The Below Deck alum explains why she "was a little nervous" to watch Season 8.
Kate Chastain is feeling some FOMO.
Watching Season 8 of Below Deck, the first in six seasons she is not serving as chief stew after announcing her departure in February 2020, has Kate missing one part of her experience on the show.
"I will admit, when I saw those turquoise, crystal clear Caribbean waters, I was like, wow, I have not been there in so long. My last years on Below Deck, we were in Thailand and Tahiti — not to complain about that, but there’s something very specific about the Caribbean, and that really [is] what started out as the home of Below Deck," Kate said during a recent exclusive interview with Bravo Insider. "So it’s nice to see them going back there, and now I want to go back there."
At least Kate is able to witness the beauty of the Caribbean vicariously through the My Seanna crew as she watches Season 8 with Season 3 crew mate Connie Arias in Below Deck Galley Talk. In the new series, which airs Fridays at 8/7c on Bravo, Kate, Connie, and several other fan favorite yachties from Below Deck and Below Deck Mediterranean dish on all the drama unfolding in the current season of the flagship franchise and look back on some of their most memorable moments on the show.
While Below Deck Galley Talk has brought many alums together for the first time, such as Below Deck Season 6 stew Josiah Carter and Below Deck Med Season 1 stew Julia d'Albert Pusey, it provides a glimpse into Kate and Connie's longtime friendship.
"Oh, Connie and I have been friends for a long time. A lot of people might not know this but we share the same birthday [January 2], her and I. So, it’s very interesting that there are a lot of things that are so alike, but a lot of things that are not. We’re very yin and yang," Kate said of the former Below Deck deckhand. "But anytime I hang out with her, we always have a great time because she knew a lot about the deck life that I didn’t know, and I obviously know more about the interior part of Below Deck. So she’s the perfect person to watch with."
Kate's friendship with her fellow Melbourne, Florida native Connie neither began nor ended with Below Deck Season 3. "We’re from the same town, a really small town, so we knew each other beforehand," Kate told Bravo Insider. "So I was excited when we got to work together. But then afterwards, we stayed in contact."
Below Deck isn't the only thing that bonds these two. Kate and Connie have shared many of their land-based adventures on social media over the years, whether it was bartending for a good cause or getting glam with Captain Lee Rosbach.
In fact, Kate said that Connie will forever be a special person in her life. "She always rides her golf cart to her mom’s house, and she’ll pass my mom’s house on the way. We couldn’t avoid each other if we wanted to," Kate joked.
Before she had the opportunity to watch all of the drama unfold with Connie on Below Deck Galley Talk, Kate had fond memories of viewing the series with some of her other former crew members. "You know, over the first few [seasons], you get so excited. They would mail out the CDs of the episodes just so you could watch it a little bit before — not very much before — and you’d wait for it. You get so excited," Kate recalled. "I would watch with Jennice [Ontiveros], I’d watch it with Chef Ben [Robinson]."
As time went on, watching Below Deck got to be a little more difficult for Kate after living the charter season. However, a certain unforgettable Season 8 charter guest has helped reignite Kate's love of watching the show.
"As the seasons go by, they’d email [the episodes] to you. Technology improved. And you kind of watch, you know, the deckhands would come on, I’d go make a sandwich. You don’t watch it as much because you lived it," Kate said. "But now I wonder what’s going to happen with Delores next week."
In fact, watching this season of Below Deck as a viewer has been a much more pleasant experience for Kate than she initially anticipated. "It’s so wonderful to watch as a viewer from my couch with my dog while drinking wine. At first, I was a little nervous, like, am I going to like this? Am I going to be like, 'Hey, I should be there, and this should be happening, see that’s the way I would do it?' But, no, it’s just really liberating to be like, oh, I’m not there wearing that uniform right now," Kate said. "I can see why people like watching. It’s a good show."
Want more Below Deck? New episodes air every Monday at 9/8c or catch up on every episode ever through the Bravo app.