Well, kiddo, I have some bad news. Stud of the sea Captain Lee, our boat dad, the only man with whom we’d ever be comfortable traversing tumultuous waters and for whom we would never embarrass the boat or ourselves, has decided to exit Below Deck mid-charter amid ongoing health issues. “Gimme two shots” — of tequila. (To drown out the sadness.)
Lee announced his exit on Monday night’s episode, saying in a confessional, “My injury, it’s getting worse. The left side of my body, I don’t feel anything.” He started the season dealing with nerve issues, so his news wasn’t exactly shocking. But still, it has broken our hearts. We are at present sinking to the ocean floor, like so many anchors, or like Ashton would have had he actually died that one time. (Not to make light of it.) (Also I can’t believe he got to be bosun after that.)
“The pain’s getting worse, not better,” Lee said. “I owe it to my crew to do right by them. They expect that out of me. There comes a point if a captain is really being objective, he should be putting the best interests of his crew first because that’s your primary responsibility. As soon as you step on board, check your fucking ego at the dock. That’s where you leave it.”
I’m giving a sad “hell yeah” to my sea salty king who has never had an issue dealing with uncomfortable truths, unless they were about Kate, and in which case we always agreed with him (except for the time with Caroline).
Lee underwent back surgery last month, which he says went well, but it’s unclear whether he’ll return to Below Deck. “I think, personally, retirement [is] overrated,” he told Us Weekly. “I think you always have to have a purpose. You have to be doing something productive. And when yachting and the show itself stopped being fun is probably when I’ll stop doing it.” He echoed the statement more recently on Twitter, responding to a question about whether he’ll be back with, “I will as long as it’s fun, which it is and you guys still want to have me.”
We love you, Captain Lee, and we hope you get well soon. And if you don’t want to do Below Deck anymore I’d also love a show where you and Kate Chastain run a bed and breakfast together in Rhode Island. I think that would be so fun. I can be there, too. Please consider it.