they continued to fish and make money for the boat and the family during this time. They ARE getting the Quota Phil!

And The Dutch Harbor Fisherman has released their story, with quotes from the people who actually KNEW and Loved Phil.

If you want the real story and not some Photo Op go here:

Dutch Harbor mourns captain Phil Harris

Phil Harris
Endearing, demanding captain dies of stroke at 53



To fans of the "Deadliest Catch," he was captain Phil Harris, the famous crab-killing rider of the wild Bering Sea.

But to those living at the tip of the Aleutian chain, he was just plain Phil, one of the most endearing, demanding - and sometimes downright irritating - men Dutch Harbor ever loved.

Harris, 53, suffered a stroke Jan. 29 while the fishing boat he captained, the Cornelia Marie, was in port at St. Paul Island near Dutch Harbor. He was medevacked to Anchorage and appeared to be on the mend Feb. 3, according to reports on the "Deadliest Catch" Web site.

He died Feb. 9, spurring thousands of online comments from fans of the Discovery Channel show that depicts the crab fishing industry in the dangerous waters off Alaska.

News spread quickly between fishermen, the docks, bars and businesses of Dutch Harbor and Unalaska.

"God bless him, he lived life to the extreme," said Walt Dauderis.

He and Harris go way back. They worked together two decades ago on the Sea Ern, and before that in rubber boots and rain gear on the decks of the Alaska Monarch. More recently, Dauderis spent a few seasons as engineer and cook on the Cornelia Marie.

"People who tried to be like him, you'd watch them fail by his side. No one could keep up with him."

Dauderis gave up crabbing for a job with the Alaska Marine Highway System, but he and Harris are practically neighbors in Lake Stevens, Wash., where they rode motorcycles together and yukked it up over fishing, Harleys and life in general.

Dauderis has lots of stories. But none of them are printable.

"I'm going to miss him. I just painted a motorcycle and was going to go by his house to show it to him and he was going to give me a bunch of s--- because it wasn't macho enough."

Their pain is so new that people in Dutch Harbor talk about Harris in the present tense, like he's about to walk through the door any minute amid a cloud of cigarette smoke and colorful language.

He was "friendly," "honest," "strong," "hardworking" "caring." He was the kind of guy who took "Deadliest Catch" T-shirts to sick children in the hospital.

"He was a one-of-a-kind person," said Al Mendoza, fleet manager for Unisea, where the Cornelia Marie landed millions of pounds of crab over the years. "I don't think he had an enemy over the years I knew him. Not one enemy, ever."

All say he loved his sons, Josh and Jake Harris, more than life itself.

Then they tell how he used to joke about why lions eat their cubs. The words "brash," "macho," "loud" and "impatient" pop up. By all accounts, he could be a pain in the patoot, but that doesn't mean they loved him less.

"We're devastated," said Veda Webb. And in the next breath, "I can't count the times I told him to get out and never come back."

When Webb started her business, Unalaska Advertiser, a few years back, Harris stopped in to welcome her, then made sure the other fishermen gave her their business.

The first week in February, she was working on getting Harris a mini computer for Internet and e-mail onboard the boat. She had a couple on order, but they got stalled in the mail.

"He'd hound me if he wanted something until he got it. He called me every night, 'Are they here? Are they here?' "

His last call was the night before he left for St. Paul Island. The computers were in.

"He said, 'Well, try to get me a Gateway with Windows 7, for when I get back.' "

Typical Harris behavior.

When he wanted something done, yesterday was too late, said Don Knoblauch, superintendent for Magone Marine Services, the shop that fixed the Cornelia Marie for the past eight years.

"Extremely pushy, boisterous expedience, that's how he was," Knoblauch said. "If he was off the boat and not pressured by the fishing, he was a pretty decent guy. I'd see him in the bar and he seemed like a relatively normal person."

Crabbers tend to get into town, gear up, go fishing, unload and repeat until the season is over. But there's always time to visit the bar, and Harris made all the stops over the years.

The first time bartender Danielle Williams met Harris, she served him his signature drink - a double duck fart.

"He and his two sons, one had just turned 21, and a crew member came in. His crew guy and he got into an argument, and his crew guy knocked him into the corner of the bar."

She was about to boot them all out, but they started laughing.

"They got over it really fast. They ended up closing the bar."

