Below Deck: Stern Lines for Dummies

What happens when you expect Vesuvius and get a mountain burping smoke? Disappointment. While I’ve been enjoying an escape from the blood pressure-increasing drama of BDM, I need something to cheer or sneer at, and I was really hoping that this week it would be Rachel’s meltdown. Aside from an expletive riddled rant over the radio, Rachel recovered quickly and made it work. Don’t get me wrong, that’s good for her, just bad for TV. Everyone seemed to follow Ashling’s confessional rule and just backed the heck up. We need at least a little drama…or maybe it’s just me.

On deck the guests were asking what 20 year olds have on them. Coordination and the ability to hold their alcohol would be my first guess, but Team Tim (and Tim himself in particular) seem to be much more palatable this week. Maybe Beth took Francesca aside and asked her to do light pours on his beverages? After some water fun it’s time to take down the slide. This is the first time I’ve heard that it weighs 400 lbs. No wonder the crew hates it so much. Shane should use some of his awareness rants to get those things banned. I’m sure future deck crews’ backs would thank him for years to come.

Speaking of Shane, that young lad cannot seem to get out of his own way. He can’t do his own job, but he’s going to call out and remind Eddie to pull in the fenders on the tender? Not a smart move, buddyroe. James seems to rest the blame on Izzy’s shoulders for encouraging Shane to do better. I’m Team Izzy on this, it’s the team player route and if Shane’s teachable, teaching him is the proper way to go. Unfortunately Shane might only be teachable in a university setting and not an on-the-job one.

In my best Samuel L. Jackson voice: “I’m tired of the m-fing lumpfish roe in my m-fing fridge.”

As is the case with most voyages the largest pressure resides on the more-than-capable shoulders of Captain Lee. The guests have asked for a tour of the ship that includes places most guests won’t see. Cap takes the bullet and does his best to stretch it out in order to give ample time for the caviar to arrive. In his words, if it doesn’t show up, he’s going to be sitting there with his “D” in his hands. If I can’t have drama, I am at least getting a basket full of Leeisms this season, and I am here for it. Between that and the “Computers have bigger joysticks than I have,” I was as entertained as the guests by his one liners.

The tour ended and the caviar finally arrived, but as Rachel attempted to save some for plating later, she dropped the remainder of the tin on the floor. I might be checking your itemized invoice, Tim, to see if you were charged for the whole shebang. The birthday dinner goes off without a hitch and Captain Lee gives Rachel one of the greatest compliments I’ve heard regarding a chef. He said in his 35 years as a charter yacht captain he’s never been this impressed. High praise indeed.

They end the dinner with a tradition of the guests that on its face seems obnoxious, but winds up being adorable albeit a tad messy. They use a wine decanter with a pour spout to determine longevity and prosperity based on the length and position of the pour. Forget my earlier comment about checking the invoice, because they all made a big enough mess that it likely equaled out with the cost of the K2r to clean the teak. The highlight was Captain Lee taking his own turn. Thankfully he didn’t have to ruin his white shirt because the guests gave him a t-shirt with Tim’s face on it to wear. Cap is wise enough to earn a tip without having to don a budgie smuggler.

Add Wine Stud of the Sea to that resume’.

Ashling is off for the night which leaves only Elizabeth and Chess tending to the guests. Francesca had said goodnight to the guests because she was supposed to be off the clock, so she asked Elizabeth to check on the guests every ten minutes. Somehow Elizabeth’s brain processed that as “go down to the pantry and talk to Izzy for 42 minutes and leave the guests hanging.” Service is a tough job, but it isn’t rocket science. Try stuffing a carnelian stone in your bra. I’m told it’s good for career, endurance, and motivation. The guests wound up searching for service and unfortunately for Liz, found her with Francesca who was still up cleaning. Ruh roh. Chess is understandably upset and Liz somehow wound up making herself the victim when she vented to Eddie and James. She is not earning those second stripes at all.

After Eddie sent Shane to bed for the night, I got some vindication for my math skills versus his. He talked to his girlfriend Aubrey on the phone and told her he had another 15 hour day. 24 minus 15 = 9, even in New Math, Sunshine. It’s no one’s fault but your own if you choose to use 3 hours to talk on the phone to your girlfriend or journal. He was supposed to be up on deck at 6:30, but shocker, he overslept. His excuse this time was that his phone died. He blamed Eddie using the outlets by the bed, but the more likely culprit was him falling asleep while talking to Aubrey. Eddie was at a loss for words. I have a few and they include “plane ticket home.” Eddie finally clued Captain Lee in on all of the areas where Shane has fallen short, so maybe my dream will manifest itself.

The charter is reaching its end, so the guests enjoyed some last minute time on the jet skis before breakfast. French toast with foie gras isn’t my bag, but the food was well received. I also need to Google Eggs Halifax, because that’s anywhere on my toddler palate menu. On deck Eddie took the time to teach Izzy some new skills and she is turning out to be a total baller. She’s risen as high in my estimation as Sunshine has fallen (think midnight during a new moon.)

That horse already left the barn, Sunshine.

As they approached the dock in Jolly Harbour, Shane had a fender malfunction which riled the Captain a little, and then the stern thrusters weren’t cooperating which added to his ire. On top of that they were so bad with the lines that Cap went from mad to livid. He even took the deck crew off to the side after saying goodbye to the guests to teach them the line order. He’s expecting more from them three charters into the season, as am I.

Despite the screw ups, the crew wound up pocketing a 20 grand tip, so all’s well that ends well. And speaking of endings, we’re left with yet another cliffhanger. Captain Lee calls Eddie to the bridge to have a talk about Shane. Cap’s conclusion is that they’d be no worse off with him than without him. That’s just vague enough that I don’t want to assume he’s not getting another chance, but let’s just say I’m keeping my fingers crossed until next Monday. Hope to see you then!

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