Below Deck may not be Bravo’s most well-known show, but it’s definitely the best. Like Real World on a yacht, the last season has forced half a dozen “yachties” to work together to create a luxurious mid-sea experience for their million-dollar clients. It’s not all fancy and fun, though.
One of Below Deck fans’ most favorite crew members is Captain Lee, who drives the boat and keeps the young crew in line — or, well, at least attempts to. Over the course of two seasons, we’ve witnessed portholes being left open, towels shaped like genitalia on guests’ beds and all kinds of drunken debauchery on nights off. With a sigh and a roll of his eyes, the captain says what viewers are thinking, but much more succinctly. Sure, we love Kat when she’s drunk and we adore the oh-so-cute Chef Ben when he’s scoffing at people’s dinner preferences. But it’s Captain Lee’s quick wit and stern expression that keep Bravo moms tuning in (and tweeting their affection).
SheKnows caught up with Captain Lee to discuss the season ahead and, as expected, he wasn’t keen to share any tidbits of what’s to come. We did, however, get a chance to pester him about love on the high seas. Captain Lee might be happily married, but his crew is made up of young singles. We’ve witnessed the yachties leave boyfriends and girlfriends back on the shore and soon find their relationships over. We’ve also witnessed the tumultuous effect of attempting romance with one of your fellow crew members. We asked Captain Lee about those failed relationships and if he has any insight or advice on why things don’t last for his crew.
“If the relationship went up in flames, odds are the two parties involved were more worried about how ‘whatever’ affected them with little or no concern for how it affected their loved one first,” the captain shared. “If both parties are concerned with making the other one happy before themselves, things work out. The operative word here is ‘work,’ and relationships take work and sacrifice on both parts.”
Preach! The captain knows plenty about hard work and about making a relationship last. Bravo shares that Captain Lee actually started out in the food industry. A rare opportunity to work temporarily on a boat turned him on to a new career path. So, just like all those lovers the crew members leave back home, the captain’s wife didn’t initially sign up to be “Mrs. Captain Lee.” She also didn’t originally sign up to have her husband leave home for one to two months at a time, but they make it work.
“My wife Mary Anne stays at home when I work,” he shared. “I have to be totally committed to my job when we are at sea, and she is the most supportive person I’ve ever met. She didn’t sign up for that, but everyone’s life changes and you must adapt and work at staying together because you are committed to each other’s happiness.”
Well, we’re swooning.
Captain Lee is a big softy when it comes to his wife, but he’s a bit tougher when it comes to life on the water. He’s calm and cool under pressure in most instances on Below Deck, but we’ve seen his annoyance boil to the surface a few times. Most notably, we watched him scold his crew members in weekly blogs during last season. After going easy on Chief Stew Adrienne during Season 1, Below Deck fans were a little annoyed at him seeming to be blind to her deceptive ways. When Adrienne reappeared as a guest during the second season, however, Captain Lee finally caught on to her attitude. Of course, we had to ask him what he thought of her now. In his typical succinct fashion, he said he didn’t keep up with Adrienne and had “no desire” to. So, would she or any of the other former crew members return this season?
“It’s possible, but then again anything is,” is the official word from our captain.
Below Deck Season 3 premieres Aug. 25 at 9/8c. Hop on board now and see what life on a mega-yacht is really like.