Well here we are sports fans, the end of another charter season. This one has been anything but boring. Most of all, it was educational for me. From a captain’s point of view, I learned a lot. For instance, I found out that no matter how well you feel you know your crew and how they will behave in a given set of circumstances, you really don’t know them as well as you thought you did. We had all of the things I like become evident, and a lot of the things I don’t like became evident as well. People I thought were loyal weren’t, and some who I thought weren’t turned out to surprise me. I’m not going to get into names or specifics here, but I really wasn’t all that pleased with our overall performance this season. And for that I must bear responsibility. We managed to get by this year, and by my standards, that isn’t acceptable; we must strive to do better. I felt that we spent too much time on our personal lives and not enough time on our jobs and our professions. I learned that with some people, boundaries need to be set and consequences paid for violating those boundaries. So I’m going to learn from my mistakes this season and work hard to improve the things that I can control and not spend another second worrying about the things out of my control. With that being said, let’s get right to it, tonight’s episode. We did have it all tonight, didn’t we? We had a great group of gals, who were just a sheer delight to have on board. They were really great, and a pleasure to be around. We had superb weather and locations to work with for the last charter, and for that I was happy.
Sierra, I’m going to start with you first. I’m not quite sure if you grasp this concept: Just because you think you have done a great job, doesn’t mean that you really have done one. As they say, perception is reality, but not in this case. For the most part I thought you came across as condescending and put out that someone actually expected you to work and do your job. Not only do it, but also do it well. You couldn’t keep your radio with you, much less answer it, you left a very hot roller iron on, not once but twice, burned the 1,200 thread count sheets for the second time, thought the guests wouldn’t need toilet paper, and shall we say that your coffee and drink service left a bit to be desired. I would think that another line of work would be in order for you, as yachting is not where we hand out participation trophies. You have to do more than just show up.
Kyle, let’s move on to you. I really didn’t think that your work had any major faults. I do have some (what I would call) character issues with you though. I don’t know how you thought early on that Sierra could be “the one” for you, and then after she shuts you down, just a…how did you put it? A waste of skin? I thought that the way you talked to her and treated her after striking out was deplorable and uncalled for. Using the fact that you’re from Manchester is not an excuse for rude behavior. Somehow I feel that you would not have spoken that way if I was present, and if you had, there would have been a steep price to pay for it. You weren’t as honest as you thought yourself to be as far as I can see. You weren’t honest with Sierra, you weren’t honest with Ashley until you had to be, and to me, you are either an honest person or you’re not. Oh and let’s not forget about the mother of your child either. Maybe that’s just the old school in me showing.
Emily, all in all, I thought that you acquitted yourself well. I did think that you lost your way a bit when you became involved with Ben, but I suppose that happens. One thing that bothered me though was how you kept telling Ben you didn’t want to get in the middle of him and Kate, but you still did. Like when Ben wanted verification that he was making the right call not putting all the food out for the guests, going against the recommendation of Kate, you jumped in and said that you didn’t want to get in the middle but then agreed with Ben. Seems to me you inserted yourself smack in the middle. So then after hearing your recommendation, Ben tells Kate it’s his galley, he’s the chef, and he isn’t taking any more opinions from her. He’ll just do what he wants anyway. And what happens? Turns out Kate was right and you and Ben were wrong. My opinion is you should have stayed out of it and Ben should have listened. I’m not sure why you got into it with Ben at dinner either. It seemed to me that you really weren’t all that pleased with Ben when he started getting on better with Kate. And was that a look of satisfaction I saw on your face when Ben was being rude to Kate? I didn’t think that was a very good look for Ben at all. But all in all I thought you had a good season. Good luck to you.
Well I suppose we should get to Ben. I agree with you Ben. I do think work and balancing a relationship was too much on your plate. I think both suffered because of the existence of the other. Your food was, as always, superb, you had excellent presentation, as usual, and only one slip up with the ice thing, but you owned that and made amends promptly, so it was all good. However, I really wasn’t all that pleased with the morale between you and Kate. You fought with her on everything this year. That thing with Kate and how much food to put out, and getting Em involved when she told you she didn’t want to -- I thought that could have been handled much better. Especially since you and Em were wrong. And how at dinner did you manage to alienate two women within a span of minutes? That wasn’t easy, but you got it done. And as far as Kate not giving her staff a break, they didn’t deserve a break when their work wasn’t done. Plus the fact that they work for her and not you, so I felt you overstepped your authority a bit there. Really would have liked to see the galley run better this year from a morale standpoint. I mean to have the guests comment on the yelling going on was embarrassing as hell. Not the professionalism I expect. But in the end as I stated, your food production and presentation never suffered, and so neither did the guests, which ultimately is what we are there for. It just could have been so much easier though I feel. I would also expect you to keep your knickers on as well in the future.
I’m moving on to Nico and Lauren together here. I just was amazed at how little respect either one of you showed to a person of higher rank than you. At least Kate had the courage to confront you to your face, and not behind your back, like you both seem to do on a regular basis. Nico, where do you get off just stomping off and then going to talk smack behind her back immediately? Not a good look for you and certainly not the mature behavior that I would expect from you. It’s exactly how someone behaves when they are wrong. You acted like the kid that got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. As far as your work went this week, you and Kelley are finally working together instead of butting heads. I think the added responsibility helped you a great deal and you responded well to it. Well done. I do think you have a good future if you want to explore it and go through the growing pains, and there will be those, I assure you.
Lauren, as far as I can see the only thing working really hard on you was your mouth and your ability to talk about other people behind their backs. Kelley called you out on it a couple of weeks ago when you were telling everyone that he got demoted and Nico was promoted to Bosun, and then you got called out by Kate as well for making another assumption that wasn’t true and spreading it through the crew. I hope this was a learning experience for you and I wish you good luck in the future.
Kate, I thought that you had another good week. The guests were pleased, so I was pleased. I didn’t have to micromanage you at all, which is one of the reasons I enjoy working with you. You know what I want and the level I want things, and you get it done. As I stated with Ben, wish things had been different on that front, but except for the one yelling incident, I thought you dealt with it well. Your girls lost it a wee bit at the end of the last charter, but you stepped in and got it straight. I thought you had another good season and it was good to work with you again. I hope we can work together again soon.
Kelley, let’s get to you. I thought you as well had a good week. You and Nico worked well together, you gave him added responsibility and he stepped up his game. Well done, both of you. I can see so much progress between now and Season 2…not to say we didn’t have some speed bumps this season. It’s the way you didn’t shy away from owning your mistakes that I feel made the difference. You took ownership of what you did wrong and then took steps to correct it. You have really come a long way, sir, and as I said in the wheelhouse, I would gladly work with you again. Keep moving in the direction you are and you will have a long and great career.
Well, I guess that wraps up another season of Below Deck. I can’t thank enough all the fans that have contributed to the success of this show that I am so lucky to be a part of. Our fans are the best anywhere. I hope to be back again, as Jimmy Buffett would say, “Only time will tell.” So for the last time this year… May the wind be at your back, and may you have calm water beneath your keel. Thank you all so very much for a great season.