My, how time flies by. Here we are in Season 5 of Bravo’s Below Deck. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have expected to be here in this place at this time in my life. Thanks to all who supported the show and have helped make this happen. The events of this last week have helped put my priorities in perspective a bit. Irma was as big and as tough a storm as anything I have seen in my lifetime. Here’s hoping all recover quickly and fully. If you are in a position to help, please, please do so. So many are in dire straits and could use it. You have my heartfelt thanks.
Now on to this season. Sorry I missed the first two episodes, but I was a wee bit busy with a mean, vicious girl named Irma. Wow, do we have a green crew or what? I don’t know where to start. I’m so glad that Nico Scholly and Kate Chastain are here to help, because this group has no clue as to what they are in for.
Let’s start with the crew of newbies, shall we? They all seem eager to please, but I’m not altogether sure that they have any idea as to what they signed up for. To put it bluntly, they don’t KNOW what they don’t know. They’re all going on like, “This should be a walk in the park,” and it’s not. It’s about to become their worst nightmare. I’m going to make a list that could possibly go on for days, but for the sake of the word limit on my blog, I’ll do my best to keep it short. Yeah, good luck with that, right?
You’re told to serve ladies first and men last, yet you do the exact opposite.
You think that making espresso or lattes is the same as operating a Keurig.
You’re told to use the port forward crew room, and you go to the starboard aft room instead.
You consider getting laid and drinking as a possible career, because you’ve done neither up until now.
You think knots are something that you feel in the pit of your stomach when you get caught f---ing up.
You don’t like the way the “mean” senior crew is treating you, and you need a safe place to get your head around it.
You get so drunk the night before that you need a nap while the rest of the crew carries your dumb a--, and your excuse is that you have a hard time dealing with the idea that you can’t “just do what you want to do when you want to do it,” because you’re just used to doing what you want to do when you want to do it.
You feel that extra training and a dry run to see if you can get it right are “just silly,” and then you and your colleague fail to get it right.
You think a gin martini up is the same as a gin and tonic. Then, when the guest calls you on it, you respond, “I don’t make them I just order them,” and dump on your boss.
And the list could go on for a very long time. So let’s get up close and personal with this crew. While I think they all (OK, most of them) have the potential to make excellent crew, they need to realize just how far they have to go to get there, and that it won’t get done in one season. They can make great strides as long as they realize that fact. This is a concept I fear that may be wasted on some of them.
Nico, I think that you are really putting forth a great effort under adverse conditions. And to be sure, you have been saddled with an enormous task of trying to get this deck crew up to speed. I love the fact that you are brutally honest with them, because there is not enough time for hand-holding and changing diapers. We are not afforded that luxury. They need to learn and learn now — no time to waste. I also liked the way you explained to Chris Brown what the consequences were going to be if he decided to take another nap. You are doing a good job of stepping up. Thanks.
Kate, you and Nico are between a rock and a hard place. I feel your pain and empathize with you. I think that you’re are trying to work, train, and accommodate guests all at the same time. Keeping guests happy is no easy task to do with trained crew, and I’m counting on you two to get it done with a very green crew. Not for nothing, I have faith.
And while were talking about it, Kate, I do realize what you’re up against and can empathize with you succumbing to the temptation to get off the boat and have just a little you time, because you are doing all the work so far. Leaving Jennifer Howell to deal with a charter was a huge leap of faith that I wish you hadn’t taken. You know how I feel about anyone drinking or leaving the boat while on charter, especially with newbies this green. Had I known about it at the time, you and I would have had our own “come to Jesus” chat. But it appears that you had your own “come to Jesus” moment that night. In the future, I would appreciate it if that would not happen again.
As far as your comment to Jen about how she was doing her job, I felt that it was inappropriate because it made the guests uncomfortable. I understand her attitude brought it on though.
On a different note, way to improvise and adapt by seeing an opportunity to use what Bruno Duarte likes to do anyway and switching the focus away from Matt Burns’ sushi to the delivery of it. Well done, and it probably saved the charter for us all. We did have a lot working against us at the time.
Matt, so far you have checked all the boxes. The guests like your food, albeit only two charters, and you seem to get on with the crew as well. I could have done without the crass comment about oral stimulation of someone’s balloon knot. Did you seriously say that? I was also a bit surprised on a couple of other fronts. I was a little disappointed at the chips and salsa snacks. You can get that a Roco’s Tacos. We should be better than that. Also, why would you ask the greenest deckie we have about dinner options? Just curious, it seems like you may doubt your own abilities. But to your credit, you stuck with it and pulled it off well. You have skills: don’t be afraid to use them. You’re two for two. Keep it up.
Jen, Jen, Jen — what can I say? Since when is an iron so difficult to operate? Maybe you had a misconception of what a stew’s duties were. Twenty minutes to make a cocktail is not going to get it done. Your heart was in the right place, but you were lacking in execution. I was pleasantly pleased with the way you hung in there with the guests as inebriated as they were. I thought you dealt with it well. Wasn’t as happy with Chris not giving you a hand, as he should when he is on late with you. Somehow I think he would have been more attentive and helpful with Briana Adekeye than he was with you. I think you are making progress, and to do that, you need to concentrate more on your job with less attitude and not worry on what other people are doing. I do love your sense of humor, though. You really need that in this business.
Bruno, through the first two episodes, I really had doubts about you. While the jury may still be out, I think that you have made really good progress so far. Kudos for stepping up and being a good sport what with Kate turning you into a living sushi platter. I can’t believe Nico shaded you with the toilet paper. You were a good sport about it, and that may have been the turning point in this charter. Well done, and I hope you continue progressing.
Briana, I think you could have a bright future in this business should you decide to pursue it as a career. You’re bright, intelligent, and seem very capable. Easy to get along with and a team player as well. I can see where you may have thought it was silly to go through the training, but would you rather we just tossed you out there without the skills to succeed? Not for a second do I think you have all the necessary skills at this point, but you have enormous potential, and personality, and I do feel you are progressing rapidly, so keep it up. I think you had a good week.
Chris, what can I say? If you can’t run with the big dogs, you should learn to keep your puppy a-- on the porch. And on the first charter no less. Let me see if I have this right: you don’t like it when you can’t do what you want to do, when you want to do it. Is that correct? Well, the only thing I can tell you is that one should be careful what one asks for. One just might get it. I would have loved to see you help Jen out a bit with cleaning and the guests more on this charter. I see lots of room to improve and hope that your attitude doesn’t get in the way of where you want to go. I guess we will find out.
Baker, you’re a breath of fresh air. Your can-do attitude and willingness to just jump in and get ‘er done is great. I understand that you feel the pressure to step up and do more because of the inexperience of the rest of the crew, and I do appreciate all the effort that you have put forth. A pleasure to come around the corner and see that big beaming smile all the time. Keep it up — I enjoy seeing that everyday.
Well, there you have it. It’s so good to be back, not just for this season, but from Irma as well. Thanks to everyone for being patient while we got this storm thing straightened out, power on, back on the net — all those daily things we all too often take for granted. So until next week, fair winds and following seas to all. Be safe out there.
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