The Valor crew is down a member.
In the November 11 episode of Below Deck, we said goodbye to deckhand Abbi Murphy, who decided to exit this season when her experience working aboard a mega yacht was not what she expected after coming from the sailing world.
Abbi explained her decision to leave the boat during an interview with The Daily Dish over the phone ahead of Monday night's episode of Below Deck.
"I decided to leave, I would say, for a couple reasons. I wasn’t very comfortable in the situation. I felt like I wasn’t myself in the situation, and, for me, when I feel like I’m defeated by my environment, I wanna excuse myself from it," she shared. "I know that I made a commitment and it was very hard for me to walk out of that commitment, but I think it was best for myself and it was best for my future — even with my future marriage — that I left."
As we saw in last week's episode of Below Deck, Abbi got engaged to her on-again, off-again boyfriend Patrik via text message (clip below). Even though that proposal seemed a bit casual for some Below Deck crew members and fans alike, Abbi told The Daily Dish that her departure from the season helped underscore her commitment to her future husband (the two wed shortly after this season of Below Deck).
"I think that proves even that I took my engagement very seriously because I don’t think you should be newly engaged and in, you know, a type of environment with a lot of partying and a lot of different elements with guys and this and that," she said. "You should probably step out of it and focus on your future that will last longer than your time on the boat."
Abbi said that there was nothing any of her fellow crew members could say or do to change her mind about exiting this season. "I honestly don’t think so. I don’t think that I would’ve been convinced mainly because when I get my mind on something, I just kind of go with it and I mean, obviously, based on my past, that’s always how I’ve been and whether that’s a good or bad thing, I don’t know, but yeah, there was no convincing me at that time," she said. "I was 100 percent ready to leave and wanted to leave for my own sake and for the sake of Patrik. Even for the sake of my co-workers because what good is it to them when you have somebody that you’re supposed to be working with that doesn’t like their job? Or isn’t happy in what they’re doing? And I didn’t wanna be like, the one holding people down."
Ashton Pienaar expressed a similar sentiment about Abbi's departure during a separate interview with The Daily Dish earlier this month. "You know, I could see she was struggling with the uniformity and all the moving parts on a motor yacht compared to a sailing vessel. I didn't know it was so bad. I knew there was an issue when some of the other crew start coming to me and telling me how upset she was and things like that," he said. "That doesn't do well for the rest of the crew's morale when someone's on the boat saying they want to quit. What does that put into other people's minds? Now we got someone here who doesn't want to be here. Now we got a weak link. So you've got to sort that out and nip it in the bud as soon as possible."
Even though being down a member of his deck team presented a problem for Ashton, the bosun still supported Abbi's decision to leave the crew. "We all do yachting because we enjoy it. You know, it's not a desk job that we feel trapped by. We all make a decision to leave the corporate world to do this because we're all adventurous people. The last thing that I wanted for her was to feel trapped on this boat," he said. "I wanted her to enjoy herself, and if her enjoyment or her being happy meant her leaving the boat to move back to Greece to get married to her captain and be on a sailing boat, I would support that, and I did support that. I wasn't gonna try and keep her there with a bad attitude because then it starts festering within the crew, within my crew, and it's just gonna make all our lives more difficult. So I just wanted her to be happy and make the right decision for herself."
Abbi said she doesn't envision herself working on a mega yacht again anytime soon. "I’m totally done with that type of yachting. I honestly, like, even watching myself, it is not for me. It’s totally not for me. I don’t think it ever will be," she told The Daily Dish. "But I strive to get my captain’s license soon and continue on the sailing boats ‘cause that’s my passion. No more motor yachts for me."
But if Abbi could do her Below Deck experience over again, there are a few things she would do differently. "I wish I put my hair up on the first day. I wish that I kind of asked more questions about, like, the little things that I felt embarrassed to ask about because the bigger things, I really didn’t screw up. But it was the little things like the walkie keying, or you know, my hair or basically those main few things," she recalled. "I wish that I paid more attention to all those little details and asked questions because I never actually used any of those things, and I never actually experienced that type of environment, so I felt kind of stupid asking some of those simple questions. So I wish I kind of asked about training. Like, oh, can you teach me how to, you know, set up my walkie correctly? Just stuff, simple things I wish that I actually asked for help with instead of just trying to pretend like I knew what I was doing when I didn’t."
She added, "I wish I asked those simple questions. That probably would’ve saved me all those little, I don’t know, hiccups. It would’ve saved me just to get a little lesson on walkies. That was it. But I was too embarrassed, I think, or, you know, I didn’t wanna bother them. That type of thing."
Abbi said she had never really watched Below Deck before this season, and seeing herself on TV hasn't exactly been a pleasant experience. "I hate it. I hate it so much. Like, honestly, when I get the episode, I dread watching it. I wait for a while and then I’m like, 'All right, I gotta watch it. I gotta watch it,'" she shared. "And then I sit and then I kinda just, like, have an anxiety attack the whole time I watch it, and then when it’s done, I’m like, OK. It wasn’t so bad, it wasn’t so bad. But yeah, it’s not really something I would ever wanna see again is myself on TV. At least not working on Valor."
However, she did learn something important about herself from watching Below Deck every week. "I have a very hard time hiding the fact that I don’t like what I’m doing. I’ve always kind of tried to do things that I was passionate about and that I was good at, and then trying something that I wasn’t good at or that I had trouble with and have trouble focusing on and wasn’t passionate about, I think that I really could not hide it very well and I just, like, looked miserable," she explained. "I learned that I should never do that again or at least learn to hide my emotions a little better when I’m in a situation like that, and I don’t like what I’m doing."
This season of Below Deck also reignited Abbi's passion in sailing, something she has continued to pursue since disembarking the Valor. "Originally, on the sailing boat, I really just love that free feeling. That travel part of it. And then when I actually started working on the sailboat, I loved, you know, the actual sailing and getting from one place to another and how exciting it was to, you know, trim a sail and go one knot faster even though you’re just going seven knots which, on a motor yacht, is nothing," she said. "And then when I went to Valor, I figured, oh, maybe it’s kind of the same thing, and I could use a lot of the same skills, but then it was a completely different type of yachting. But I didn’t know until I got into that situation, and I’m happy that I actually tried it at least once to know what it was like."
See how the Valor crew dealt with Abbi's departure, below.
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