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Following this season of Below Deck, Abbi got right back into working on sailing charters in Greece as the first mate to her soon-to-be husband, Patrik, who works as the skipper. "Usually it’s about a week charter, so you take up to eight people on the boat, and then you take them to a new island each day and just kind of give them the inside knowledge at each stop," Abbi told The Daily Dish during a phone interview ahead of Monday night's episode of Below Deck. "I would say it’s more intimate. You become more friendly with the clients, and by the end, you’re kind of friends rather than just client and skipper and crew."
Working with your significant other can often be challenging, especially when your quarters are as close as they are on a sailing boat. "I mean, if you actually saw where we live, it’s not like the types of cabins that you would see on, you know, a Below Deck yacht. It’s very small; we basically have a curtain that separates us from the bathroom that is also the shower, and then we have, like, two little bunks and we can’t both stand up at the same time in the same place. It’s very small. We don’t have, like, a kitchen or anything like that for ourselves, so in that aspect, it’s difficult because there’s no space for ourselves," Abbi shared. "But, I mean, surprisingly, we haven’t, you know, killed each other or he hasn’t thrown me overboard yet, so, I mean, it’s going well."
Following a text message proposal this season of Below Deck, Abbi and Patrik tied the knot at the town hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts about a week or two after she disembarked the Valor. "Neither of us really has much money, and my dad, it’s not like he has much money either or, you know, somebody would fund the wedding. So, we just figured, why not do it this way? It’s easier, less stress, and then we’ll have, you know, friends and family over for a big party, open house type thing," Abbi said. "So we went for that option, and it was the best option, I would say. It was so stress-free and wonderful and meaningful."
The couple exchanged rings made out of rope by a student of her dad's girlfriend during the ceremony. Abbi said that she and Patrik tried out a few rings as potential permanent replacements following their wedding.
"But working on the boat, it never really seemed, I mean, smart to get a really nice ring because we would just lose them or ruin them or something. So, we just kinda settled for no rings. So, at this point, we have no ring. We tried," Abbi said. "For me, spending money on an object like a ring seems kind of pointless because we could spend it on maybe like a trip or a night out, you know?"
Abbi met Patrik after her aunt invited her and her sister to join her on a sailing boat in Greece following her college graduation. "At the time, I was working in a law firm and had, you know, plans to start law school and then I went on this boat and I was like, oh my god. This is so cool. I wanna travel more. So, that was sort of what I got out of it," she recalled. "So then I started traveling more, and along the way, [Patrik] invited me to come back on the boat, just us two, and then that’s kind of where it became more of like a friendship slash something else. And since then, I guess, we’ve kept in touch and he invited me to be his first mate."
That trip ended up completely changing Abbi's life personally and professionally. "It was huge. I mean, it opened my eyes. It was the first time I ever left the country or did anything spontaneous or interesting. I was kind of like a nerd for so long and just focused on my future career being perfect, perfect, perfect, and that one moment, I felt like I did not need to be perfect anymore, and there was so much more to the world, and I just wanted to experience it for one year," she said. "Turned out that I’m now married and living in Greece, like, forever, if everything works out. But, yeah. Totally changed my outlook."
This season of Below Deck, Abbi and Patrik had been on-again, off-again and in an open relationship at the time. So she said she understands how some of the Below Deck crew members and fans alike could think it was "pretty damn crazy" watching her get proposed to via text message. "I would probably say the same thing if I saw it from an outsider looking in and didn’t really know the details behind the reasoning and everything," Abbi said. "We kept our relationship going for a long time. We worked in close quarters together. We definitely loved each other, but we didn’t really express that because we knew that I had to leave."
Abbi explained that she had to leave Greece and Patrik because her visa had expired. "I can’t be illegally in a country. I can’t work, I can’t support myself. Blah, blah, blah. So, that was sort of the thing keeping us apart," Abbi explained. "And then, while I was on the show, it was, it sort of made us realize, oh, we do really wanna be with each other. How are we gonna make it work? And getting married was actually the best solution for the visa issue and to keep our relationship going, and we both loved each other. So, we did a mutual decision on that."
The deckhand also clarified that there was never anything really romantic going on with Ashton Pienaar, despite that night they slept out on the bunny pad earlier this season of Below Deck. "I think that was like totally innocent flirting and just dancing and having a good time," Abbi said. "When you go out, you flirt, you dance, you do whatever, but at the end of the night, you don’t actually want anything from that person. I think that was the case for both of us. I don’t think it was that bad, honestly. I think it was actually pretty innocent."
Abbi has kept in touch with Ashton since this season of Below Deck, as well as Courtney Skippon, Tanner Sterback, Brian de Saint Pern, and Simone Mashile. "We’ll check in or, like, ask one of us a question, send each other something funny or just talk about an episode or whatever," Abbi said.
And yes, Patrik and many of Abbi's loved ones have watched her adventures on Below Deck this season. "He knows me and, you know, even my friends and family, they know me, so when they see it, they laugh just, like, watching me on TV," she said. "Even some episodes, I’m like, 'Oh god, I don’t want my dad to watch. Oh, no.' And he’s just like, 'Oh, it was hilarious.' And then I feel, like, so much better afterward."
Abbi and Patrik returned to Greece after their wedding to begin the charter season on Syros Island in the Cyclades, which just wrapped up at the beginning of October. The couple is now relaxing after six months of nonstop charters with Patrik playing video games and Abbi working on a website for vacation yachting, in addition to catching up on their TV shows.
"It’s busy when it’s busy. Like, during the seven months of chartering or six months of chartering, it’s like nonstop all the time, but then when you stop, it’s like, right now, I have nothing to do," Abbi said. "Like, I literally just eat and I go on my phone and I watch TV shows. Like, me and Patrik watch probably 10 different TV shows that we actually keep up with. I think the fact that we have that much time is pretty sad. So, right now, it’s not so exciting."
Abbi said she is hoping to get her captain's license in the spring before she and Patrik start up the charter season all over again in the summer. She even messaged Below Deck Mediterranean's Captain Sandy Yawn on Instagram for some advice. "I thought she was inspiring on social media about being a female captain," Abbi said. "So I asked her for advice, and she gave me tons of great advice. That was really nice. She seemed like a nice person."
Though becoming a captain is definitely a dream of Abbi's, there are other paths outside of sailing she's hoping to explore in the future, including teaching English online, coding websites, marketing, and growing the charter business. She and Patrik will see where the wind takes them.
"The plan is to stay in Greece because that’s where the business is. So we stay here, and then we will travel and whatever during the winter, but then we’ve talked — this is only, like, talks — but maybe to do a winter season somewhere else, so maybe like, Capo Verde or somewhere that doesn’t have that big of a charter presence," Abbi said. "So we’ve contemplated on doing that, but that’s all stuff that takes a lot of planning and a lot of work on the boat."
For now, Abbi and Patrik are just enjoying being newlyweds. "Honestly, it’s been really nice. I mean, it honestly feels the same as it did before, except now there’s not that stress of I have to leave Greece because my visa is running out. Now we can have our relationship the way it was before and take it more seriously than we did before," Abbi shared. "We both take it seriously. We’re not in an open relationship anymore, and I don’t know. We’re building on a future rather than just, oh, this is fun while it lasts."
Relive Abbi's final moments of the season, below.
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