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Heading into her fifth season leading the Below Deck Mediterranean crew, you would think Captain Sandy Yawn would have seen it all by now. There have been crew shakeups, health scares, love triangles, and so many charter guest antics to top it all off.
But there were still firsts to be had in the upcoming Season 6 of Below Deck Med, which premieres on Monday, June 28 at 9/8c on Bravo (you can watch every episode a week early on Peacock), with Captain Sandy calling it "completely different than any other season" during an exclusive interview with The Daily Dish earlier this month. "My experience on this season was unlike any other season with the crew. [I'm] thrilled, and I had an amazing time as a captain. I gotta tell you," she said. "It just felt like a team from the start. But I’ll share this, some things happen, and it wasn’t easy for me to navigate."
For one thing, Captain Sandy noted that dealing with all of the protocols put in place due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic made this season unique compared to past charter seasons. But the pandemic also brought out a new energy among the crew, whom Captain Sandy could tell were eager to finally able to get out and interact with other people safely. "When you come out of lockdown onto a boat, it’s like, 'Yeah!' It’s like, 'Party on!'" Captain Sandy said. "I felt like it was like, that energy was there, like, incredible."
That energy proved to be infectious even for Captain Sandy, whom we see learn how to twerk from stew Courtney Veale in the trailer for the new season, above. "I’ve never learned how to twerk, but, hey, you know? I was up for learning," Captain Sandy said, adding that, while she picked up some new moves, "I couldn’t keep up with Courtney."
Courtney isn't the only yachtie joining Captain Sandy's crew on the new 180-foot megayacht Lady Michelle this season. The Below Deck Med boss will also be welcoming chief stew Katie Flood, chef Mathew Shea, stew Lexi Wilson, and deckhands David Pascoe, Mzi "Zee" Dempers, and Lloyd Spencer.
However, we'll also see the return of a familiar face with Malia White back as bosun in Season 6. Though Malia will be settling more into her position with her inaugural season as bosun behind her, Season 6 will be different for the yachtie since her breakup with Tom Checketts, whom she worked with in Season 5 when he filled in as chef for the latter part of the charter season. "You know, hey, Malia’s having fun. I think her experience with Tom, I really believe that affected her," Captain Sandy said of what we can expect from Malia following last season. "And at the same time, I think Malia’s always been focused on her career, which has always been a constant, no matter what’s going on in her personal life."
Though Captain Sandy and Malia have a good working relationship for the most part, they do encounter some tense moments. There's one instance featured in the trailer for Season 6 that shows things getting pretty heated between the two of them. "You know, I always share this, leaders lead and sometimes they lose their temper, right? So, that’s in every position in leadership. You lose your temper," Captain Sandy said of the upcoming Season 6 moment with Malia. "When people don’t take responsibility, that’s what makes me angry. It’s like, just own it. And when you own it, I’m not gonna get mad ‘cause you’re owning your mistake. But when you try to push it off, that pisses me off."
Given everything else going on in the world with the pandemic, what may look like gigantic obstacles to Below Deck Med fans didn't seem as huge to Captain Sandy this season, such as the inclement weather that comes down on the crew while they're out at sea featured in the preview of Season 6. "The cool part was we were still able to film, and that speaks volumes to the team, to the production team, and then to the team onboard," she said. "So, for me, to be able to continue and do this show was a blessing, and on top of it, OK, we got a little bad weather. We’ll handle it, you know what I mean?"
All in all, Captain Sandy said this is going to be one "exciting" season, which we're already sensing thanks to everything that's been teased so far. "I think we’ll really enjoy it in a different way," Captain Sandy shared. "I think people will really love Katie. Malia’s back on board. I think from her last season as bosun to this season, you see a difference. You’ll see a difference there in the deck crew and the interior. The viewers will enjoy it."
Below Deck Med returns for Season 6 on Monday, June 28 at 9/8c on Bravo. And you can watch every episode a week early on Peacock.
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