So it's been a minute since I left my Below Deck Down Under recaps; just recently I've been dealing with a mysterious respiratory illness that I'm sure nobody's heard of but before that I was. It doesn't matter! Let's stop yakkin and roll into my recap of Below Deck Down Under S1:E12 Yachtie or Nice after the break!
Okay! First things first: we're mid-charter and I have received a little inside information about this charter from a guest! IKNORITE!!?? I want to confirm with them before I post who they are but I love it when I hear from people who've actually been on the series, it's fantastic.
Who is currently at sea with our gang of intrepid yachties? I'm glad you asked! We've got Primary Carlton Dickerson and Co-Primary Charter Guest Melina Musumeci, former acrobat Jason Heaney, Cheryl Heaney, experienced first aider Venetia, Peter Moss and Richard NeedsLastName.
We open where we left off with bosun Jamie Sayed angrily insisting that Captain Jason Chambers fire deckhand Ben (Benny) Crawley for a season's worth of insubordination and for an immediate safety infraction.
Jamie used to be safety officer on another boat, he's already called out Captain Jason for unsafe practices so he may not be barking up the right tree there.
Can I say it? I'm just going to say it. Jamie's not a good manager. He may look amazing diving shirtless into the ocean to rescue a guest already efficiently being rescued by another guest, but he doesn't know how to motivate or manage his team. He's been managing around Benny, who's not exactly a go-getter at the best of times, someone needs to be more direct with him but also: more respectful. You do work together and neither one of you are currently in the military.
Oh wow. Somehow we still have chef Ryan McKeown, silently preparing breakfast for all the somehow awake guests. I really do wish better for them.
Third steward Magda Ziomek calls chief steward Aesha Scott below deck to look at a sunless tanner situation; Aesha is super happy Magda seems to be improving. There have been...issues. Mostly around Magda not managing a long distance relationship very well, using a lot of work time and work data to stay in contact with her boyfriend/soulmate.
But we're thinking happy thoughts!
Aesha makes a bunch of Bloody Marys for the gang, it's super early for most charters (pre-9:00 am) and it's rainy so hopefully Ryan has a tonne of delicious hot food ready to come out at any second.
*Cut to Ryan slowly preparing small breads for...bruschetta?
That's okay, Primary Carleton loves everything and the guests are happy and that's all that matters, right?
Ryan runs some eggs up to Captain Jason, telling us he knows how to schmooze and smooth things over. Captain Jason takes the eggs and texts his recruiter again, begging for a chef, any chef, so Ryan's not building the fake bridge he thinks he is.
Benny is super perky this morning, he likes to be in front of the guests. Deckhand Brittini Burton asks Jamie if he's managed to say anything to Benny yet, that's a nope. She's frustrated because she knows more about Benny's disciplinary issues than Benny does, see above note about Jamie not being a great manager.
Benny comes up and one of the exact conversations we were just talking about happens! Let me break this down for us:
- Jamie is frustrated at having to talk to Benny AGAIN, leads with the energy of doing Benny a favour for not having a meeting with the Captain
- Benny is frustrated at being talked at and never listened to so talks over top of Jamie speaking so that maybe he can be heard before the conversation is over
- Jamie takes this as disrespect
- Benny takes this as disrespect
- Neither hears the other person
- Both genuinely frustrated
- Ends with Benny telling Jamie he will take his foot off his head
Jamie 100% wants Ben fired. Captain Jason agrees to take a closer look at it, he wants to understand if this is a personality conflict or if it's a competency issue.
Brittini and deckhand Culver Bradbury have agreed to travel across country in a van together, Brittini is nervous and it's super awkward because the entire crew has been trying to get them to bang. Hopefully in front of them? I don't know but it's over the line and awkward and awful and Brittini is TOTALLY down.
We're having a Christmas dinner tonight, are you excited?? I'm excited! Primary Carlton is a musician with a Christmas album so he's clearly the driving force.
Aesha! Stop calling the guests old because they're playing Scrabble! I have that same board and it IS awesome, thankyouverymuch and wait. I don't think I'm defending those quests very well. Plus maybe that board is a little fancier.
