Below Deck Sailing Yacht Recap: The First Annual Seaman’s Cup

There’s no doubt about it, Chef Marcos Spaziani is a champ. All season long, he’s turned out meal after delicious meal. Never faltered. Never had a dish sent back by a single guest. (Besides Erica Rose and her terrible husband, but we’re not counting that.) He’s conquered seafood-paloozas, local Menorcan cuisine, and even a ten-course meal of 80 individual plates. Not even his random drama with Gabriela Barragan earlier in the season shook him up. But now he’s received devastating news from back home. His best friend’s mom has died from a sudden heart attack. And the tragedy has rocked him to the core.

But even with his inner world crumbling, Marcos knows he has a job to do. There’s no one else on this boat to pick up the slack if he falls apart. So after taking a few moments on the bow to collect himself, he heads back to the galley to make dinner. It’s not the kind of resolve I’m sure I would possess if put in the same situation, honestly. I don’t think I could do it. But Marcos won’t be deterred. He won’t even accept Gary King and Colin Macrae offering their help. Instead, he turns out a seafood soiree fit for a five-star super yacht vacation. And doesn’t even talk to his best friend until after the champagne has been sabered and the guests are full.

below deck sailing yacht recap season 3 episode 15 colin macrae captain glenn shephard

As the night goes on, the wind starts picking up. Like, we’re talking up to 11 knots. It’s just enough that the entire crew starts having flashbacks to running aground. But this time Kelsie Goglia‘s on anchor watch. So the boat’s in relatively safer hands than last time. But by the time the wind clocks 30 knots and the anchor chain is stretched to its limit, Kelsie decides it’s time to wake Gary. The first mate stays up for the rest of the night to have two sets of hands on deck in case of emergency.

However, the disaster doesn’t strike until the morning. After Gary‘s gone to bed and Barnaby Birkbeck‘s taking his turn on watch. At 9:15, just as the guests are sitting down for breakfast, the anchor starts dragging. Now it’s an emergency. Not because of Parsifal, but because of all the little boats around it. It’s time to wake Captain Glenn Shephard, who decides to take the risk, fire up the engines and re-anchor. The guests, meanwhile, have nothing to do but sit back and eat as the horizon spins around them.

Now, not only is Captain Glenn trying to re-anchor in 30 to 40 knots of wind, but the problem is about to get infinitely worse. The anchor chains are tangled. No wait, there’s a smaller chain from somewhere else wrapped around one of the anchor chains. The chaos happens so quickly that it’s hard to follow what exactly is going on. It even requires a reawakened Gary to jump in the tender as Colin and Barnaby furiously race around on deck. Somehow, they work together to get everything untangled. Captain Glenn manages to get the anchors back down, and all is safe. But boy, was it stressful there for a minute.

below deck sailing yacht recap season 3 episode 15 seaman's cup race

In an effort to lighten things up, the guests challenge the crew to compete in the first annual Seaman’s Cup. Of course, Ashley Marti immediately starts begging to participate. Like a bratty nine year old. (Probably because she doesn’t want Scarlett Bentley to have a chance to be on the team with Gary?) Ultimately, though, everyone gets to play besides Marcos, who’s in the galley making dinner. The Seaman’s Cup involves splitting into two teams (the Pirates vs. the Sailors) for an aquatic relay race refereed by Captain Glenn and involving the mini sailboat water toys, paddleboards and a mad dash to the jacuzzi. Ultimately, the crew manages to win, even despite Ashley and Barnaby flubbing their leg of the sailboat race. As Colin says, just because the guests are paying doesn’t mean they deserve to win.

Meanwhile, Daisy Kelliher makes a frustratingly grave oversight by forgetting to tell Chef Marcos that Captain Glenn is supposed to be eating dinner with the guests. Right in the middle of him cooking up a hugely ambitious meal based on molecular gastronomy. And he’s only made enough for the eight guests, not the eight guests plus the captain. So now he has to reconfigure his plan in order to get molecular gastronomy on every single plate.

below deck sailing yacht recap season 3 episode 15 ashley marti slaps charter guests hurricanes

And somehow, Chef Marcos manages to do just that. By the time the guests sit down for their meal, everything is ready. Each dish is somehow more impressive than the next. There’s Andalusian gazpacho with a “cherry tomato” made out of red pepper ice. Balsamic pearls and burrata foam on a gelatin “tomato.” Prosciutto y melone, except the cantaloupe looks like caviar and the cucumbers are actually carpaccio. Plus chipotle “foam” with scalloped potatoes and poached butternut squash. The guests are delighted and Chef Marcos has propelled himself to the level of a Below Deck Sailing Yacht all-star.

After dinner, the guests still want to party…with the crew. They’ve bonded over the Seaman’s Cup and now they want to crew to give them “Hurricanes.” Which apparently involves taking a shot while someone throws a glass of water in, and slapping you across, the face. I’m sorry, how is this fun, exactly? Daisy, Scarlett, Ashley and Kelsie are all down to do it, though. It’s all for the tip, right? Even if Ashley seems to take a little too much pleasure in getting to slap a guest in the face. That palm really connected…

below deck sailing yacht recap season 3 episode 15 chef marcos spaziani crying daisy kelliher

The next morning is departure day. And frankly, it’s been a low-drama charter, aside from Marcos‘ tragic news and Scarlett getting reprimanded for talking to Gary on the fly bridge the night before. The guests were delightful, and left the biggest tip of the season: $23,000. That’s $2,555 per person. But the bad news is that the crew won’t be going ashore to spend it all. Because charter number eight picks up the next morning. So instead, Captain Glenn has arranged for a nice meal to be delivered to the boat.

After the tip meeting, Daisy pulls Ashley aside to admonish the junior stew for all the complaining she’s been doing this charter. Especially in front of the guests. You’d think by this late in the season, she would know better. But Ashley will always be Ashley. And by the time the meal begins, poor Marcos is finally starting to crack. Daisy asks him to come for a smoke break, which is just an excuse to give him a shoulder. And he actually opens up, admitting near tears that he feels like he’s finally starting to crack. Can he handle the final charter of the season?

TELL US – HOW IMPRESSIVE WAS MARCOS THIS WEEK? DID YOU THINK THE BOAT WOULD CRASH BECAUSE OF THE WIND? SHOULD THE CREW HAVE LET THE GUESTS WIN THE SEAMAN’S CUP? 

[Photo Credit: Bravo]