'Deadliest Catch' brothers to appear at Norwalk Boat Show
Published 5:50 pm, Thursday, September 22, 2011
It won't be long before Josh and Jake Harris set out for another season of crab fishing, but first they have a date to keep with the 36th annual Norwalk Boat Show.
"I'm looking forward to it," said Jake Harris, 26, who, along with his brother Josh, 28, will be visiting Norwalk for the first time. The show runs through Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Norwalk Cove Marina, 48 Calf Pasture Beach Road.
The seafaring brothers, sons of the late Capt. Phil Harris, will be familiar faces to the many viewers who tune in to Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch," which just finished its seventh season. From the start, the Emmy Award-winning show has followed the challenges, dangers and successes faced by a group of boats and their crews as they take on Alaska's Bering Sea in search of crabs.
The reality show engenders all sorts of questions, from fishing industry professionals who want to talk shop, to those looking for a sense of what happens behind the scenes.
"What you see is what you get," Josh Harris said. "We are down-to-earth people, with a lot of problems, just like everyone else."
However, the public's perceptions can be skewed when it comes to watching a show that crams larger-than-life personalities and a fractious sea into the confines of a television screen.
"People often think we are taller than we are," Josh Harris said. "They'll say, `We thought you were at least 6-foot-5.' We tell them we have small camera guys."
For the past year or so, the brothers have heard from many fans offering condolences for the death of their father, who helmed and co-owned the Cornelia Marie (on which the brothers serve as deckhands) for 18 years. He suffered a stroke on Jan. 29, 2010, which eventually led to his death two weeks later.
"It's been great to be able to go out and meet everybody and thank them for supporting us," Josh Harris said. "And we try and help out wherever we can. Helping people, that was my dad's thing, and I'm going to try and continue that, to the best of my ability."
Jake Harris conceded that he tends to be more reticent than his older brother when it comes to meeting up with fans, or talking to reporters, for that matter. Months at sea with relatively small crews is not the best preparation for talking with the masses, after all.
Still, he said he is grateful for the many supportive fans and friends. And, his appearances at boat shows and other events has allowed him to see parts of the country many miles from his home in Washington state, where his brother also lives.
"Traveling around, you get to see so many different things," he said. "New York was amazing ... definitely a concrete jungle."
Another guest scheduled to appear at the boat show is teen sailor Abby Sunderland, who survived a devastating disaster at sea that cut short her quest to circumnavigate the globe last year. She will talk about her new book, "Unsinkable: A Young Woman's Courageous Battle on the High Seas."
The Norwalk Boat Show also will feature many boats, obviously, as well as other vessels, gear and accessories for sale. New this year is a PaddlePalooza, demonstrations of paddle sports, hosted by Downunder, a kayak and surf shop with locations in Westport and Norwalk.
There also will be education programs, daily sailing seminars and a party on Saturday, Sept. 24, all free. The Kids' Cove comes complete with activities, paddleboats, a bounce house and other features. And there will be a buffalo wings eating contest.
Tickets are $14; free for 15 and younger.
For more information, call 718-707-0711 or visit www.boatshownorwalk.com.