Welcome to Below Deck Sailing Yacht where there is the same drama, but in even more confined and awkward spaces! Also now accompanied by fun Pirates of the Caribbean music and some very weird super quick, out of focus camera zooms. Well this should be fun. Naut!
We are however switching from Thailand and motor yacht Valor, to Greece and Parsifal III, a motor sailing yacht where for the past 9 months Captain Glenn Shephard has been living in an awkward a-sexual menage a trois with couple Paget Berry and Ciara Duggan, awaiting the start of charter season.
One of the differences between motor yachts (like Valor from regular Below Deck) and sailing yachts seems to be that the captain and a skeleton crew always remain on board to keep the boat in shape, even when they aren’t in season.
Paget is First Mate and when the boat isn’t in operation Ciara is the sole interior staff, but for this charter season she’ll be joining Pagent on the deck crew. This is totally a producer manipulated scheme to destroy their relationship and with all their lovey-dovey ‘look at how perfect we work together/Ciara is a natural deckhand’ nonsense we reality TV veterans know these starry-eyed lovers are doomed. Their realatiosnhiop is weird anyway. Ciara is a homeschooled American, and when she was 15 her parents decided they would move the family to Spain to live on a 45-foot catamaran. Even though their only sailing epxeirnce had been a 3-day intro to sailing course. Probably taught by an 85-year-old amateur fisherman at the local YMCA and using bath toys.
Anyway, Ciara’s parents needed someone who knew what they were doing so they wouldn’t all drown and end up the subject of a Dateline Mystery, so they hired Paget. And low and behold, Ciara and Pagent became BFF, then roommates, and finally a couple who has been dating for 4 years! In other notables, Paget is British.
Ciara and Paget have been living on Parsifal year-round and putting up framed photos of themselves all around the interior. Captain Glenn is living in the storage cabinet under the stairs I assume? I feel like this is elder abuse and also some degree of trashing your parents house, because the interior looks like a frat party pillow fight took place. There are linens, trash bags, pillows of all shapes and sizes everywhere, plus the kitchen accoutrements are covering the counter in complete disarray. Basically the entire place looks ransacked– and the incoming charter season starts in 24 hours! Which means it’s time to break up this imperfect harmony by welcoming the instruments of destruction: the rest of the crew.
First up is old favorite chef Adam Glick, previously of Below Deck Mediterranean. Adam looks goooood. Healthy, robust – the man has been working out, and avoiding women by living in a van for the last 2 years cooking over an open fire for his dog. Now Adam is back among civilization and hopefully he left his dysfunction somewhere in the Mohave dessert covered in Saran Wrap and diced onions. Adam is not impressed by the state of the kitchen, but he is impressed with sailing (and himself).
Then there is chief stew Jenna MacGillivray, whose ego is bigger than Adam’s, and approaches stewardessing like this the military and she must whip these little toilet brush wielding madams into shape. Unfortunately Jenna’s own life is kind of a disaster of failed relationship after failed relationship, which is why she immediately starts flirting with Adam. Another notch on the mast of heartbreak is likely headed her way. Right from the jump Jenna seems impossible to deal with. Immediately upon meeting her crew, Madison Stalker and Georgia Grobler, Jenna starts barking orders at them and warns them never to question her authority. Um, even cult leaders start with a more gentle approach.
Of course it does seem like Madison and Georgia need a firm hand. They have the maturity of rebellious teenagers and right away it becomes apparent that they’re treating Jenna with an Us. vs. You mentality and will team up to upend her very sense of laundry. Madison is basically an advertisement for unmedicated ADD and describes herself as an “energizer bunny” who can’t quit, won’t quit, doesn’t quit until she gives 324%. Evidently she did quit basic math. Madison is also an ex-figure skater who approaches all of life with that same devotional obsession needed to toe pick into a double-axel. Even drinking. Within seconds of meeting her new boss Madison brags about getting drunk tattoos with a guy she hooked up with on a former yacht and thinks this shows restraint because she stopped at 2 and didn’t continue dating him. Hmmmm…
Then there is Georgia, a South African with a fake British accent, who likes to party and will definitely be sleeping with at least one person this season. This girl packs a huge amount of baggage. Literally and metaphorically. Georgia just seems like she will be stirring up drama and discord. Also wherever Georgia was previously working as a stewardess she was by herself and learned all of her skills from Instagram and YouTube tutorials. Um… so white glove service ain’t gonna happen with this one. Also where was she working completely unstrained and unskilled – the Staten Island Ferry?
