With fires, fights, and flings, Season 3 of Below Deck was certainly a wild time. And the man who had a front-row seat to it all, Captain Lee Rosbach, couldn't agree more. The Daily Dish recently caught up with Captain Lee to get his take on what really went on Below Deck last season, from his biggest surprise to the crewmember he'd rehire to The Real Housewives he wants to see climb aboard as future charter guests. As usual, everyone's favorite Stud of the Sea tells it like it is.
Have you seen any of your Below Deck crewmembers since filming the Season 3 reunion?
Captain Lee Rosbach: I've seen Kate [Chastain]. I think we had lunch together once. And then I've seen Ben [Robinson], chatted with him. Actually, that's about it. I think Amy [Johnson]'s working. She's been out of the country on a boat, so I haven't heard from her. And Eddie [Lucas] seems to have dropped off the face of the earth, for, I guess, obvious reasons. But I haven't been in touch with him. He and I exchanged texts a couple of times. I didn't expect him to just drop off like that. That really caught me by surprise.
Yeah, he seemed to be in relatively good spirits during the reunion, all things considered.
Yeah, all things considered. That was quite a bomb that Rocky laid at the end, which — I don't know — I wasn't a big fan of that moment, whether which side of the fence you come down on, who you believe, somebody says it happened, somebody says it didn't happen. I don't know, and frankly, I don't care, you know?
What surprised you the most about Season 3 of Below Deck?
Eddie and Rocky [Dakota] was the most surprising for me. Probably right up there was Leon [Walker] walking off in the middle of a charter. That took me by surprise. I thought he would have had enough class and dignity to finish off the charter properly, seeing as how it was only one meal left to cook. Two, if you counted lunch. I sent them out for lunch anyhow, so one meal he had to do. And he could have left on his own terms. But make no mistake about it, whether he, you know, left then or left at the end of the charter, he was leaving. He had the option to resign. He just chose not to exercise it, which I thought was unfortunate for him.
Why do you think that was unfortunate for him?
I don't think it portrayed him in a very positive light, ditching his crewmates. You know, he could've been pissed at me all he wanted to, but they're the ones that he made suffer. Obviously, that didn't matter to him. So he didn't mind just jumping ship and saying, 'Screw everybody,' guests included. So he didn't care if his guests got their money's worth. He didn't care if he left his crewmates in a bad spot. It was all about him. Sort of a narcissistic-type attitude.
What surprised you the most about Eddie and Rocky hooking up?
That it happened. It totally caught me off guard.
You just never saw them getting together?
There would be nothing that I had experienced that would have said that those two would have even gotten along socially as acquaintances, much less hooking up. If somebody had told me I could bet, I could place a wager on it that Eddie was gonna hook up with Rocky, I'd have bet a paycheck that it would have never happened. That's how strongly I felt about it. And then when I found out that it did, it was just like, wow. Definitely didn't see that coming.
It seemed like a lot of the crewmembers were caught off guard by that as well.
He was not — at least on the surface — a fan of Rocky's at all, from day one. So to then all of a sudden just go like, 'OK, well maybe I don't like her, but you know.' It seemed a little strange to me. And highly awkward.
What was it like when the truth came out?
That bomb that he dropped at the last crew dinner, that was not exactly how I envisioned the last crew dinner going. And then he kind of ruined it for everybody. I didn't understand Rocky's motivation in making it public other than to be cruel, mean, mean-spirited, because it certainly appeared to me at that last crew dinner that she was enjoying her role in it. I thought that was a little strange, to say the least. I mean, who takes pleasure in ruining someone else's good time? If you and Eddie want to go air your dirty laundry somewhere, go back to the boat. Stay away from the party, you know? Let's drag Amy into. Let's drag Emile [Kotze] into it. Let's drag me into it. Rain on everybody's parade. It should've been a nice, festive evening. End of the season, everybody made good money, we got through it, it was hard. Everybody worked hard. Well, most people worked hard. Everybody should have been laughing and having a good time and enjoying the night instead of watching this soap opera unfold before our eyes. That's kind of what it reminded me of, one of those cheesy afternoon soap operas that never end.
Is that how you felt during the reunion when you had to relive it all?
Yeah, and the reunion was all about Rocky again. And it's just like, well, I don't know. I certainly had had enough of her. I've had my fill, and to sit there and listen to her… you know, just trying to wiggle her way out of everything again. That song and dance got old, I don't know, week three. When somebody's making excuses to me, those are just lame reasons for failing to get your job done. That's what excuses are, as far as I'm concerned, just a dumb reason for your failure to complete your job properly.
And we saw you let Rocky know that at the reunion. You were very vocal about that.
I'm really not interested in excuses from anyone, not just Rocky, but from anyone. You screwed up, own it. I screwed up. I made a mistake. I'm gonna correct it. It's not gonna happen again. We're good to go. We'll put it behind us, carry on, get our jobs done. Once the horse is dead, there's no point in just kicking it and kicking it and giving 1,000 reasons why it's everybody's fault but yours.
