Below Deck Sailing Yacht
After decent seasons of Below Deck, Mediterranean, and Adventure, I’m beyond elated to have the superior BD spinoff, Sailing Yacht, back in my life. In a sea of constantly fluctuating casts in the BD universe, Sailing Yacht has been a delightful constant, featuring what has become my absolute favorite group of wild yachties. The core four (Captain Glenn, chief stew Daisy, first mate Gary, and engineer Colin) have all returned for another season aboard the beloved Parsifal III as they sail around Sardinia, Italy. Colin puts it best: “Parsifal is always so entertaining. Get the popcorn out again!”
Speaking of the hottest man on the ship, Colin announces in a confessional that he is a “free man” with “nothing tying him down” anymore. After spending most of his time on the series in a relationship, Colin is now single. He seems eager to finally get a taste of the drama he has largely kept a distance from, and I’m incredibly excited to see how it’ll play out. Meanwhile, Daisy contemplates her life and tells us that she expected to be married with two kids at this point but is instead “still serving a bunch of assholes.” She’s in her Hannah Ferrier era! Regardless, she’s still looking forward to being back on Parsifal. “I hope to bring the same motto I bring every season: My way is best,” she says with a smile. Oh, how I’ve missed her!
Before diving into this premiere’s events, let’s discuss the fresh faces rounding out the team. In the interior, Lucy says she is a very “unlucky” and “clumsy” person, as seen in a montage of various times she accidentally hurts herself on the boat. Daisy’s other stew is Madison, who confesses that she “wouldn’t be opposed to screwing the crew” and doesn’t have “high standards,” meaning there’s a 110 percent chance of her hooking up with Gary. Mads also tells us that despite people assuming she’s a bitch based on her looks (blonde), she’s actually a “ray of fucking sunshine.” Her delivery of this, plus her later comment about how it’s fine to be mean as long as it comes across as a joke, fails to convince me.
On deck, we have Chase, who hails from South Carolina and describes himself as being “extra,” which I’m hoping isn’t code for being a dick. The season teaser shows some tension between him and Gary, so I feel he might not make it to the end. But I hope my assumptions are proven wrong. There’s also deckhand Alex, who captains a boat in Miami, is very hot (bless Bravo for including a slideshow of additional photographic evidence), and says he is “socially charged” and “empathetic.”
Finding and being able to hold onto a fantastic chef has been a tough task to accomplish throughout BD’s history. After last season’s phenomenal chef Marcos, it has some massive shoes to fill. So far, Australian chef Ileisha, a self-described “perfectionist” with 16 years of experience, has impressed in the galley. Overall, I really like this ensemble so far. They seem to know what they’re doing and haven’t pissed anyone off yet, which might be a Below Deck first.
As the crew settles in, Captain Glenn reveals that COVID-19 continues to strike as Gary has tested positive and will tragically end up missing the charter. In the meantime, Colin is tasked with filling in as chief officer to help Alex and Chase get acquainted with the Parsifal. In order to spare herself from repeating last year’s drama, Daisy informs Lucy and Mads that it’s best if they’re both Junior stews. It’s a fantastic idea, but I’m hoping for some stew drama anyway.
As provisions come in and the crew gets the boat prepped for charter, Colin notices something wrong with the engine because it would be too easy for things to go smoothly for once. The first charter sets the tone for the season, and it has already gone sideways merely hours into the first day. Despite their best efforts, Captain Glenn and Colin determine that the boat won’t be able to leave the dock, so the pressure falls onto Daisy and the interior to give the guests an experience that isn’t entirely shitty. And to make matters worse, the next day, Colin discovers a malfunction in the aftercooler that caused water to enter the engine.
At the preference sheet meeting, we meet our first guests: The primary is Stephanie Seutter, a Texan working in sales who is having a girl’s trip with seven of her friends. Given the myriad of problems the crew already has to deal with, I’m glad they don’t also have to deal with a lengthy list of restrictions and demands. They ask for a local Sardinian dinner followed by an EDM party for the first night. On the second day, they want to spend time on the beach and have a steak and seafood dinner with truffles on everything, which rightfully gets a disgusted reaction from Daisy.
