In fact, Captain Lee wasn't even supposed to be on-camera back in Season 1, with someone else originally hired to lead the Honor. "I wasn't supposed to be there," Captain Lee recalled during the Below Deck Season 7 After Show (clip above). "I was just supposed to be down there, deliver the boat, drop it off, and watch it every three days to see that nobody screwed it up."
And when Captain Lee was called in to steer the ship instead, he wasn't quite sure if signing on was the right move. "I'm going like, 'Holy s--t, what the f--k did I get into?'" he thought when he first saw the production crew on the yacht.
On the contrary, Kate knew right after she first saw Below Deck that she had to be a part of the series. "I watched the first season of Below Deck while I was a chief stew on a yacht, and I just saw the first chief stew [Adrienne Gang] wasn't what I hoped my friends and family would see my job as, and I knew I could do better," Kate explained during the Below Deck Season 7 After Show.
According to Kate, Below Deck just got better with time. "My mom has a saying when you get a waffle maker, the instructions say plug in the waffle maker, open it up, let it warm up, pour the batter in, close it, open it, take that waffle, throw it out. Now you can make waffles," Kate shared. "I think the first season was a throwaway waffle."
To use Kate's analogy, it sounds like her relationship with Captain Lee during Season 2 of Below Deck was a bit of "a throwaway waffle" as well. "My first season working for Captain Lee, we didn't really get along," Kate said. "There was so much going on with the TV show that there wasn't a lot of chance for us to interact. We were thrown into it."
Kate noted that her controversial blanket fold that season also probably contributed to a strain on her relationship with Captain Lee at first. "But we made it past that," she said, referring to their evolution into close work colleagues and BFFs.
Kate announced earlier this week that she would not be returning to Below Deck after six seasons as chief stew. "After many months of reflection and internal discussions, I have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new land based role," she wrote on Instagram on February 17. "I intend to step back as a senior member of the Below Deck Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support His Majesty Andy Cohen.”
Find out the chief stew's all-time favorite Below Deck moment, below.
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