This interview contains spoilers from the season six premiere and has been condensed for brevity.
Since joining the cast of Below Deck: Mediterranean, Captain Sandy has been a breath of fresh air for fans who can’t get enough of seeing a woman take charge of 100-foot luxury mega-yachts. Now, she’s back for the sixth season with a brand new crew, but to expect smooth sailing in the middle of a global pandemic would be unrealistic.
If last season was any warning, it’s for fans to expect the unexpected. With the controversial exits of fan favourites Hannah Ferrier and Hindrigo “Kiko” Lorran, Captain Sandy has had her decision-making questioned, but her choices only attest to how seriously she takes her job. Through her calm, encouraging leadership and willingness to get her hands dirty, Captain Sandy has proven she’ll do whatever it takes to make a successful journey across the Mediterranean — even if it means rocking the boat.
Captain Sandy feels good about the season six crew, despite some hiccups
Captain Sandy is well aware of how inspiring it is to see not only a female captain, but women in general as an integral part of the crew. “I think Bravo has done such a great job because every season they have [a woman] on deck, and it’s so hard on women in the industry to get jobs on deck. First, people just want to stick them in the interior. The other part of that is, I think this season is the most diverse I’ve ever seen in yachting, actually.”
It’s no surprise that she speaks highly of her crew. As we’ll see in the first episode, they’ll have her back when a major crisis goes down before they even open charter. When chef Matthew Shea left the boat because of a knee injury, even the level-headed captain struggled to keep her cool. Luckily, she has her own way of dealing with the stress. “According to my girlfriend Leah, it would be rubbing my hands together,” she recalls after watching the episode. “Because I was like ‘Why am I rubbing my hands like that?’ and she goes ‘That’s you not losing your shit.”
And if she did, no one would blame her. On a yacht where guests expect seven-star service, not having a chef is just unacceptable (something one of the guests told her without mincing words). “We’re filming in a pandemic and it’s not like I can get a chef and just ring one up. We didn’t have anyone in quarantine, so I was doing a lot of thinking and problem solving in my head while rubbing my hands together.”
She doesn’t have regrets about Hannah Ferrier
To solve that problem, Captain Sandy had to make a tough call, which seems to be her specialty. Case in point when, in season five, she fired chief stewardess Hannah Ferrier for having Valium and a CBD vape pen on board, which resulted in apparent bad blood between the two and cast members divided on the issue. But Captain Sandy stands by her decision. “When you’re a boss, you’re not there to make friends. Imagine this: you’re a captain on a superyacht, you’re a woman and you have all these people onboard. When I don’t trust someone, I can’t go to sea with them,” she says plainly. “I have to depend on my crew to save a life so I need to be able to sleep at night knowing I’m doing the right thing as a captain.”
On the feud with Hannah, Captain Sandy says there isn’t bad blood on her end. “I’ve never not liked Hannah. I think she’s a great person,” she says. “I haven’t blocked Hannah. Hannah has blocked me. I’ve always kept the door open and it would be great if we could ever heal that relationship.” Even if that happened, would they ever be close friends? Probably not. Captain Sandy is realistic about how different they are as people. “We’re people who usually wouldn’t mix or hang out together in normal [life]. I’m 56 and she’s 30-something,” she reminds us. “I’m there to do my job. I think people get confused and forget we’re human beings and we’re actually working a real job. You know, I’m responsible. I don’t have anyone to walk in my shoes.”
I have to depend on my crew to save a life so I need to be able to sleep at night knowing I’m doing the right thing as a captain.
Captain Sandy approves of Hannah’s replacement Katie Flood, who appears in season six as the new chief stewardess. “I really like her, and I think the fans will. I hope they do because she’s an awesome human being.”
As to what to expect this season, Captain Sandy feels the pandemic makes this season like no other. “The crew and guests are on steroids. They have this [need for] escapism. In yachting, we’re always at sea and it feels like quarantine all the time. But for guests it’s not like that, so I think they’re amped up because they’re free right now and on a yacht. I think that’s the difference.”
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