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Yachties are usually ecstatic when additional tips are given out while dropping off the charter guests. But when you're one of the only crew members not to receive an extra gratuity, it can be pretty soul crushing.
That's exactly what Brittini Burton experienced on this season of Below Deck Down Under. As charter guest Eunice disembarked the Thalassa, she decided to give select yachties some cash, in addition to the usual tip the primary charter guest leaves for the whole crew to divide among the team. Brittini was one of the few who didn't receive that extra tip, which caused her to shed some tears after the charter ended.
The deckhand opened up about what she was feeling in that moment during an exclusive interview with The Daily Dish earlier this month. "I know I came with the least amount of skills, and that was kind of my mind, like, I need to catch up. And because of being a female on deck, you know, I put more pressure on to prove myself. And so I definitely felt like I was working my ass off and working a lot harder, and you can see that [bosun Jamie Sayed] was mentoring me, in a way, 'cause I asked for it," Brittini said, adding that she felt like, even though she was still learning, she had been keeping up with the rest of her team. "So I just got really in my head, like, well, not getting a tip represented that I'm not good enough. Or that all the work I'm putting into [it] isn't being seen. So it was a lot more than just the money. It was more the aspect of, like, am I not enough? Am I not part of this team?"
Brittini said she has "no idea" how Eunice decided whom to tip in the Thalassa crew. "They haven't reached out, even after the show aired. And for them to see the other side of how I responded to it, there was no reaching out or anything," Brittini said of that charter's guests. "So it's kind of just been like, all right [laughs], guess we'll just do that."
Brittini said she hopes the charter guests have watched the episode and now understand that they were wrong not to recognize all the crew members. "It was just not classy. You don't pick and choose. You know? It's a team effort," Brittini said. "I might not have been up in their faces for that time they were on the boat, but I was the one getting their snorkeling gear ready so they could smoothly get onto the boat and go snorkeling. They don't see the little things people need to do in the background."
Something else charter guests might not realize the deck crew is doing this season is flaking the anchor chain as it's raised so that it doesn't become tangled and can be easily dropped again later on. Brittini said it's not common in yachting to work on a vessel that requires this, and we haven't really seen crew members have this responsibility before on Below Deck.
And yes, flaking the anchor chain is as intense as it looks. "You are literally standing on top of the chain. You're using your whole body and both your hands to push the chain so that it forms a circle or just lies well so that it can get dropped smoothly. You’re climbing on top of it and pushing your whole body weight in it," Brittini described. "And it's very hot and muggy, and you get dirty because the chain's been dragging on the ocean floor, so whatever comes up with it, you get on you. And it's just metal, so it's huge. Like, just huge chains of metal that you're pushing. There's a lot of stimulants basically happening all at the same time when you're in there."
When Brittini's fellow deckhand, Benny Crawley, was first assigned to do the flaking, he ultimately didn't finish the task for fear that it was dangerous. However, seeing Benny's experience did not deter Brittini from rising to the challenge. "I love being active. I love using my body. I'm really a physical person. I think Benny was afraid it was unsafe, but I didn't really rule it as, like, that would kill me," Brittini said. "I just didn't view it the same way he did, I guess."
Brittini went on to say that working with Benny on the deck team this season "was definitely like a roller coaster."
"It was interesting. Like, you see he didn't like how Jamie was talking to him, and I didn't like the way he was talking to me. So it was something where I recognized that if I wanted to get the respect I was looking for, I needed to nip it in the bud right away," Brittini said. "And so, I did confront him. The first or second night working together, I was like, 'I don't really appreciate how you speak to me.' We hugged it out, and it was great. And as you can see, it smooths out from there. We're getting used to each other working together."
Of course, Brittini knows how to navigate crew dynamics, having worked in the industry since 2017. She even had a familiarity with Below Deck prior to joining the Below Deck Down Under crew. "I had watched it," she said. "And of course, being in yachting, it's something everyone knows."
But Brittini's mom was an even bigger Below Deck fan, and she encouraged her daughter to pursue a career in yachting after watching the show. "She was like, 'You would really like this type of job,'" Brittini recalled. "I definitely have to give [Below Deck] props for, like, opening my world up for that."
So what does Brittini's family think now that she's on a Below Deck franchise herself? "Oh yeah, she loves it," Brittini said of her mom. "She and my brother go to my brother's house every Thursday and watch it together. So they like it."
Perhaps even more important, Brittini has enjoyed everything about her Below Deck Down Under experience, from filming the show to now reliving the charter season while watching the episodes each week. "I have absolutely loved it from the beginning to the end. I thrive with a camera following me, and I thrive with a camera in my room, with a mic on. I love the whole experience. And I think it shows," she shared. "And I love, obviously, the post experience where it's actually out in the world. It's just really exciting to watch it alongside the world."
That's especially the case when you finally get the chance to see everything you didn't even know was happening during the charter season. It's almost like the deckhand is watching Below Deck Down Under as a fan, just as she did prior to finding herself on TV. "It's really fun to see the interior drama 'cause I had no idea about anything, 'cause I was in the exterior the whole time," Brittini said. "So it's really fun to be a part of it almost alongside everyone else."
Below Deck Down Under is streaming now on Peacock with new episodes available every Thursday.
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