Daisy is already impressed with her stews for taking the initiative, and I am too. They know how to get shit done, so here’s hoping they don’t start slacking. “Confident stews, my dream has come true!” she exclaims. After everyone finishes working, they gather on deck to drink beer and rest up. Chase asks if anyone is missing someone from home, to which Daisy responds, “I haven’t missed someone since 1999.” The discussion naturally leads to relationship statuses, where we learn that everyone is single — a win for us because it means chaos will ensue — save for Ileisha, who recently rekindled her romance with an ex-boyfriend from four years prior. Before heading to bed, the boys check in on Colin in the engine room to help out. Dudes rock!
In the crew mess the next morning, Daisy mentions how Gary usually got his coffee, and Ileisha teases her by saying, “you miss him!” Daisy thinks it feels weird for him not to be there, and I agree. Gary’s absence has caused a vibe shift on the boat. Thirty minutes before the charter, the crew changes into their uniforms and prepares to head out on deck for greetings. As the guests strut down the dock, Ileisha is still getting ready in her cabin as Daisy rushes down to inform her to hurry. This sequence had me stressed!! Earlier, the two had a chat about the importance of communication and teamwork, so I hope her poor time management isn’t an issue.
Since the guests are stuck at the dock, Daisy plans to “keep their glasses topped up, their stomachs full, and their memories short.” Words to live by! After welcoming Stephanie & Co., Captain Glenn breaks the bad news but tries to soften the blow by assuring them that other activities are available. They handle it well — it’s not like they have a choice — but their annoyance grows more apparent as they get settled on the boat and enjoy espresso martinis and Ileisha’s mac-and-cheese truffle arancini balls and rib-eye with horseradish-cream canapés.
Captain Glenn suggests that the guests go out on the tender, and they agree because it’s really the only thing to do. Daisy recommends that Alex accompany them because he’s “hot and the guests will love that eye candy.” So true, Daisy. Alex is excited since “day charters with drunk guests is [his] specialty,” adding that his approach is to pump them “full of Tito’s.” Keeping the drinks flowing does the job because they’re already hammered by the time they make it onto the tender. Their afternoon playing around on the water toys and getting drunk is a success. I initially assumed that the guests would be high-maintenance, but so far, they’ve been quite fun and low-key.
After the crew changes into their blacks for the evening, Alex, Chase, and Lucy decorate the flybridge with balloons and glow sticks for what Lucy calls a “tacky” EDM party. True, but there are far worse themes they could have requested. Chase says the half-assed decor “looks like a seven-year-old’s birthday party,” which I imagine would look significantly better. Nothing about this set-up screams EDM, but the guests have fun, and I suppose that’s what matters most.
For dinner, Ileisha presents a family-style feast of fresh local oysters, shrimp, and lobster ravioli with truffle, asparagus with Parmesan, and beef filet with roasted garlic purée. The guests think the food is a “home run,” and they’re so wasted that one guest named Mary Lynn falls out of her chair twice. After the guests change into their party attire and the crew puts on paint and face jewels, they make their way up to the party, where Chase gives one guest a lap dance and Mary Lynn paints Alex’s knee to prove to her sister that she is artistic. Anything for the tip, right?
As if they hadn’t just spent the previous day drinking nonstop, the guests are up early the next morning asking Daisy for some mimosas. “I just need an IV of Champagne,” a guest named Karen says. Meanwhile, Colin has spent the entire charter stuck in the engine room, and because the problems have escalated beyond his ability to fix them alone, Captain Glenn brings in more engineers to check it out.
The episode ends with the reveal that it will take a whopping 15 days to fix the engine, but as Captain Glenn says at the start of the episode, Parsifal “has never let me down.” The season preview promises us several guest injuries, lots of crew makeout sessions, another intense engine issue, and — most importantly — a Daisy/Gary/Colin love triangle. Based on the hype the producers are putting on this dynamic, I have severely high expectations.