Below Deck S7:E14 Witch Hunt Recap

Welcome back to Below Deck hosting co-primaries Nicole Orsini and Zak Eagle, how ya been? It’s not been good trips for awhile now, the fun and happy crew is super tired of being locked in close quarters together, only a few more to go! Rolling into Below Deck S7:E14 Witch Hunt after the break!

I mentioned the Primary Charter Guests above, but they have more vocal/memorable friends with them, too, one of whom is private chef Justine Vastano. She’s not been impressed with the food on the charter thus far and we open in the galley with her explaining her concerns to Below Deck chef Kevin Dobson. He does not sound appreciative OR open to criticism, but in his defense, this is how she started the conversation.

If this didn’t make you a combination of stabby and eye-rolly, you need to watch it some more.

Kevin defends his food choices as being based on the preference sheets of the Primary Charter Guests, but he’s not very polite when he does it, so I don’t know how Miss Shoulder Pout 2019 is gonna like it. She runs down to the rest of the (non-Primary) guests and gets her “oooh girl, you’re so riiiights” while I feel that eye-rolly stabby twitch coming on.

Kevin retaliates by complaining to second steward Courtney Skippon, there’s really no winner here. Chef to chef.

The deck crew prepares for a 2 pm beach picnic, I haven’t seen a bosun do that before as picnics are primarily under direction of the Interior, but whatever. Bosun Ashton Pienaar is maybe trying to make up for some reprehensible behaviour late last year. In his defense, he was blackout drunk. (That’s not a defense)

Captain Lee Rosbach anchors the boat under the hot Thai sun as second steward Simone Mashile does a round of waters on the Bunny Pad ahead of chief steward Kate Chastain doing the same.

I’m just going to say: I know this hasn’t been the storyline for a little while now, but Simone was looking for more experience on service and she is getting it! She is also knocking it out of the park, so yay Simone!

Kate runs downstairs to make the sketchy decision to tattle on Ashton about what he told Captain Lee the day before. Third deckhand Rhylee Gerber has been on Ashton’s bad side right from the start (except when they’re drunk and fondling), he’s very emotional when it comes to her. She has a very hard time backing away from a fight or letting ANYthing go, so it’s been butting heads since she came in mid-season.

Rhylee was in charge of a fishing charter with the guests as that’s exactly what she does in Alaska. Ashton framed it as seeing what she could do in charge but was quick to throw her under the bus with Captain Lee when they accidentally wandered into waters that were not rated for fishing. Kate overheard the under-bus-throwing and is now exaggerating it to Rhylee. Ashton never used Rhylee’s name, he just said maybe some more research needed to be done. I don’t think he needed to share any of that with Captain Lee as it makes him look worse than Rhylee, punching down on your own crew member like that.

But Kate telling Rhylee…no good can come from this. Rhylee caught her breath and stepped back, turning red(der), I’ve been there. There is no good way to hear something bad about yourself like that, especially if it’s unfair and you don’t see a way to defend yourself. It’s even worse if it’s exaggerated.

This will be a blowup.

Last time, Captain Lee chose to give up his room to guest Lauren Taylor who didn’t have anywhere to sleep, thanks to guest Jamie Stone. Jamie refused to share a room or bed with anyone, so poor Lauren was on the couch until she and another guest asked Captain Lee to find some space. There is a ridiculously small amount of rooms given how big superyacht Valor is rolling. It’s like a motorhome/RV I was in once: cost something like $600,000.00. Slept 2.

Everyone dislikes Jamie, do you think it’s chicken or egg? She’s certainly disagreeable, but was also just as clearly uncomfortable around everyone else, who were almost openly excluding her. They all went fishing without waking her up. I don’t know if I’d want to share a room with any of those people either.

It’s getting hotter and hotter outside, the guests can’t wait to get into the water but lead deckhand Brian de Saint Pern and Rhylee are taking awhile to get everything set up. He blames this on her, as they do.

Ashton and Kate get the beach picnic arranged, Ashton leaving to grab Simone and the guests. Simone was not aware she was serving on the beach, Kate told Courtney but not her. Simone rolls with it.

Now this is interesting, Ashton has been checking out model Molly, one of the guests. Crew are not allowed to do anything with guests, nothing, so the fact that Ashton feels comfortable flirting with Molly in front of Captain Lee is telling.

A few charters ago, there was an older guest very interested in Ashton and he sidestepped that with no issues. The tall, blonde, and exceptionally conventionally attractive Molly is another story.

The guests love Kevin’s sushi at the beach picnic, Brian and Ashton stand on the sideline and shit-talk Rhylee some more. There’s such a cool vibe between Ashton, Brian and deckhand Tanner Sterbeck, they just can’t figure out why Rhylee wrecks their vibe, bru.

I have no idea why this one woman would feel so left out by these three guys and their juvenile jokes. Earlier, Kate explained her philosophy for working with people like Ashton, who got completely creepy then scary with her the other night. If she only worked with people she liked, she’d be out of a job. I don’t know why these guys can’t just try to include Rhylee more or understand where she’s coming from, they’re so quick to write her off as “difficult” and use that as an excuse for excluding her. Failing that, just do your jobs and be professional, how about you try THAT, brus?