The third member of the deck crew is an American named Parker McCown. I like Parker right away, because he seems really fun, is thrilled to be here, laughs at himself in an appropriately self-deprecating way, and seems eager to work hard.
Another difference between Sailing and regular Below Deck, is that the engineer is one of the cast members instead of some invisible force that fixes things in the sly corners of the camera’s eyes. So rounding out the crew is Byron Hissey, who is crammed in a cabin with the Captain. YES – this boat is 120 feet and has a NINE person crew (including the captain) plus accommodates 6 guests. It is a tight squeeze and you can literally see the Bravo camera’s struggling to film and not being able to adjust the aperture in time.
With the boat a mess and the first guests on board in less than a day the crew immediately leaps into working nonstop. The first guests are a former Apple employee, his wife, their daughter who just graduated from college, one of her friends, and another couple who is celebrating something of a honeymoon. The second couple is flying from Vegas where they got married the day before. Thankfully these guests have no weird preference sheet demands, and their only request is wanting to have a fancy champagne dinner their first night. Also they like sushi.
Miraculously the boat is semi-together when the guests walk up the dock. Instead the trouble is with the guests — namely that 2 of them are missing! The newly married couple pulled a no-show and will be arriving, later – no one knows when or how. The present and accounted for guests are lovely, low-maintenance people who just want to relax and watch the ocean. How on earth did Bravo convince these people to be part of the show?
Shockingly the guests quarters are insanely spacious compared to where the crew lives. Also there is an enormous hot tub… which has been sitting cold and unused for 9 months but still no one thought to test the heater before the season started. The oven also sat un-used, so thank god for Byron coming to the rescue with his magical ability to flip the ON button. Seriously Paget never checked the hot tub and didn’t even know how to work the heater — and then the guests wanted to get in it. Oops.
Luckily the raising of the sails will distract from a lot of things. Bad service, slow food, cold hot tubs… raise sails and instantly impressed. Also there is no annoying slide to relentlessly put up and take down like there is on Below Deck, but instead there are sails. And sails can cause even more trouble. On their first time up one of them comes off the track, which is called a “donkey,” because, according to Paget, the track is basically like a big giant donkey schlong up to the sky. This is a huge hassle to fix and Captain Glenn won’t be able to deal with dismantling everything until the guests are no longer on board, so they can’t raise that sail for the duration of the charter (I think… Frankly sailing confuses me. I need to take the class Ciara’s parents took so I can then put my children’s lives in danger by recklessly moving onto a sailboat, then realizing I can’t actually sail after watching a YouTube video)
For the first lunch Adam adheres to the preference sheet and serves sushi. He may complain about Captain Sandy Yawn‘s micromanaging (which is beyond annoying), but Adam did learn to follow the guests requests! And the guests love the sushi!
Paget and Ciara are already having difficult reconciling dating with being professional. Namely Ciara wants to still act like a couple and like she’s the guest; sitting with the engineer (who becomes captain when Glenn is away from the steering wheel) and trying to kiss Paget when guests can see. Paget is not OK with this breech of conduct – and warns Ciara that she shouldn’t be sitting in front of guests. I agree with Paget, but Ciara immediately appeals to Byron who tells Paget to back-off. So this should be veerrrrrrry interesting!
Then there is another snafu, as Adam is preparing steak for dinner the stewardesses realize there are NO STEAK KNIVES. Except for the cheap silverware the crew eats with which they are forced to use that in the place settings for the guests. This is Ciara’s fault for not managing supplies better.
And of course, just before dinner is to be served, here come the missing two charter guests, arriving via water taxi. And surprise! They never got married! It turns out they missed their flight to Vegas, because some president made an appearance (from what country we’re not sure) so instead of getting married they drank tons of double gin & tonics, then missed their transportation to the sailing yacht departure, and now here they are, uber drunk, Uber-attention seeking, Uber-not married, and Uber-confusing. So Jenna has the brilliant idea to suggest that Captain Glenn marry them! He’s not even sure he has the authority to do so (or that these two actually want to get married!). These two 40-something adults sound as reckless as Madison. Also what shitty friends to corrupt and disrupt a vacation someone else paid for!
So far I am super intrigued by Below Deck Sailing Yacht. What do you think?
TELL US – ARE YOU WATCHING BELOW DECK SAILING YACHT? ARE YOU GLAD TO SEE ADAM AGAIN? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW CAST MEMBERS?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]