As sure as Below Deck viewers can expect crew hookups and boat romances, there’s interior crew drama. The chief stew sets the tone for each season. Kate Chastain was a natural at antagonizing her staff and Hannah Ferrier always bemoaned a green stewardess. Better to be passive aggressive than train your team. Madison Stalker was subjected to massive PDA by her chief stew Jenna MacGillivray and Chef Adam Glick.
And now that Katie Flood has taken over as chief stew on Below Deck Mediterranean, it’s just inevitable that she will have some push back from one, if not two of her stewardesses. Usually a subordinate has an issue with authority, doesn’t get her job done, or just wants to gaze at the stars with her sweetheart in the style of Elizabeth Frankini.
It’s a small professional field in yachting. It’s also a small dating pool too apparently. Only a fellow yachtie will understand living and working in the industry, the fickle nature of it all and the lack of stability. Most Below Deck alums that have found successful relationships have also reverted back to land life. Below Deck Mediterranean star Hannah Ferrier is a prime example, as well as Amy Johnson, and Aesha Scott.
There are few natural loves that us Below Deck fans are aware of. Perhaps only Captain Lee Rosbach and his “bride” is the only successful love story in this industry. Otherwise, these folks either avoided love, or were left heartbroken. Now, one pairing that fizzled out after Season 4 is coming up again because of the above-mentioned limited dating pool.
Wow, the season premiere of Below Deck Mediterranean was an unmitigated disaster, huh? Captain Sandy Yawn readily admitted she pretty much failed on the first night of the season. Like, we’re talking falling flat on her face (much to the delight of many a viewer, I would presume). The weather was terrible. Chef Mathew Shea jumped ship at the first sign of stress. Therefore, the food, cooked by the rest of the crew, was atrocious. (Shout-out to the commenters who reminded me that Malia White played sous chef all season last year. That ability to help in the kitchen must’ve gone overboard with Tom Checketts…) The demanding guests were unforgiving. The whole thing really couldn’t have gone worse.
So now the main question is…can the crew right the proverbial ship? Or will it sink before the season’s even left the dock? In the aftermath of that terrible dinner, the answer to that question is uncertain. The guests got sloshed in order to choke down the food they were served. And although primary Terez is still throwing a tantrum in her cabin, everyone else seems to be in a (drunkenly) decent mood. One of the guests even insists on making chief stew Katie Flood do an “airplane” like a six-year-old. That seems like it would cross a line about appropriate treatment of the crew, but anything to save the tip, I guess?
Below Deck Mediterranean fans may not always like the drama that Captain Sandy Yawn brings to the show. She can be abrasive and has a particular management style that doesn’t always inspire confidence within her crew, but what Sandy has accomplished in her professional life is undeniably admirable.
Sandy is at the top of her field in a male dominated industry. She’s the captain of a super yacht cruising the Mediterranean year after year. And when Sandy sees potential in a member of her crew, she is ready to nurture their career advancement. She took Joao Franco under her wing in Season 4, followed by Malia White who is on her second season as Bosun. Sandy is definitely enthusiastic for the advancement of women in all ways, and that includes spreading knowledge about health issues.
It’s a matter of some debate whether the series of events leading up to Tom Checketts working on the same yacht as his then girlfriend Malia White were circumstantial or premeditated. Both Tom and Malia worked in the industry and hadn’t seen each other in some time. Tom just happened to be available when Captain Sandy Yawn fired Kiko Lorran, and was her first choice in replacing gentle Kiko, who was fired in the middle of dinner service and generally humiliated.
But as it turned out, just having Tom on board wasn’t enough. Malia wanted to switch cabins and put two warring egos into one confined space. When Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier refused to room with Bugsy Drake, Malia reported Hannah’s valium and CBD pen to Captain Sandy, though she had prior knowledge of these items. Sandy fired Hannah, promoted Bugsy, and Malia got easy access to Tom. Sandy even announced the new bunking arrangement over the radio.
Traveling the world is one of the biggest appeals of working in yachting. How glorious to be paid to explore new locations! And all us Below Deck viewers swoon over the views, whether it’s in the Mediterranean, Tahiti, or the Bahamas.
We know enough from watching Below Deck, Below Deck Mediterranean, and Below Deck Sailing Yacht that boat crews can take advantage of their location when they’re not working. And without a production team in tow, trying to tempt them with alcohol and bad decisions, a normal boat crew have many options regarding sight-seeing on their days off.
Below Deck Mediterranean seems plagued by chef mishaps. Never have they ever had stable situation in the galley, except perhaps for Adam Glick. Ben Robinson worked the premiere season but did the franchise a huge disservice by returning to land-life. There was steak-licker and Putin hardliner Mila Kolomeitseva. Kiko Lorran did a fine job, but one mishap left him traumatized and also fired by Captain Sandy Yawn. Tom Checketts cooked very well, but prefaced each meal with a tantrum.
Love her or hate her, but Captain Sandy has earned the right to an amazing chef. She helped cook the first dinner for gosh sakes. In fact, the whole crew had to get involved after Chef Mathew Shea went to hospital due to a knee injury. One that could have been prevented, by the way, if he hadn’t ordered a LITERAL TRUCK LOAD of provisions for the first charter. That’s over-compensation for your own anxiety Mathew.
Below Deck Mediterranean is back, and boy is it weird. Coming off of last year’s tumultuous season, Captain Sandy Yawn and her new crew aren’t exactly off to the best start. The chef Mathew Shea had a melt-down prior to the first charter and made the crew put on chefs’ hats for a change. I’m honestly surprised Sandy wasn’t happier — she’s the queen of micromanaging her crew, after all. Also, Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier is out after Malia White tattled to Sandy that she had prescription Valium on board. And newbie Katie Flood has taken her place.
Last season of Below Deck Med was hard to watch. I should’ve just drank every time I heard the words “Maritime Law” said during an episode. Sandy and Mini Sandy’s takedown of Hannah was just wrong and they’re still defending it. Malia has never fessed up for being the rat. Meanwhile, Sandy has doubled down that anyone who takes drugs isn’t able to work on a boat. Even if they’re prescribed for mental health conditions. So it’s not a surprise that fans weren’t enthusiastic about watching another season filled with Captain Sandy’s manipulative behavior and Malia’s ass-kissing.