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.
What is it about Captain Sandy Yawn and Below Deck Mediterranean chefs? Or chief stews for that matter. Though, Sandy seems much happier with Katie Flood taking over for Hannah Ferrier this season. But as for drama in the galley, well it’s either that Bravo sends one incompetent chef after another or Sandy is the common denominator.
Sandy drove Kiko Lorran, a perfectly respectable chef, to tears and hovered over an already high-strung Tom Checketts. She berated Ben Robinson when dinner was served cold without dealing with the real issue; a faulty stove. Now, there’s Mathew Shea, who ran himself ragged with anxiety and an inflamed knee. He ducked out of his duties on the first day of charter one. Not a bright start, but perhaps Mathew deserves the benefit of the doubt. Katie had good things to say about him by the end of the season. Sandy, on the other hand, did not. But what’s the truth? Is Mathew as bad as Sandy says or is her hyperbole sullying the name of another good chef?
Once the Below Deck Franchise expanded into three separate show, it was inevitable to start comparing and contrasting the crew, especially the captains. Below Deck still has its original Captain Lee Rosbach, the one that set the tone for the entire series. Below Deck Mediterranean boasted Captain Sandy Yawn as the first female captain that has a tendency for bad luck in the galley. The relatively laid back atmosphere on Below Deck Sailing Yacht was a welcome change with the addition of Captain Glenn Shephard.
Ultimately, the captain dictates the environment on board. And while some captains have actually dealt with the same scenarios, like charter guests with drugs on board, sometimes one can only speculate about what they would have done in the same situation.
What’s the saying? As one ship docks, another sets sail? In the Bravoverse, that can only mean one thing: as the mizzen and main are furled on Below Deck Sailing Yacht, it’s time for Season 6 of Below Deck Mediterranean! The good news? We’re back in Croatia! Which longtime fans will remember as the setting for Season 2 — widely regarded as probably the show’s most iconic season ever. (Though this particular recapper is also partial to Season 3’s adventures on the Italian coast…)
The bad news? You may not be happy with some of Bravo’s casting decisions. Because, yes, both Captain Sandy Yawn and Malia White are back. Frankly, it’s just a baffling decision that makes absolutely no sense to me. Especially when you consider how much backlash they received from fans over how terribly they handled all the drama that went down with Hannah Ferrier. On one hand, I never expected Captain Sandy to go anywhere. But why on God’s blue ocean bring Malia back for another season as bosun? If we needed a familiar face to fill the void left by Hannah — and for the record, we do — why not keep Bugsy Drake as chief stew? Or promote Alex Radcliffe and make him bosun? Or better yet, both! Because I’m pretty confident that no one (and I mean no one) was asking for another season of Malia.
It wouldn’t be reality TV if there wasn’t conflict, whether it’s fabricated by production or not. And Below Deck Mediterranean is the irresistible mix of work/life relationships happening in tight quarters. Even more so now with coronavirus restrictions limiting movement of both charter guests and crew off the boat. The crew are together 24/7 in a highly stressful industry, and the results give us fans some premium reality TV fodder.
Drama will happen. And with Hannah Ferrier enjoying land-life, Captain Sandy Yawn needs a new target this season. Katie Flood will have to up her table decor game for sure . Usually Sandy is micromanaging in the galley, so chef Mathew Shea will be on her radar as well. But the fight teased during the Season 6 trailer is the first major professional issue Sandy has had with her protege, Bosun Malia White.
The biggest cast shake-up on Below Deck Mediterranean happened last season when OG Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier was fired. Captain Sandy Yawn, at the behest of “maritime” law terminated Hannah for failing to register her prescriptions medications. Bosun Malia White found valium and a CBD pen in Hannah’s belongings, then waited for a perfect opportunity to report them to Captain Sandy. Bugsy Drake, who returned to fill in as second stew, replaced Hannah.
Now, with Season 6 to premiere shortly, fans are anticipating what to expect from a new Chief Stew. Hannah was with the show since it premiered, and what would we do without our chain-smoking, underwhelming table-setting, job-hating Hannah? Love her or hate her, she was a show staple. Much like Kate Chastain on Below Deck.