Second steward Tumi Mhlongo is obviously in charge of decor, her tablescapes are amazing! Magda comes up with fake snow in the form of deconstructed tampons, everyone but me thinks that is brilliant.
Magda uses this as an example of being a total package: hard worker, smart and a model!
Those deconstructed tampons are doing a lot of heavy lifting right there.
Captain Jason has decided to have a very formal chat with Ben and Jamie, he brings Aesha in as another head of department to witness the discussion.
It's super fast, Benny brings up the word intimidation again and Captain Jason is all over it. There will be no bullying or harassment on his boat, that's what the word intimidation speaks to but there isn't any. They agree to keep trying, Jamie says something about not meaning anything personally and both he and Captain Jason reiterate the need for tasks to be complete.
Benny's almost in tears after, everything is very emotional for him. Jamie leaves still frustrated but maybe they're getting closer to almost being able to have a two-sentence conversation so who knows?
Christmas dinner time! Guest Peter has chosen a Christmas kilt, as one does.
Captain Jason starts to poll the deck crew about Jamie and Ben's communication, Culver's seen allllll of it but he doesn't think anyone should be let go. I don't think I realised until then that Jamie was at risk as well. Interesting.
Culver dresses up as Santa Claus, everyone loves Santa! I'm less convinced about Aesha as Rudolf. That's looking a little fetish-y but I guess it's all in good clean fun!
Captain Jason continues interviewing deck crew about the dynamic between Jamie and Benny, Brittini offers another perspective in that Jamie has never really explained what he wants to the deck crew as a whole.
More departmental drama; Magda is in the laundry room when she gets a text from a friend Paulina, who is having dinner with Magda's boyfriend. Just then, Aesha walks in for a chat and to tell Magda she can end an hour early. But only for sleeping, not for chatting with her boyfriend!
Magda: what the hell.
I get it, I get both sides and if all you ever saw was that conversation you might think Aesha was overreaching as hell. But Magda has been routinely spending multiple hours up late at night videochatting with her boyfriend instead of sleeping and yacht time is different than other jobs. Workers get 8 hours off from the time they're off shift until they're expected to be on duty. If they spend three of those talking on the phone, that's only five left and that's a recipe for a very crappy day of work the next day. Now times that by 7 and see how grainy things get. That's what Aesha is talking about.
Plus Magda took off a whole afternoon to sleep instead of cleaning one day.
But Magda is also right that someone telling her not to call her boyfriend when she's off shift is garbage.
It comes to a head when Aesha comes to bed and finds Magda chatting with her boyfriend a full hour after her shift ended.
The next morning, Magda needs multiple reminders to get off her phone; to be fair her boyfriend was having dinner with her best friend so that can be a week-long text conversation at best.
Other than that little friction, breakfast and the entire last morning on charter is very chill. The guests are quiet, the deck crew getting along (except when Brittini talks to Culver about being sexually frustrated the previous Christmas in New Zealand in the van they're planning to cruise off in together), even Ryan and Aesha are friendly.
Guest departure goes well, Primary Carlton does a nice speech. Now show us the tip envelope!!! I'm going to guess...no clue, man I haven't watched in ages, I don't even remember okay shutting up, let's just say $23,500 AUD!
Clean up time, this is just the parentheses for the tip meeting! Oh. I'm not even close, the tip was $18,000 AUD, which is $14,000 USD and $1,160 USD each. Which is still awesome for two and a half days work, I just got my charters mixed up.
The deck crew will be sorted today. Dun dun DUN.
Brittini takes matters into her own hands, calling Culver and Benny to the deck to solidify them as a safe space unit for each other.
The first thing Brittini shares is the reason she was put on night shifts and Benny was taken off. I still can't believe that Jamie, as a manager, completely ducked this conversation and actually did want Brittini to do this, even though it's the worst possible way for Benny to find out his boss has been saying he's shit at everything he does.
Captain Jason sits Benny down for a chat; he has talked to everyone and decided that the problem is communication, that Jamie isn't trying to intimidate anyone, he just wants things done a certain way. The way that Captain wants them, even. And so he's had to make a decision and
Boooooo! Until next time, everyone, cheers! Thank you again to the guest who set me straight on a couple of things I'll update in my last recap, you're awesome!