So last weekend, I was chilling at home when I saw on Facebook that none other than Edgar Hansen of Deadliest Catch was to be at the grand opening of a new West Marine store in Ft. Myers. If you know me, you know that I am a huge Deadliest Catch fan. I've watched since season 1, and season 8 just finished. Edgar works on the Northwestern, my favorite boat on the series.
Well, needless to say, I ran to my trusty Hyundai and headed for Ft. Myers - about a 50 minute drive from my condo. I tried to contain my excitement as I battled traffic on US 41. Soon, my GPS announced I was "arriving at destination". SQUEEE!
I walked into the store. I must say, the new West Marine on College Parkway in Ft. Myers is quite impressive! Lots of fun stuff for anybody who spends time on the water. I wandered a bit until I saw a line - yup! There he was! I may have bounced up and down a bit. I met a nice lady in line, and we had a good conversation almost the entire time. She had just moved down from up north, and lives on a boat at the yacht basin in downtown Ft. Myers. She hadn't quite adjusted to the Florida heat yet!
It was pretty cute seeing kids meeting Edgar. Everybody was laughing as he joked around with the kids. The wait in line wasn't bad, and it was a good experience since everyone was happy and nobody was complaining about being in line!
Finally it was my turn! I walked up to the table, he shook my hand and said, "Hi, I'm Edgar" at which point all coherent thought fled my mind. I'm a scientist, for crying out loud! I could care less about meeting A-list celebrities, sports stars, or musicians. Well, have me meet a genuine Bering Sea crab fisherman (admittedly a good-looking one!), and apparently I swoon like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert.
I finally (sort of) got my act together, and he signed autographs and took a picture with me. And yeah, while posing for the picture, my brain was screaming, "OMIGOSH Edgar Hansen has his arm around me!!!!!!!!!" After the picture, I told him I was so happy to meet him, and to stay safe out there. He thanked me for coming. He was super nice, which I was glad to see. It would be disappointing to meet someone you look up to and find out they're a jerk! I wish I had had the presence of mind to talk to him a little bit more, but oh well. I was just so thrilled to meet him!
I walked around the store for a little bit with a ridiculous smile on my face. I made the entire drive home with the ridiculous smile on my face. My autographed postcard and toy inflatable boat that he wrote "Northwestern" on are proudly displayed in my room.
Even though I don't exactly work on the Bering Sea, I think every person who works on the water feels some sort of camaraderie with others who work on the water. Whether you're working on Charlotte Harbor, the Atlantic Ocean, the Bering Sea, the Great Lakes, or wherever else, you have to work as a team with your crew. You've got a common goal - to get the job done. No matter where you work on the water, there is always the potential for danger. Granted, Charlotte Harbor is no Bering Sea, but we still face potential hazards - lightning, boating dangers, and critters that can stab, poison, or eat you. Whether you're working on a 24 foot mullet skiff or a 110 foot crabbing vessel, things break down, and you have to pull together to fix them. While it can be frustrating at times, I am glad to be part of this big conglomerate of people who earn a living on the water.