Lionel Silva, chief engineer on the pollock catcher Morning Star, said Harris' death is a blow to the crabbing industry as well as a personal loss for him.

"He was a terrific captain, and one of the most outstanding people I know."

There was far more to Harris than "Deadliest Catch" fame, Silva said.

"I understand he was on the show and stuff, but they're all going to go away. When everybody forgets about 'Deadliest Catch,' we're still going to be remembering Phil and everything about him."

Rose Cox can be reached at rcox@alaskanewspapers.com, or by phone at (907) 348-2419


Kimi said...

Thanks CB. Love the boat pics. Hope the rest of everyone else's season goes quickly. HUGS.

Wednesday said...

A great tribute to Captain Phil. I only know of him through Deadliest Catch, but he has always been a favorite. My friend and I always repeat his many memorable quotes from the show like "who asked you to talk!!!?!?" We'll miss you Captain Phil!

Renata said...

I will never forget my beautiful blue eyes, he is always with me, rest in peace my love, someday we'll meet, I know that the sky is taking care of children. May the angels protect you, God enlighten your soul. I will love you until the rest of my life. Renata - Brazil

valerie said...

Thank you for sharing this CB.. nice to know the real person matched the person we seen every Tuesday...

Anonymous said...

Hi CB. Been following your blog for the last year and have been a HUGE Deadliest Catch fan since the very first episode several years ago...Thank you for your true reporting and the updates about Capt Phil from the report of his stroke through the end. Its nice to be able to come to you and not hear rumors through some rag like tmz. Love your Blog and will keep reading as long as you post!

Anonymous said...

Capt Phil will be greatly missed

Margrita said...

Nice pictures CB. What a wonderful article thank you for sharing it with us.

"Seattle" Heather said...

Thanks for posting this CB. I'm @ work and I'm trying so hard to hold back my tears....I'm loosing the battle.
If only we could turn back time....

chriss said...

Thanks for sharing, CB. I really enjoy getting to see Unalaska and Dutch Harbor through your eyes. Josh, Jake, the dedicated Cornelia Marie crew and his friends are truly Captain Phil's legacy. All are in my prayers and thoughts.

Bess/MOD-CPH Forum said...

Thanks CB. for everything. Your blogs are wonderful. Those of us on the CPH forum are grateful for your kind words and thoughtfulness.

Anonymous said...

Since the crew is flying out for services I am guessing its Seattle (?) - I thought it would have been Dutch Harbor, he seemed happy there and itching to get back when he was in WA. or so it seemed to me. I never met the man but that was the impression I recvd from the show and the people that knew him. Any body know how his father and brother are doing? Althought its awful that Josh/Jake lost their father its unnatural for Grant Harris to bury his child.

Anonymous said...

Wow seeing the boat docked is sad

Helen said...


Thank you so very much for your friendship to all the boats. You have been amazing through all of this. It is still hard to believe Phil is gone but we must accept what just IS...

The article does describe Phil perfectly. I also think he was perfect with his imperfections. Everything together made him "just Phil" the guy we will all miss terribly for a very long time.

Thank you Rose, for the most spot on description of Captain Phil I have yet to read...


BunnyC said...

Thank you CB for a truly wonderful article about Captain Phil. He was one of my favorite Captian's and will miss watching him on DC. I will keep him, his family and friends in my prayers.

Lori said...

Great article - just as I would imagine Phil to be, great guy, great Captain - thanks for posting CB!

Jennifer said...

Thanks CB! Phil will be missed dearly!

Reading said...

Thanks for posting the article CB....I never met Phil but the description of the man in the article is exactly who I expected him to be...I would have loved to have met him and I know that it is my loss to have never met him....I worry about his boys, it is never easy to lose a parent....

watersprite said...

CB, It must not always be easy to be a friend to your fellow citizens of DH, the fishing people, the filming people and then fans, all along being an employee of a DH business, yet you present it all in such a heartfelt and honest way. That's integrity. Thanks for opening up your life to us. Love your photos and your blog is the best.

Anonymous said...

cb, my dear,

many many thanks for making sure that we saw such a beautifully written article. As a blind person it is not easy some times to get printed information. The woman who wrote this did a fine job.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Capt. Harris. As a bunchh of other folk have said, he was my favorite.

