It seems like Captain Lee Rosbach has had to deal with every challenge imaginable on a yacht over the course of three seasons of Below Deck. But on Saturday, December 12, he'll be doing something we rarely get to see while he's on charter: relax and have a good time. Captain Lee will report for duty as the official captain of the 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this weekend. "It's terrific," Captain Lee told The Daily Dish about his new role. "It's really an honor."
As the official captain of this year's Winterfest, Captain Lee will be cruising along the holiday parade route down the New River in one of the extravagantly decorated ships featured in the event, which attracts more than one million spectators a year, according to Winterfest. Captain Lee admitted that this leadership role is a lot different than being in charge of the Eros on Below Deck. "Well, in this parade, I don't have to drive the boat. I get to enjoy the festivities," he said. "It's somebody else's crew, not mine."
But just because Captain Lee won't have the stress of keeping the boat afloat at Winterfest doesn't mean he's planning on partaking in the same antics as his lower-ranking crewmembers on Below Deck. "I don't know if I want to go that far," Captain Lee told The Daily Dish when asked if he'd be letting loose like the fun-loving yachties. "I fully intend on having a good time, without a doubt."
Winterfest isn't until Saturday, but it looks like Captain Lee has already been having a blast at the parade's related events, such as last Saturday's Black Tie Ball, which featured a theme inspired by the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots.
We saw Captain Lee don one of those red, thigh-high boots to promote the Black Tie Ball in October, something his wife Mary Anne has gotten a kick out of. "She gets a lot of mileage out of that," Captain Lee said. "She's having a lot of fun."
Running for more than four decades, Winterfest features ships decked out in multi-colored lights and all sorts of other decorations with passengers and performers, often in costume, also on board during the parade. These ornate boats definitely sound like something Chief Stew Kate Chastain would be into since she always has a knack for transforming the Below Deck yacht into a disco jungle or a vessel fit for Greek gods and goddesses. In fact, if Kate ever decided to design her own Winterfest float, Captain Lee thinks she would do an exceptional job. "If it didn't win an award, I would be very, very surprised. Kate has the capability of coming up with something very, very unique, I'm sure," he told The Daily Dish. "It would be over-the-top. It would be something that Winterfest has probably never seen before."
Captain Lee won't be the only famous face at Winterfest this year. Nick Cannon will also be serving as Grand Marshal of the parade, a position that has been held by the likes of Joan Rivers, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, and Kim Kardashian in the past.
As usual, we should all expect an ocean-sized amount of glitz and glamour at this year's Winterfest. But for Captain Lee, this parade is really all about helping attendees feel the warmth and good cheer of the holiday season. "You gotta get in the Christmas spirit, and there's no better way to do it. I mean, you see all these boats decorated, and then the last float always brings in Santa Claus, so that's always a big deal," he said. "Gosh, it just gets everybody in the holiday spirit."
If you're not able to see Captain Lee at this year's Winterfest in person, you can take a look at him running things on the Eros in this clip from Season 3 of Below Deck, below.