5 Times Captain Sandy Yawn From ‘Below Deck’ Showed Her Sweet Side on Charter

Captain Sandy Yawn | Captain Sandy Yawn Instagram

Being a superyacht captain means you have to be pretty tough. You are in charge of a multi-million dollar vessel, an entire crew and guests, so captains have to be on the game at all times. And while it isn’t uncommon for the captain to bark orders and demand perfection, some captains take time to slow down, educate and show compassion to the crew.

One captain who has shown kindness, compassion and always looks for those teachable moments is Captain Sandy Yawn from Below Deck Med. She’s caught a little flack for being “too nice” but she asserts that crew and fans should not mistake empathy for weakness. “I’m a really kind person but I think about how I would want to be treated but don’t ever take my kindness for a weakness,’’ she said on Below Deck, The Sun-Sentinel recounts. Here are five times Yawn demonstrated how a strong captain can be compassionate too.

1. She gives her crew a second chance

Yawn knows talent when she sees it. She also knows that humans make mistakes. That’s why she’s open to giving people a chance to redeem themselves when they mess up. For instance, chef Adam Glick purposely put onions in a charter guest’s meal, when the request was for no onions. Yawn was extremely unhappy but also noticed that Glick struggled during the season after pining for another crew member who broke up with him mid-charter.

Rather than blackballing Glick, she hired him for another charter and he did more than just impress her. Glick hit it out of the park every time and now Yawn can’t stop posting about how proud and impressed she is with him.

2. Yawn is concerned for her crew’s mental health

Depression and anxiety is a serious problem for yachties. And Yawn seems to be well aware of this issue. The Scuttlebutt Sailing News reports that most crew members don’t want to complain if they experience a mental health issue, especially to the captain. However, Yawn showed how caring and open-minded she is when chief stewardess, Hannah Ferrier had a panic attack on Below Deck Med. During the episode Yawn comforts Ferrier and allows her to stay in her bunk to regroup. She also tweeted, “It’s always hard to see your crew struggle. My heart went out to @hannahferrier_ and @JamieLynnJason.”

3. And their physical well-being

Deckhand Jamie Jason also becomes ill while on charter. But Jason has a respiratory illness. Viewers can see Jason endlessly coughing, finally, she tells Yawn she was sick. After Jason visits a local doctor, Yawn ensures Jason gets the rest she needs. Even though Jason worries about missing work, Yawn reassures her that her health is more important.

4. Yawn wants to educate her crew

Giving orders is a big part of being a captain, but Yawn wants to help her crew members improve and reach their goals. Not only is Yawn happy to pitch in from helping to clean the kitchen to work on deck, but she also allows crew members to “test drive” the position of their dreams. It isn’t uncommon for Yawn to allow a lower deckhand to help drive the yacht as a reward.

She also demands respect yet wants to be approachable. “Address me as captain in front of the charter client,” she said, The Sun-Sentinel reports. But, Yawn wants crew members to call her Sandy below deck. “I don’t want them to feel like they are always on. They have to be able to relax when we are having a meal together.”

5. She knows how to deliver tough love

Yawn has a gift where she can see her crew’s strengths and talents. She also wants to nurture and encourage those talents, even if it means delivering some pretty tough love. One example is with her former bosun, Conrad Empson. Yawn noticed Empson seemed scattered on charter, mainly due to his relationship with Ferrier. She was frustrated with Empson and wasn’t shy letting him know.

While Empson seemed both shocked and frustrated with Yawn’s comments, he must have heard this. “What I admired about you when you came on the boat is you talked about you didn’t want to be in yachting, that you wanted to do what your father did,” Yawn said during the Below Deck Med reunion. “You want to work in yachting to make enough money to go out and buy houses and renovate them, and that, to me, is wow, he has a plan. At 23, that’s amazing.”

This fall, Empson announced his house flipping business. Coincidence? Or did Yawn’s tough love inspire Empson to follow his dream?

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