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Below Deck

Captain Sandy Yawn Leah Shafer Below Deck Mediterranean

Captain Sandy Yawn got a lot of good news this week, both in her personal and professional life.  First, long-time Below Deck Mediterranean nemesis and uninspired chief stew Hannah Ferrier announced that she would not be returning to the series.  Then, the Season 5 premiere brought in the highest viewing numbers for a premiere in Below Deck history.  Maybe the first piece of news had something to do with the other.

But the best development of this first week in June is that Sandy’s love Leah Shaffer is still cancer-free.  After announcing her health struggles in September, Leah had gotten a lumpectomy in October to remove a high-risk growth.  At the time Leah explained that, “this is what I have: LCIS lobular carcinoma rapid cell growth. So I chose lumpectomy To remove the area of disease/concerned area so it didn’t even have a chance to develop into anything more. LCIS is not considered breast cancer. But it can!! And quickly. It’s early signs of breast cancer.”

Below Deck Mediterranean Hannah Ferrier

Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier doesn’t surprise Below Deck Mediterranean viewers anymore.  She either complains about her interior crew not having enough experience or having too much experience.  If the former is the issue, she will have more work training them.  If she has a very competent team member, she will feel insecure about the stew calling out her unenthusiastic management style.

Hannah had the unusual fortune of working with Aesha Scott and Anastasia Surmava last season.  They all worked well together and became friends, so there was no drama in the interior.  The premiere showed viewers that this would not be case for Season 5 as Hannah and Second Stew Lara Flumiana immediately butted heads.

Below Deck Mediterranean Captain Sandy Yawn

As the Below Deck series and spin-offs continue to multiply, it’s only natural to contrast the differing crew, boats, and captains.  Turnover in yachting seems quite high among the crew, but the captains have been pretty consistent throughout the seasons.

Captain Lee Rosbach is our OG from the pilot episode, while Captain Sandy Yawn replaced Captain Mark Howard after one season and has been on Below Deck Mediterranean ever since.  Captain Glenn Shephard is the newcomer at the helm of Below Deck Sailing Yacht.  And while he seemed to have a firm and steady hand in terms of dealing with crew issues, his handling of a suspected charter guest with drugs did not go over so well in the season finale.

Captain Sandy Yawn Hannah Ferrier

Below Deck Mediterranean has hit the ground running with the season 5 premiere airing this week.  Chief stewardess Hannah Ferrier wasted no time in being annoyed this season. It started almost immediately when she greeted her first surprise co-crew member and bosun, Malia White. It’s like she already can’t be bothered by coworkers of season’s past. In case you missed it, there are some teasers of tension between these two from Captain Sandy Yawn.

Hannah’s attitude only gets worse when Hannah meets new stewardess Lara Flumiani. We all saw in the season trailer that Lara would fill the role of stewardess who challenges Hannah’s management style this year. That became even more clear when we watched this year’s version of tablescape drama emerge. Before the yacht even leaves the dock for it’s first voyage you can tell Hannah is already over this charter season. 

Below Deck Mediterranean Hannah Ferrier Malia White

Well Below Deck Mediterranean is back, but literally nothing changed. Hannah Ferrier is still obnoxious and a terrible chief stew, Captain Sandy Yawn is overbearing and phony. OK – changed my mind. One thing has changed: Malia White is here again but this time she is a bosun who has no time for the boys. Malia actually didn’t annoy me this episode. So that has also changed.

The crew is setting sail in Mallorca Spain aboard The Wellington, the biggest yacht they’ve ever had, which means we have a 4-person deck crew, two of whom are rejects from Jersey Shore.

Captain Sandy is on my last nerve before Hannah has even stepped onto the boat. She is practically choking on her own words when she claims to truly believe Hannah is a hard worker who wants to do a good job, which is why she hired her back. See, no, this is BS that absolutely no one believes. I hate when reality television so infringes upon actual credible reality – why can’t Sandy just say Bravo made me hire Hannah.

Captain Sandy Yawn Below Deck Mediterranean
Below Deck Mediterranean returns for its fifth season tonight. Captain Sandy Yawn is back to helm the Wellington mega-yacht. Hannah Ferrier will resume her role as Chief Stew. Season 2 deckhand Malia White returns with a promotion to bosun.

Below Deck Mediterranean Chef Ben Robinson Debuts New Girlfriend

We’ve met a lot of chefs on Below Deck.  The turnaround is not as high as the deck or interior crew positions, but most of them have left after one season.  Sometimes, as in the case of Mila Kolomeitseva and Leon Walker, they don’t even the last the season.  In both cases, Ben Robinson stepped in to finish the job.

Ben is the OG chef of the franchise.  He was cast in season 1 of Below Deck, back in the days of Adrienne Gang.  When Adrienne left, the glorious Kate Chastain filled the Chief Stew position and the rest was divine reality TV history.  Kate and Ben had a fun, flirty rapport that also included a lot of dry wit and sarcasm.  Ben also has my approval for turning down Below Deck Mediterranean chief stew Hannah Ferrier.  Ben decided to leave yachting for a while after finding love on board with Emily Warburton-Adams.  He has been quiet about his love life since they broke up in 2017.  Now, Ben is sharing a new romance.

Below Deck Mediterranean Season 4 - Captain Sandy Yawn

Below Deck Mediterranean returns on June 1. That means Captain Sandy Yawn and Hannah Ferrier are on board for another season. In addition to some new faces, they’ll be joined by Malia White, who was a deckhand on a previous season. This time around, she has been promoted to bosun.

They have an all-women leadership team, which is great to see in the yachting industry. However, the team of female leaders isn’t getting along so well this season.