Captain Sandy Yawn never knows what she might face each week on Below Deck Mediterranean–a questionable chef like Mila Kolomeitseva, rogue stews like June Foster, inclement weather or a fire when she is trying to dock. She has to demonstrate patience, strength, courage and optimism despite what is going on around her.
Those traits are characteristics I am sure Sandy has been calling on lately as she is supporting her girlfriend, gospel singer Leah Shafer, through a difficult health battle. Sandy announced via social media in late August that Leah had been diagnosed with what seemed to be breast cancer. At the time, Sandy revealed that Leah had chosen to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction. Recently, both of them shared health updates for Leah via social media.
Captain Sandy Yawn had her hands full this season keeping her crew in line on Below Deck Mediterranean. First, it was debacle after debacle in the galley with incompetent chef Mila Kolomeitseva. Anastasia Surmava had difficulties with the burners and often sent out undercooked or cold food. Travis Michalzik rocked it professionally, but was reprimanded for reeking of alcohol after a particularly hectic night out. Jack Stirrup only found motivation to
stay on board work in the form of Aesha Scott. Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier got the brunt of Sandy’s wrath and was often questioned about her choices in team management and table settings. But that’s nothing new.
But one person always had Captain Sandy’s good opinion. Bosun Joao Franco was promoted from deck hand last season and did a stellar job, according to the Captain. During the season finale, Joao gave an interview to Sandy’s colleague and received a job offer. So did anything come of it or was it a producer’s stunt to further a narrative. The deck crew versus the interior vying for Sandy’s praises perhaps?
Hannah Ferrier was under Captain Sandy Yawn’s radar for most of the season. With all the catastrophes to deal with in the galley, it was a hierarchy of needs situation. It was all about supporting fledgling chef Anastasia Surmava after Mila Kolomeitseva left. When Ben Robinson returned it not only finally gave Sirocco an experienced chef, it also elevated the expectation of professionalism and service. If the food is amazing, the service and décor better match it. Maybe that’s why Hannah was so uncomfortable upon Ben’s return.
It’s been a seasonal trend now on Below Deck Mediterranean. At some point, Hannah would have to be roused from her complacent stupor. Usually that task falls on Captain Sandy, but there have been several second stews that also voiced their concern about Hannah’s lack of initiative. Her standard of, “the guests aren’t complaining,” just doesn’t cut it. Now we can add Ben to the list of colleagues that Hannah will stubbornly refuse to learn from.
Can you believe we are coming to the end of the Below Deck Mediterranean charter season? What a season it has been! Not only have we been treated to the beautiful vistas of the South of France, we have been treated to some beautiful drama from the crew and the guests.
Last season, chief stew Hannah Ferrier was the Queen of Boat Drama, mooning over bosun Conrad Empson. Hannah was freqeuntly derelict in her job duties, taking smoke breaks galore–and even took to her bed for a day with a bad case of Mediterranean Love Sickness. Try that with your boss and see what happens! This season, Hannah has seemed more committed to her job, boldly announcing at the start of the season, “I feel like this charter season my job is my number one priority.” Do Hannah’s crewmates think she has lived up to her lofty new employee performance goal?
It’s the question that gets posed time and time again to the cast of Below Deck and Below Deck Mediterranean. Who’s on your yachtie dream-team? For this season, the Med crew was pretty solid after microwave operator Mila Kolomeitseva left. Anastasia Surmava did an admiral job as chef until she stepped aside for Ben Robinson to saunter back into our lives. June Foster only made a favorable impression on smitten Colin Macy O-Toole, but her tenure was also short-lived.
So we are finishing the season with the original squad, plus an actual chef. Captain Sandy Yawn has been dishing out the hugs in proper mother hen fashion. What can be better than that? Well, according to Bosun Joao Franco, there is one person that could improve at their job.
Season 4 of Below Deck Mediterranean has come through week after week. Mila Kolomeitseva was ousted as chef after some sad tacos and a some baking soda-flavored cake. And let’s not forget those homophobic comments that she hasn’t publicly addressed.
Anastasia Surmava filled in as chef, but it didn’t work out. Captain Sandy Yawn gave Anastasia her third stew spot back and
unfairly fired June Foster. This prompted Colin Macy-O’Toole to put his own job on the line for June. And, we were all saved when Chef Ben Robinson returned to the Below Deck franchise. This isn’t even half of the drama that went down during Season 4. The reunion episode needs to be three parts. At least.
Chef Ben Robinson is returning to Below Deck Mediterranean. It remains to be seen if he is to finish the remainder of charter season, but fans are awaiting with great anticipation to see the OG of the galley back onscreen. Ben left at the end of Below Deck Med Season 4 after establishing a romance with former second stew Emily Warburton-Adams.
The galley on Sirocco has been in shambles since day one. Anastasia Surmava was able to hold it together for awhile, but the stress of the job caught up with her and she decided to return to Third Stew position. And since Ben is stepping in to save this mess, it only makes sense that he share his thoughts about the real ghost of galleys past, Mila Kolomeitseva. She came into the situation woefully unprepared rattling pots, pans, and cans of slimy Vietnamese shrimp. Mila took preference sheets too literally and was unable to envision or finesse quality meals. Her reign of abject horror may have been short, but it will live in infamy.
It has been an interesting season of Below Deck Mediterranean. Most of the charter guests have been well-behaved, so much of the focus has been on the crew. Jack Stirrup and Aesha Scott have given us a taste of romance. Joao Franco has stepped up as bosun and has kind-of-sort-of changed his behavior for the better. Travis Michalzik has offered up a free PSA on the dangers of drinking too much. And true to her word at the beginning of the season, Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier has actually become a…competent employee!
The galley has been the scene of much of the drama this season. Chef Mila Kolomeitseva was fired for her epic failure as a chef. Anastasia Surmava stepped into her shoes, but has admittedly struggled as an untrained chef in a demanding job. All season long, there have been rumors of a return of Ben Robinson to the show. Now, we know that the rumors are true and Ben is back to replace Anastasia in the galley.