Well, well, well. There’s nothing like a coronavirus scare to ruin all the fun. And just when we were getting started, too. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the Below Deck Sailing Yacht crew learns this week as they get underway on their second charter of the season. That’s right. We only made it through a single charter before the harsh realities of a post-pandemic world came crashing through the self-contained bubble of safety created by production. To remind us that, no, despite the debauchery and relaxation you’re seeing on screen, life hasn’t gone back to normal. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
First we need to talk about Gary King and Sydney Zaruba‘s (extremely ill-advised) one-night stand. Or more like their walk of shame after spending the night together in a guest cabin. I mean, really. Is there a dumber decision than hooking up with your boss/employee on your very first night off? It’s been like three days, man! And frankly, while they were certainly both consenting adults, the brunt of that unequal power dynamic lies squarely on Gary as first officer.
Naturally, the rest of the crew is eager to get the dirt on the first hook-up of the season. But both Gary and Sydney are staying fairly tight-lipped. While the female crew members all pile into Sydney’s cabin to press for details, Gary tries to play it cool with Captain Glenn Shephard. He’s a bit more open with Colin Macrae down in the boiler room, but insists the deckhand merely gave him a “cheeky kiss.” Sydney says otherwise via confessional; sex happened. But all I know is the look on Natasha De Bourg‘s face as she broke the fourth wall to stare into the camera as first Sydney, and then Gary, strolled past her on their walk of shame was priceless.
With just five hours till charter, Captain Glenn calls a preference sheet meeting with Gary, Natasha and Daisy Kelliher. And guess what? There’s no primary charter guest! Due to a family emergency, they’ve had to bail on the vacation, but are still sending their friends to enjoy the yacht. That’s certainly a Below Deck first. Immediately after the meeting, Daisy’s enraged to learn that someone (read: Colin) used the guest bathroom in the saloon. After it had already been cleaned and detailed. And that’s not all. Someone else (read: Gary and Sydney) used the one in the guest cabin too.
It’s safe to say the deck crew is officially on Daisy‘s bad side. Angrily, she calls an impromptu all-hands-on-deck meeting in the crew mess. Even Glenn is there. But no one ‘fesses up to using the guest cabin in front of the captain. So instead, all Daisy can do is issue a crew-wide threat that if the exterior doesn’t respect the interior’s work, it’s going to cause major problems for the rest of the season. Trust me, no one wants the wrath of the chief stew over their head for five more weeks.
The primary-less guests arrive and it quickly becomes clear the two girls and two gays are going to be a high maintenance bunch. To say the least. To make matters worse, there’s an issue with the main sail. (In layman’s terms, the rope holding the sail to the mast is broken. Glenn explains this in much more technical boat jargon. But basically it means they’ll have to sail with just the genny and the mizzen. More sailing lingo! Also Gary‘s being more than a little awkward with Sydney on the job. And Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux is fifteen minutes late for his day shift.
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Parsifal III anchors in Licice, and the crew gets every water toy out with just an hour to spare before dinner. And while the stews deal with lobster carcasses and mysterious black goo in the galley, Jean-Luc butts heads with Gary on deck. Over, like, wrapping lines and dragging them across the teak. It’s petty and ridiculous but the perfect excuse Gary needs to unleash all his pent-up resentment at the junior deckhand. He demands Jean-Luc switch cabins with him. Right now. The latter turned down the offer last episode, but now he doesn’t have a choice. He’s bunking with Glenn for the rest of the season. That is, if he lasts that long…
For dinner the first night, Natasha delivers a feast of seared scallops with orange ponzu sauce, slow-poached carrot purée, and lobster tail in clarified butter. The guests love it. Jury’s still out on Natasha, but there’s no denying her food seems superb. There’s also no denying that Gary is an incredibly capable first officer. He masterfully fixes the problems with the main sail, all while hung over and frustrated. Swinging from a harness high above deck he threads the boltrope through the donkey dick like a pro. Glenn‘s impressed.
Sydney, on the other hand, is feeling less and less impressed with her hook-up buddy. All day long, he’s essentially been “all work and no flirt.” He doesn’t even take the bait when she jokes about making her own “honey-do list.” Instead, she’s stuck on the late shift by herself. And now that he’s bunking with Colin, Gary‘s quick to admit he has his eyes set on Alli Dore as his next conquest. Is it safe to say the sparks between Gary and Sydney have cooled as quickly as they caught flame?
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The next morning, everything changes. One of the charter guests went to bed feeling unwell after dinner. Now he’s woken up with a 101 degree fever. Which could mean several things. But the most pressing fear is, of course, that it’s coronavirus. And if one person on board has COVID, then it’s likely that everyone’s been exposed working in such close quarters. The crew launches into protocol, taking temperatures and quarantining the guests in their cabins while Glenn calls the medical officer on shore. This could potentially shut down the entire season.
A doctor arrives on board in a full hazmat suit to administer coronavirus tests to the guests. Whom are understandably frustrated at being stuck in their cabins with their luxury yacht vacation in jeopardy. Everyone had to undergo a full quarantine and multiple rounds of testing before coming aboard, so how could this be happening? But until test results come back with an all clear, there’s only one thing to do: remove the guests from the boat and wait it out. With no other option, Glenn brings Parsifal back to dock, and the guests are escorted to a hotel to quarantine.
TELL US – WILL DAISY KEEP CLASHING WITH THE BELOW DECK SAILING YACHT CREW? IS GARY HANDLING THE AFTERMATH OF HIS HOOK-UP WITH SYDNEY POORLY? DO YOU THINK THE GUESTS HAVE CORONAVIRUS?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]