WAY Below Deck

Shannon Kernaghan Captain-Sandy-porthole-portrait-400 WAY Below Deck Adventure  sandy yawn captain sandy yawn below deck

Captain Sandy Yawn is anything but a yawn – she’s a warrior! She’s also the captain of huge yachts that sail the seas of Croatia and Italy to the French Riviera and currently Spain.

My husband and I watch the series Below Deck Mediterranean for many reasons: the stunning views Captain Sandi charters, the azure waters, the exquisite food and frosty cocktails. And we watch it for the combustible relationships between crew members.

We used to live full-time in a 26-foot trailer and learned countless lessons about sharing close quarters. For example, with every year you live together, your RV grows one foot shorter. We intimately understand small space etiquette.

Speaking of intimate, Below Deck serves up crew relationships that bloom and fizzle full speed ahead. Young people live in a microcosm that includes hot temps, long days, hard work and harder drinking on days off. Quick-forming sex-charged relationships often turn flammable. What could be better for entertainment when there are cameras and mics capturing every move and groan!

Paul and I have enjoyed boats of many sizes during day trips and short-term excursions. But the only ‘vessel’ we ever owned was a two-person inflatable with oars. We bought it from a man in Las Vegas. Yes, the word ‘gamble’ is implied when buying pre-owned toys.

We waited until we reached California to inflate our boat for an afternoon of adventure on the Colorado River. Like the cast from Below Deck, we planned to have it all – water, sunshine, mountain views, maybe even romance.

But that river was cold, and its current was strong. As much as we paddled, we never made it to our friend’s campsite upstream. And who could feel romantic when your partner keeps yelling to “Paddle harder! Faster!’ Wait . . . are we going down?’

Yup, we were sinking, thanks to the multiple leaks we never noticed when we filled our inflatable.

“Head to shore!” Paul yelled and I worked to turn to boat.

By the time we dragged our hole-y inflatable onto the sandy bank, more than half the air had leaked. I felt equally deflated. FYI Paul didn’t put the wind in my sails that day; in fact, he didn’t get to put anything in me. While we disposed of the leaky inflatable, we’re still paddling together after decades of togetherness.

Week after week, Captain Sandy makes everything look effortless: she docks her 185-foot yacht into narrow slips with impressive precision; she acts as a cool-headed mediator between crew and guests alike; plus, she takes no shit. “I’m not your friend. Call me CAPTAIN Sandy,” she corrected a new crew member.

Our favorite Captain Sandy rocks it as she docks it – thanks for making the voyage look so easy. Anchors aweigh!

song “Head Candy”
William Rosati

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