Note to anyone reading this recap: if you ever go on a luxury sailing vacation, do not act like Barrie Drewitt-Barlow. Better yet, don’t do it on any vacation ever. The Below Deck universe is certainly no stranger to difficult guests. They all tend to be—at turns—finicky, entitled, pretentious and snobbish. That’s part of why they’re charting a private mega-yacht on a reality TV show. But on a scale of entertaining to impossible, Barrie is on a level all his own. Is he the most critical, demanding guest in Below Deck Sailing Yacht history?
Also, remember how last week I said the tangled web between Barrie, his daughter Saffron and her ex-boyfriend/his current boyfriend Scott couldn’t possibly get any more, ahem, complicated? I lied. I did some casual online sleuthing. And a quick perusal of the internet revealed that Barrie and Scott welcomed a baby girl via surrogate just one month after this vacation to Croatia. Her name is Valentina Willow Drewitt-Barlow. According to the article I found, she was born in September 2020. Which makes Saffron’s ex-boyfriend not only her dad’s partner, but also the father of her new half-sister.
For some added context, Saffron and her brother Aspen were the twins born via surrogate back in 2000, when Barrie and his now-ex-husband Tony first became widely known throughout England. For some reason, I highly doubt Barrie thought as he was holding baby Saffron for that photo opp 21 years ago that some day, he would have another baby via surrogate with that baby’s ex-boyfriend. And that’s not to shame anyone in the situation; it seems to work for them and there’s surely plenty we as viewers aren’t privy t0 about how it all happened. But any way you cut it, the story is just beyond wild. Truly hard to wrap one’s head around.
But anyway, back to the action aboard Parsifal. To put it simply, Barrie isn’t happy about anything. One one hand, his complaints about the food coming out at different times is sort of valid. But on the other, you’d think he would realize Natasha De Bourg is one person meeting demands of nine different picky eaters and give her a little bit of grace. But no. The meal went poorly and now Barrie is going to spend the rest of the charter making the chef’s life a living hell. Daisy Kelliher reports how things are going to Captain Glenn Shephard. And not even a tableside visit from the congenial Canadian can tame Barrie’s ruffled feathers. I mean, when Glenn offered to do some more sailing — on the literal sailing yacht they’ve chartered — Barrie’s response was basically, “What else is there to do?”
Blessedly, the whole family goes down early for the night. And while the youngest kids are surely having nightmares about the fat camp their dad threatened to send them to after this vacation is over, Gary King spends the night flirting with Allie Dore in the crew mess. Or trying to, at least. His attempts at bonding with the stew over their love of The Hills Have Eyes are interrupted by none other than Sydney Zaruba. Who’s the last person on the boat that Gary wants to see. But for some reason, she’s up for the late shift nearly three hours early and ready to scrub teak. Sydney acts like she doesn’t know what she just walked into, but this brewing love triangle clearly isn’t getting put to bed any time soon…
The next morning is day two of the charter. And the crew has two basic objectives: Gary has to find a private beach for a picnic excursion. And Natasha needs to redeem her bruised ego with a day of stellar meals. One of these things will be easier than the other. By breakfast, Natasha’s already stumbled again. And this time, it’s a pretty major error. Barrie requests poached eggs with his bacon and baked beans. The chef interprets this as eggs Benedict covered in a veritable swimming pool of hollandaise sauce. She’s apparently never heard of poached eggs on their own. And despite Daisy warning her, Natasha sends the eggs benny up.
Surprise, surprise, it’s not what Barrie wanted. Naturally, he has no qualms about sending it back. And now he’s got one more reason to hate Natasha. In an attempt at damage control, Daisy tells Glenn about the mix-up. Just in the event that Barrie complains (again) to him, she doesn’t want the captain being caught off guard. (And let’s be honest here, the fact that she gets to throw Natasha under the bus in the process might be an added bonus.) Natasha doesn’t take kindly to being tattled on. And just like that, the simmering tension between the chef and chief stew gets turned up a few more degrees. If Natasha calling Daisy “such a bitch” in her confessional is any indication, these two are definitely going to hate each other by season’s end.
