Below Deck Mediterranean (Below Deck Med) Season 8 started with one of the most stressful premieres yet, with Captain Sandy Yawn managing some serious issues with her crew in the Italian Riviera (available to stream on Hayu in Canada).
First, Tumi Mhlongo (from Below Deck Down Under) and Kyle Viljoen (returning to Below Deck Med) aren't making it for the first charter because of Visa issues, leaving Natalya Scudder to step in to lead the interior with new crew member Jessika Asai, and temporary stew, Brooke, a deckhand with no interior experience.
As the first episode goes on, Captain Sandy has an even larger issue on her hand when it's revealed that bosun Ruan Irving doesn't have his original certifications with him, which puts the boat at risk of being detained.
Things escalate when it turns out that Ruan's certificate is scanning with another person's picture. The question is, was he scammed when he got his certification, or was he so bold to go on a yachting TV show with fake documentation?
Whatever the circumstances may be, Ruan tells Captain Sandy that instead of having a friend send over his original certification, he's going to bow out for the charter season.
Captain Sandy on teased Tumi, Natalya tension
Needless to say, "eventful" would be an understatement for the start to Season 8, but to tease the rest of the season, Captain Sandy said we can expect Tumi to be a "consummate professional" when she eventually joins the charter.
"I think that she comes across and does her job as a professional," Captain Sandy indicated in a statement to Yahoo Canada. "She also tries to stay above the fray, but I think when you also live below deck it may be hard at times, but Tumi is excellent."
As we see in the trailer for the season, things look to get heated between Tumi and Natalya this season, but the Captain is in full support for how her chief stew handles the situation.
"Tumi deals with Natalya, the best way anyone can deal with Natalya," Captain Sandy teased. "She is a force of nature in herself."
Is someone getting fired on 'Below Deck Mediterranean' Season 8?
Another massive plot point we're waiting to learn more about is a possible firing coming up in the season.
"I have ears. I have eyes. I hear you talking out both sides of your mouth daily. Every situation that's happened, guess who's the common denominator," we hear Captain Sandy say in the sneak peak for the season. "I will put you on the dock so fast if you don't change."
"Your screaming, your lack of respect, I won't tolerate it. I don't want a person like you on board."
When asked about what we can expect from that moment, Captain Sandy confirmed that she is "very angry."
"Up until the point where I’m having that conversation, I am actually considering firing that specific person," she teased.
Women in yachting
Way back in Captain Sandy's first season in the Below Deck franchise (2017's Below Deck Med Season 2) the public was made aware of how rare it is to have a woman as a Captain. All these years later, Captain Sandy indicated that there has been a change for the better since the show has aired.
"I think more women are coming into the industry to work on deck," Captain Sandy stated.
"If you want to make a career as a female captain, you have to work hard. Learn every aspect you can about the boat, about the job. Start on small boats, find a great owner to work for and you will graduate through their upgrading of vessels. It's an easier track than it is getting on a big boat."
How to watch Below Deck Mediterranean in Canada
Below Deck Med Season 8 is available to stream on Hayu, with weekly episodes on Tuesdays.
All previous seasons of the show, and the other Below Deck franchises, are available on Hayu as well.