The atmosphere on Valor this season on Below Deck has been playing out like Mad Men on water. The guys are all banding together to discredit any strong, independent female voices. Bosun Ashton Pienaar is a ringleader of sorts, though without the fitted suits and classy martinis. Instead, sloppy Smashton has been running campaigns against both Chief Stew Kate Chastain and his Third Deck Hand Rhylee Gerber. And seemingly under Ashton’s leadership, it’s been a bit of a “boys club” on board.
Ashton often voiced grievances against Rhylee with the rest of the deck crew, including Tanner Sterback and Brian de Saint Pern. Most concerns, stemmed from his experience working with Rhylee last season. Kate also became a target for her alleged elitist attitude and perceived favoritism from Captain Lee Rosbach. Chef Kevin Dobson had his own beef with both of these ladies, and was happy to share his opinions at any opportunity. But what of Captain Lee? He’s driving the boat. Are his actions contributing at all?
This season of Below Deck is so utterly disappointed I’m actually dreading watching it. The unchecked misogyny is out of control and it’s disgusting the way almost the entire male crew is actively attempting to gaslight most of the female crew. The exception in both these cases seem to be Brian de Saint Pern and Courtney Skippon, who maybe are protected by a bubble of love. Or at least like. Like, that in Courtney’s case, is probably al dente.
After being physically threatened and screamed at by Ashton Pienaar in his drunken “Smashton’ state Kate Chastain has disappeared from the boat. She literally walks off into the night, telling the producers and film crew to fuck off.
I like to imagine production tracked Kate down and put her up in a 5-star hotel, then gave her a bonus a spa treatment. Kate must have felt incredibly afraid and uncomfortable to walk off into the night in a foreign country where she doesn’t speak the language or know anyone outside of the Super Yacht. The only person who is at all concerned and tries to stop her is Rhylee Gerber. And the next morning Rhylee is the only person who actually remembers what happened.
I apologize for the delay in this recap, but I was suffused in a cookie-filled delirium that included nonstop holiday parties and preparations. With New Years Eve literally on the horizon, followed by our annual (MASSIVE) New Years Day brunch, I keep repeating to myself “Home Stretch!” Which is much like this season of Below Deck!
We are in the home stretch here and things are gonna get worse before they (hopefully) get better. In my case the thing that will get worse is my waistline! Please, please, please let some Good Samaritan break into my house and steal only the cookies, cakes, and other holiday treats before I turn into a marshmallow who roams around just absorbing other sweets until I am taking over the entirety of a grocery store in a mad quest for sugar.
Anyway, on with the show!
This season of Below Deck started out so calm and cool in scorching hot Thailand. For a change, chief stew Kate Chastain was not letting anything ruffle her feathers for long. Kate’s inevitable ruffling initially came in the form of chef Kevin Dobson, who seemed to take an almost instant dislike to her. Kevin even called out her service in front of Captain Lee Rosbach during a tip meeting. Shockingly, Kate did not exact immediate revenge on Kevin.
Kate’s other source of consternation has been second stew Simone Mashile, who has expressed that she wants more responsibility. Kate has made it clear she doesn’t think Simone is a very good second stew, as she did not even know how to open a bottle of wine. Things went from bad to worse this week when a shady Kate gave second stew stripes to Courtney Skippon–in front of Simone! Kate said it was “both a reward for Courtney and a punishment for Simone.” So, where does all this leave Simone and Kate?
The drama between Kate Chastain and Ashton Pienaar on Below Deck is pretty tense. He’s jammed his tongue down her throat without permission. He called her out for taking her sweet time to get read for group outings. And the preview for next week’s episode looks even worse for the two of them. Kate and chef Kevin Dobson have been at odds since the very start. Even Tanner Sterback has thrown in some jabs at Kate, which isn’t surprising because he becomes less and less endearing each episode.
Kate also got into it with Brian de Saint Pern in the production van over the word “yachtie,” but that seemed very out of the norm for the typically respectful deckhand. However, he did cross a line (in many people’s eyes), when he called Kate “kind of a bitch.” So what does Captain Lee Rosbach have to say about this? He’s Team Kate, of course, but he didn’t hear about most of this stuff until he watched the episodes.
Kate Chastain has been on Below Deck so long now, that she can comment on the ghosts of seasons past. It’s been a bumpy road for sure between some of the stews she’s had to deal with, not to mention chefs. Adrian Martin was a gem and though Ben Robinson flustered in the galley on a regular basis, he and Kate had a rapport for sure.
This season, Kevin Dobson has been making life hell for not only Kate, but her interior team as well as deck hand Rhylee Gerber. There’s plenty of snark to go around. And unlike the incident where he was a plate short and couldn’t serve Captain Lee Rosbach, there are enough helpings for everyone.
This season of Below Deck is a total and utter clusterf–k! The crew isn’t getting along, the guests continue to be disappointed by something each week, and now we can add equipment malfunctions to the lists. Good times!
After Kate Chastain sorted laundry on the crew mess floor in front of Captain Lee Rosbach, who seriously looked on as impassively as if he was an insomniac flicking through informercials at 3am, Ashton Pienaar blows a gasket about how Kate treating the crew so callously has created a culture where no one wants to work with her. Really?
Kate is so upset she bursts into tears and winds up falling asleep sobbing as Rhylee Gerber strokes her back and covers her. Which was sweet. Have we ever seen emotions other than anger for Kate? Have we entered a new dimension?