Despite all his bluster, Kevin is trying a little harder, preparing watermelon popsicles (maybe frozen, maybe just cut in shapes) for the guests when they get back to the yacht.

He’s still bitching, but at least he understands that he’s about lost the plot and he needs to focus.

The guests want to do a photoshoot, Ashton is tapped to join in which involves him taking his shirt off in public, as we’ve come to expect. Like Kate said…

Captain Lee watches as Molly and Ashton cavort.

I’ll say this, Molly is super funny and down to earth, not at all what you’d expect from someone who can take a picture like that.

The guests dress for dinner as Captain Lee tries to find his fancy clothes as he’ll be joining them. Once the ladies are ready, they send second stew Courtney down to wake up guest Jamie because they all hate her too much to wake her up themselves but also don’t want to get yelled at for not waking her up.

Interesting that they’ve chosen pretty Courtney to be in their Mean Girl gang, Jamie is much less conventionally attractive so this is coming off like a teen mean cheerleader move. They’re relieved that Courtney was not able to wake Jamie, they’ve done their due diligence!

I mean, if Jamie wasn’t such an arsehole, I’d feel worse for her. I just wonder…

Rhylee confronts Ashton, throwing Kate under the bus and while she stays calm he blames everything on her insecurity, asking her what she’s doing about her issues. Her issue is that you aren’t treating her like a crew member or your problem, Ashton, you’re her boss and responsible for keeping her motivated and engaged. Jaysus.

I swear, it’s not some kind of ginger-sisterhood thing.

Moar fighting. Rhylee still calm but Ashton hates her so much he’s not able.

Kevin has prepared pretty pretty plates for supper, will they pass Justine’s muster? They do!

It’s late and the guests head to bed, as does Captain Lee in the Sky Lounge. A sunburned Rhylee tells Kate about her disappointing day, Brian and Tanner gossip above deck.

Tanner wakes everyone up screaming at 4:00am, I can’t tell what he was scared of, the used too many ***! Help a girl out if you know!

Ohhhhh, maybe little people! Doing what?

Rhylee works hard all morning, she’s there to do a job. So is Simone, who ignores any awkwardness with Tanner, whom she hooked up with earlier in the year. Ashton hears that Rhylee is going on break and speeds over to tattletale to the Captain and asks him to fire Rhylee.

There are only six days left in the charter season! Six!

Captain Lee dismisses Ashton and calls Rhylee up to the Sky Lounge for a chitchat. He points out that she may not understand how her help is taken, he needs to get some other opinions before he makes his decision.

Good thing they’re not mid-charter with a bunch of guests! Except they are. Rhylee calls this a Witch Hunt, the first time I’ve heard this particular term used properly in the last while.

Kevin sends out a breakfast feast. Brian and Tanner are called up to the bridge one by one for their opinion on Rhylee. Tanner calls her a cancer; neither wants to wait for another six days.

Kevin is STILL bitching about being called out on his food, thankfully he’s not saying anything horrible when Justine walks back into the galley.

She apologizes and thanks him for the great food but he’s still being such a dick that he won’t even stop and look at her and accept it properly. He’s such a baby.

Kate brings up a bowl of cereal to Captain Lee and gives her opinion that Ashton isn’t managing his team.

I can see both sides here, but I think Ashton is just a bad manager. He hasn’t supported Rhylee at all but yeah, the bad vibes are bringing down the whole team. He has a good enough time managing the other guys because they’re his buddies. He shittalks a junior member to them. A real boss would have at least tried to motivate or manage Rhylee instead of immediately telling her all her problems were of her own making. It’s like saying to an equal: we wouldn’t have any problems if you would just do what you’re told.

Ashton confronts Kate about sharing what he considers confidential information with Rhylee, she thinks he should have known it wasn’t confidential because she was right there.

Hm. She’s not really acting like a department head there either, is she?

Ashton explains to us in great detail all the problems he has with Kate and everything having to be “HER” way, which is…exactly what he said about Rhylee. Hm. Perhaps he doesn’t think women should have opinions or “ways”? Just a guess. He asks for an apology then when he doesn’t get one calls her a “f***ing b**ch” on the way back to his bunk.

It’s guest departure time, yay! That means we getta seeeee the TIP!! Wooooo!! Oh it’s a BIG envelope! Yay!! Lemme seeeee

Time to turn over the boat, Brian and Courtney kiss in his bunk then he calls his daughter. He’s not sure about introducing her to his daughter, he hasn’t given it any thought so far. That’s tough, dating as a parent is something else entirely.

Then Kate tells Rhylee that Ashton asked to fire her and honestly, Kate. Stop.

Tip Meeting in the Crew Mess wooooo!! Blah blah blah, show us the TIP! I’m guessing $21,000 based on matzoh ball soup! Oh. $17,700, $1600 each. Okay, I was close. Ish.

Captain Lee references the deck crew issues but doesn’t give any sense of where he’s going with it. He does roll out one of his old-timey sayings for us! “You can’t kick shit down the road and think that it’s gonna go away.”

In this scenario, is Rhylee the shit? Is the fighting the shit? Just throw me a bone here! We’re out, so I guess we find out next week! Cheers