Wet, Wild and Pittsburgh Proud

Anyone who can survive a Pittsburgh winter and the subsequent bad drivers can handle pretty much anything.  The people from this region are just naturally hardy and like to live life to the extreme.  A shining example of this is Captain Wild Bill Wichrowski.  He grew up in Irwin and ended up with the most dangerous job in the country.  Really, it has been tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Wild Bill must have craved the sea after traveling three rivers and headed out to the last frontier of Alaska to make his mark.  He worked his way up on a crab processing ship by developing a tough skin and resilient spirit.

True talent stands out like a sore thumb and it wasn’t long before Bill was made captain of a huge seagoing crab catching man bashing vessel.  Captain Bill spent 20 years fishing the Bering Sea before being captured by the Discovery Channel for their reality series Deadliest Catch.  You won’t find more swashbuckling, high end adventure fun anywhere outside of a pirate movie.  I doubt you will ever look at crab the same way again either.  The show highlights Bill’s notorious behavior and his potentially intimidating reputation.  But I think you have to be pretty tough to put up with perilous conditions at sea coupled with all the other risks inherent in his profession.  Not to mention the challenge of keeping a garrulous crew in check.  Remember Moby Dick!  Even though he has been known to use unconventional methods to keep his crew going strong, he is a really smart guy.  He has extensive experience as a naval engineer, boat electrician, and every aspect of  being a commercial fisherman.

Discovery Channel producers first approached Bill to join Deadliest Catch right out of the gate but he declined.  He had semi-retired leading high-end fishing expeditions but was lured back crabbing by their tempting  offer.  It was an excellent decision since the show has turned into an award winning hit.  It is heading into it’s tenth year and now includes Bill’s son Zack Larson.  It is as addictive as a soap opera with no dull moments.   And under his tough exterior Bill is a really  nice guy who puts as much energy into his nonprofit projects and charities as he does taming the high seas.  Don’t believe everything you see on TV.

You may want to watch from season one on Netflix or have a dinner and a reality show party with crab as the main course.  It is a great way to escape the rigors of your own job and rethink any complaints you have about your own hard demands.




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