Anchoring in Palmizana, Barrie wants to punish Natasha by forcing her to make lunch on the beach. But Daisy thankfully persuades him that the meal would be better served on the boat. After the family gets back from their excursion ashore, which has been set up by Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux. To get to the beach, the kids challenge each other to a swimming race. Barrie offers a pair of Louis Vuitton shoes to the winner with the encouraging words of “We don’t like losers in this family!” However, once they get to the beach, the primary puts his plan of revenge against Natasha into motion. Innocently, he asks for sandwiches and drinks to be delivered from the boat. Oh, and can Natasha push the sushi lunch she’s already hard at work preparing back an hour? Not a problem, right?
However, there’s a major problem, and for once it’s not in the galley. On his way back to the boat, Gary notices that the tender is having some engine trouble, with the clutch randomly going in and out. Upon closer inspection, Colin Macrae realizes the problem is a hydraulic line. There’s oil everywhere. This is bad. Like really, really bad. It means the tender is out of operation. And the guests are stuck on the beach. Waiting for sandwiches.
What should’ve been a twenty minute trip turns into a full-blown ordeal. Glenn frantically radioes the marina to borrow another tender while Colin starts dismantling the tender’s engine. Meanwhile, Barrie is growing increasingly irritated the longer he’s stranded on the beach with no one but Jean-Luc to entertain him. Eventually, the crew improvises a solution, with Sydney literally delivering the sandwiches via paddleboard a full 80 minutes after they were ordered. Spoiler: Barrie then complains about the sandwiches, but thankfully the back-up tender arrives and everyone can get back to the boat.
As if things couldn’t get any more stressful, Barrie and co. decide to immediately sit down for lunch. A full 35 minutes before the time they requested when they pushed back the meal in lieu of sandwiches on the beach. It’s yet another horribly rude move in Barrie’s cat-and-mouse game with Natasha. Though thankfully he’s distracted for at least a minute by trying to play matchmaker between Jean-Luc and Dani Soares. (Meanwhile, Glenn is more furious than we’ve ever seen him as the broken-down tender scratches up the new paint job on the side of the boat.) Eventually, the sushi is served. And Natasha’s painstaking work to hand roll sushi earns at best begrudging shrug. It was acceptable. Just fine. At least there were minimal complaints about it.
For dinner, the family has requested a drag party. Which means Daisy has to talk the deck crew into dressing up in drag while Natasha prepares burrata, lobster and…chicken fingers for Scott. Gary is particularly resistant to the idea and runs away for a cigarette break when Daisy presses him. It’s a childish response to say the least. And it wouldn’t be a normal meal without at least one curve ball thrown at Natasha. Barrie’s ex-husband asks for fries with the appetizer knowing full well they were supposed to come with the main course. It messes up Natasha’s time management in the galley. The worst part? In the end, he doesn’t even eat the truffle fries. We watch him blatantly turn them down when offered by Saffron. Rude.
Eventually, Daisy manages to talk Colin, Jean-Luc and a reluctant Gary into drag, complete with neon-colored wigs. And wouldn’t you know it, the second Gary puts that feathered boa around his shoulders, he’s feeling — in his own words — “sexy as f–k.” The trio strut out to deliver dessert and the guests go wild. They all get into it, twerking and dancing as Glenn, the girls, and guests cheer them on. So all’s well that ends well, basically. Well, unless you’re Daisy. The chief stew’s growing quickly tired of Gary’s resistance to being a team player. She shouldn’t have to ask half a dozen times for something that could impact the crew’s tip, right? As she says via confessional, Daisy sees right through Gary, and she’s reaching the limit of what she’s willing to put up with…
TELL US – WAS BARRIE UNFAIRLY TRYING TO PUNISH NATASHA WITH HIS DEMANDS? WILL DANI AND JEAN-LUC BE THE REAL BOATMANCE OF THE SEASON? IS DAISY’S INSTINCT ABOUT GARY ACCURATE?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]