I would consider giving Don another chance just because he owned up for the fact that he screwed up. And when somebody admits their mistake and is willing to work past it and try, or at least put forth the effort to work past it, I think they deserve a second shot. And if it works, fine. If it doesn't, there definitely won't be a third.
Why do you think you might have an easier time working with him the second time around?
I'd like to think that he could put his ego out of the way, put it aside and just do whatever it takes to get whatever job it is that he's assigned done and done properly. And, you know, I think his attitude towards his crewmates would be one thing he would have to work on. And it's a team thing. I mean, everybody's seen me in the galley drying dishes, washing dishes, clearing tables, helping make beds, ironing clothes, and I'm the captain. And to have an engineer say "I can't wash a deck. I can't do fenders. I'm an engineer," that's not gonna fly so well in my book. So you have to do whatever it takes because you're part of a team. If I ask Kate to go out on deck and grab a line, I know she'd be the first one to jump up and go do it. She wouldn't give me a raft or crap about it. She would just do it. And so would Ben. So would Amy. All of them would. So to have one just sit there and go, "No, I think I'm above that," not gonna work. But he owned up to it. He didn't make excuses for it. He admitted he made a mistake and given the opportunity, he would change that. So I wouldn't mind giving him an opportunity to see if he really meets it.
I believe in giving somebody the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise because ultimately the ball's in their court. It's up to them to prove that they were remorseful for what they've done and move past it and do better or their actions are gonna tell the story.
You also had The Real Housewives of Atlanta cast members Cynthia Bailey and Claudia Jordan on board last season. What other 'Wives would you like to see as charter guests in the future?
[Bethenny Frankel]. I like her spunk and her attitude. I like her. I tell you one who would be a real hoot would be, and she's not a Real Housewife anymore, would be Kim Zolciak-Biermann. I think she would be a hoot, a lot of fun.
She'd have to bring all of her wigs on the yacht. Hopefully, there'd be enough room.
We could get another stateroom for that. I would like her. I just think she's honest, what you see is what you get, and I really appreciate that in a person. Who else of the Housewives? I like [Lisa] Vanderpump. I like her. I think she would be a lot of fun as well... And I also like Harry Hamlin's wife, [Lisa Rinna]. She's not afraid to speak her mind. I don't always agree with a lot of the things that she says, but I don't have to. It's her opinion, and you need to respect it. You may not agree with it, but you certainly don't stand in somebody's way of voicing it, at least I don't. So I like that about her.
On Twitter, you've said that you're usually away for most of the major holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. However, you’ve been able to be home for the holidays with your family more recently. How does that feel? What does that mean to you to not be at sea during the holidays anymore?
It feels really great. The holidays, Christmas, especially, and Thanksgiving are all about family, and when you’re away, as I have been for so many years, you miss so many things. You miss the funny things that happen at dinner, somebody dropping the turkey when it came out of the oven, whatever, just things that you miss that you can never, ever get back. I mean, you can see pictures and you can hear stories, but it’s not the same as living the experience. And when you get right down to it, when we all go to our graves, that’s all we really have, our experiences. So when you haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy those with your family, you miss a lot. And that’s why it’s important for me now to spend as many of these holidays as I get an opportunity to with my family.
Do you have Christmas plans all set already?
Pretty much. We’re pretty ready. Tree’s up. House is decorated. My wife’s a great planner, so shopping has been done. Of course, I’m not the planner that my wife is, so I’m still working on mine. Thankfully, I only have to buy one present, and that’s for her. That is the most difficult.
Yes, that must be no easy task.
Not at all. Try and climb inside the female mind and figure out exactly what’s gonna put a big smile on her face that she’s gonna treasure is tough sometimes.
What are you hoping to get for Christmas this year?
As far as gifts, I don’t really want anything. I just want to see my family happy and together and healthy. That’s all there is for me. You want to have your family be happy, be healthy, and get the things that they deserve in life. You want to be able to help them out whenever you can, which is one of the reasons that you make sacrifices so that can happen. And you do it because you want to do it.
What about looking ahead to next year? Do you have a New Year’s resolution in mind?
I haven’t really given that a lot of thought. I always try to be a better person the next year than I was the previous year, try to not make the same mistakes that I did the previous year. And do a little bit more for others.
Those are definitely good resolutions, or just good things to keep in mind, going forward into a new year.
I just took a trip to Acapulco recently, and I experienced an orphanage down there, and that was really, kind of a life-changing experience for me. And to see 70 kids sitting there — that maybe get one meal a day — so well-mannered, so well-behaved, and they’re taking care of by this 84-year-old woman who you’d swear was in her 50s. And we stopped, and we bought like 30 pizzas to take to the orphanage, and you didn’t see a sad face there. They had nothing, but they weren’t sad; they were happy. And it was just kind of a wake-up call for me. You know, we have so much, and especially around this time of year, people get extravagant presents and gifts, but they don’t seem sometimes nearly as happy as those children that I saw in Acapulco at the orphanage. So, I think, sometimes we need to get our priorities in order.
Below Deck will be off to a new location in 2016. Check out the supertease for Below Deck Mediterranean, below.