Initially I started watching DC because my son told me that "mom, you gotta watch this show about crabbing. There's this captain who is really cool and yells at his kids louder than you do." Since Mike was on the way to the hospital for emergency surgery, I asked what the guys name was and decided to focus on the "really cool" part and ignore the last part of the quote. It was one of the marathons. While waiting for my son to get through his operation I started watching and really got in to the show. Right away, I realized that phil is like me. The louder we yell the more we care.

You can tell the quality of a parent by the relationship they have with their children and the way these young guns relate to their parent(s) and to the world. Josh and Jake are a credit to their family. Gotta run the boss lady is asking why i'm crying. Holly from College Park, MD

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe the news that came out today. Phil wanted his death filmed? No way will I ever believe that. Phil did not know he was going to die. He just died while trying to get up and walk.
This has gone way to far. Screw television.

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Mary C said...

In reply to anonymous, Phil Harris was an incredible person. He always thought of others before himself. HE was the one who told Tom Beers to keep filming. They wanted to just back off and give them some privacy, but Phil thinking as usual about everyone else told them to keep filming. It's now up to his family if any of it will be seen. I know they will do what they think is best, but I'm sure we won't see him take his dying breath as with some of these other reality ER shows. He just may have known he was going to die.

Thanks CB for your posts and wonderful pictures. The boat docked is sad....

Anonymous said...

Great article about Phil Harris, thanks for the link.

Now, please don't be offended (it was mentioned in the article after all) but what the hell is a "double duck fart" drink? I have logged some hours in bars around the world but this has me at a loss.

Anonymous said...

I agree Mary I think he either knew or was so afraid of it happening again and ending up paralyzed, speechless that maybe he talked to his boys and decided that was that - his job was thru- the boys were on the right path. He had been looking so tired last year like he never got any rest and if you notice in the pictures after his pulmonary embolism he seemed to have age rapidly. Hell i am going to miss him on the show

CaliGirl9 said...

So heartfelt ... I can't imagine watching that footage. I do remember footage during the embolism episode when Phil said he fully expected to die while out to sea ... I wish he'd not gotten his wish. I hoped for a nice long life for him.

TMZ reported that Jake was busted in Seattle for suspicion of DUI, hit and run, and driving with a suspended license.

My heart hurts ... please God give that family strength.

Anonymous said...

To the person with the duck fart question, It's a reasonable one. In a couple of the older episodes from seasons past, we learned that this drink consists of a shot of baileys, a shot of crown royal and a shot of caluah. The spelling on the last ingredient is phonetic but I'm sure you can figure it out. sometimes one of these is omitted but I forget which. Commonsense would say the bailey's, but To remember which, I need more caffeine. My head hurts just thinking about drinking a single let alone a double of those. If I'm incorrect, someone please educate us all. holly turri, college park, md

Anonymous said...

This is not starting out as a good year for the Harris clan - stay strong guys and Josh go get your brother.

Anonymous said...

Thank you CB for posting this article. It's nice to get a sense that what we saw on the show is a good representation of the actual man! As for another very good rememberance of Capt. Phil, I found the one written by Mike Rowe on his website was very heartfelt and showed the true nature of Phil. Thanks again!

Jax said...

Thanks CB, it was a great article with good memories of those who were lucky enough to know Phil. Thanks for bringing us the real story

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Anonymous said...

I am very sorry for your loss Mary and boys. He is in gods hands now.....best regaurds Alan Jones

Anonymous said...

Phil Harris was a grate man off what I have seen off him although I don't live in a country where he is common I have only met a couple of people who know of him I cannot find any memento type merchandise in frankston aria all I can get is Internet pictures of him so I know that you all feel the same way as I do as I have not been able to cope ether

Anonymous said...

My Heart is with you all (Harris Family). Can't believe he's gone! Brave, BRAVE man to do what he did....what you all do....easy for us to be sat at home watching what goes on!! Big up Cornelia Marie Crew.....Heroes! May Mother Nature remember Phil.....We will.....I'm sure she will as well.... CRAB IT UP! RIP Phil.... Sparx.

darren said...

hiya harris family myself darren and john mccaig love deadliest catch and we are so sorry to hear bout phils horrific tragety and will keep watching deadliest catch in rememberance of phil as wat we seen of him on telly he was a great man.

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