Dangerous Waters reality TV show screens in Petersburg
Cast members of Dangerous Waters pose for a picture beneath the crashing waters of a Southeast Alaska waterfall.
Just when you thought it was safe to turn on the TV, another reality show hits the little screen. But this time, the new show Dangerous Waters, which premiered at 7 p.m. Tuesday on GCI channel 1, has local ties.
The show chronicles the adventures of outdoor enthusiast and California-native Steven Moll who came up with the idea to take a group of guys on SeaDoo personal watercraft from Washington state through the Alaskan inside passage and onward toward Russia.
Dangerous Waters Season 1 will last 10 weeks and follows five team members on four SeaDoos through extreme weather conditions, rough waters, and a plethora of mechanical problems.
If this all sounds slightly familiar, Steven Moll, the show's creator landed in Petersburg a couple of years ago when his SeaDoo broke down at Five Finger and was towed into the harbor.
Moll was referred to local mechanic and business-owner Charles Davis, who not only repaired Moll's SeaDoo, but also managed to make an impression that later landed him a spot on the 65-day, 4,500-mile 2011 adventure.
After the screening of Episode 4 at the Northern Lights Theater on Saturday, Moll took to the stage like a motivational speaker, answering questions from the crowd. Davis, with his young daughter hanging off of his shoulders like a baby monkey, also answered questions from the audience.
“At the end of the trip, I had spent 65 days going from Washington to Russia. I had $148 dollars in the bank,” said Moll. The excursion, which was independently-produced, filmed and scripted, included Moll, 40, of Sacramento, Calif., Davis and his driver/cameraman and brother Wesley, 37, of New Orleans, La., outdoorsman Patrick McGregor, 40, from Boise, Idaho, and snowmobile rider turned cameraman Andrew Mazzella, 24, of Bozeman, Mont.
Each episode chronicles a different leg of the journey – much of which is plagued with stormy weather and mechanical problems.
“When Steve said he wanted to go 250 miles, I learned that translated into 125 miles,” said Davis.
The problems the team faced were a direct result of pushing the SeaDoo craft beyond their intended limits, Moll said. Problems included water in the engines, broken parts, and holes in the fiberglass hulls. The team also survived some amazing rescues too.
But in addition to the danger faced on the water, the team faced warm and friendly locals in the harbor towns where they docked along the way.
“Every place we went, we were told by people who we told where we were from, they said: ‘Come to our house, let us feed you, let us put you up for the night. You guys are definitely suicidal,’” Moll said.
Charles Davis noses his Seedoo up to a glistening iceberg.
About half-way through the trek, the team ran out of money and reached out to telecommunications provider GCI for sponsorship. With an infusion of $20,000 in cash, the team was able to continue on the journey. Everyone on the team pitched in with finances. Fuel alone was upwards of $45,000.
The team filmed the entire journey themselves in 1080p with two Sony cameras. The crew would set up shots, by riding by a cameraman, or by placing a camera on a rock and then riding by. They also paid the pilot of a float plane to shoot some aerial scenes.
Moll said, “It's like winning the lottery every day. You wake up in the morning with your best buds and you never know where you'll end up each night.”
All five men have signed a contract for Season 2 of Dangerous Waters, which will begin filming June 8. Once again the team plans to head to Russia, then on to Japan – ending in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
“It's extremely dangerous and I can't wait to do it again,” Moll said.