What says summer like a yacht ride? Bravo’s new docu-series “Below Deck” premieres on Monday, July 1 at 10:00pm ET/PT. The series follows a group of crewmembers living and working aboard “Honor,” a 164’ mega-yacht. The upstairs and downstairs worlds collide when this young single crew, known as “yachties,” live, love and work together onboard the luxurious, privately owned yacht, while tending to the ever-changing needs of their wealthy, demanding clients. Each episode features different charter guests — from millionaires, to entertainers to hard-partying well-heeled friends — as they move onto the boat for an at sea adventure.
“Below Deck” crew includes:
Aleks Taldykin, First Officer- Aleks Taldykin has always had a passion for the Seas. The 27 year-old Los Angeles native began working on fishing boats when he was 12 and got his first Captain’s license at 19. At 20, he started his own company, Elite Yacht Management. His client list includes various celebrities and even heads of state. As a “Captain to the Stars,” Aleks prides himself on providing the best service possible and that combined with his personable manner and sense of humor makes him a favorite of his clientele.
Adrienne Gang, Chief Steward – A veteran of the yacht industry, chief stewardess Adrienne Gang lives by the philosophy “work hard, play hard.” The 29-year-old is the picture of professionalism during work hours, but off the clock she loves to relax and enjoy the beautiful destinations she visits. In conjunction with her career as a yachtie, she is also a professional Chef who cooks for celebrity entertainers while they are on tour. She has a knack for knowing what clients want before they ask for it. Yacht life suits her because she loves to travel and becomes restless when in the same place for too long.
CJ LeBeau, Second Engineer – C.J., 32, discovered his passion for sailing while spending several months vacationing with friends after college to exotic locales like the Caribbean, Columbia and the San Blas Islands. This coastal Californian native, who serves as marine engineer aboard “Honor,” likes to explore the nightlife while in port and tries hard not to get into too much trouble.
Samantha Orme – Steward – A 25-year-old Palm Harbor, Florida native, Samantha has yachting in her blood. She got her start as a stew working charters for her parents, who owned a yacht that her father built, by hand, over the course of 20 years. A graduate of Florida State University, Samantha believes her industrial engineering degree sets her apart from the typical uneducated “yachty” drifter. During her senior year at FSU, she worked with NASA redesigning the avionics mounting structure for the Ares I Rocket. She loves the feeling of being on the open sea and building close relationships while living in close quarters. As a steward, “stew,” Samantha is responsible for helping the chief stew in all aspects of the ship, from cleaning to laundry to making sure the guests are happy and everything in between.
David Bradberry, Deckhand – David Alanson Bradberry immediately joined the Marines after graduating high school, where he received the majority of his experience on the water. David served as a Marine Embassy Guard for three years, which afforded him the opportunity to see the world, being stationed in places like Japan, Liberia and Italy. David’s love of travel, work ethic and sense of adventure make him a perfect candidate for working at sea and knows his Marine training will prove beneficial while at sea.
Ben Robinson, Chef –Ben Robinson, 31, is accomplished both on land and sea. He worked under Italian master chefs in Florence and gained an apprenticeship at 3-Michelin Star restaurant “The Fat Duck,” based in the United Kingdom. Ben has been the head chef on yachts for over 7 years, including the largest sailing yacht in the world. Ben was born in Oxford, England and continued to attend boarding school there when his parents moved to the US. He now lives in Ft. Lauderdale when he is on dry land. Ben enjoys his bachelor status and enjoys himself when in port. Ben dreams of one day owning his own Michelin-Star restaurant.
Eddie Lucas, Deckhand – Eddie Lucas, 26, was raised on the east coast attending boarding schools and exploring recreational diversions on the Chesapeake and Buzzards Bays. Early on he learned to ski, fish and took advantage of any offered outdoor educational opportunities including earning a degree in Adventure Education from Green Mountain College, becoming proficient in rafting, rock climbing and scuba diving. After surviving a car accident five years ago, Eddie learned to live life to the fullest and to appreciate everything he has.
Kat Held, Second Steward – This 27-year-old ‘jokester’ began a career in yachting after a summer of recreation sailing in her home town of Rhode Island. Working several years as an assistant in a psychiatrist office, she grew an interest in discovering more of what the outside world had to offer. One day, after watching the yachts come in and out of Newport, she purchased a book on how to become a stew. This led her to finding her first job as a yacht stewardess in Miami, Florida.
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