‘Below Deck’: Did Production Have to Shut Down Filming Early?

Below Deck season 8 stopped filming early, likely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Captain Lee Rosbach began sharing photos and tweeting last week as he returned home to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Kate Chastain, Ashton Pienaar, Courtney Skippon, Alexis Bellino, Andy Bohn
Kate Chastain, Ashton Pienaar, Courtney Skippon, Alexis Bellino, Andy Bohn|Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

He observed empty beaches along the stretch of the Fort Lauderdale “Strip.” Rosbach shared a photo to Instagram and wrote, “Not a swinging dik onFt Lauderdale Beach. Spring Break 2020 brought to you by #coronavirus. All beach goers banned. Today at 5 pm all restaurants and bars close for 30 days. Be safe and use common sense peeps.”

On Twitter, Rosbach wrote, “I’m back. Will get some rest, and then reengage. Get ready.” Captain Sandy Yawn from Below Deck Mediterranean replied, “Welcome Home!”

Filming may have been shortened

Robach and Bravo haven’t confirmed if filming stopped early, but an unnamed source told Page Six filming stopped short of two charters. “They’re wrapping early and flying everyone home,” the unnamed source said. “There were a few more [yacht] charters that they were supposed to film that it doesn’t appear that they’ll get to.”

Despite the shorter filming schedule, the source added that the season won’t necessarily be significantly impacted. The season was reportedly filmed in the Caribbean.

Rosbach was treated to a hero’s welcome as his dog Oscar anxiously awaited his dad’s return. “Oscar waiting not so patiently for his Dad to arrive from overseas. #mansbestfriend #mybiggestfan #unconditionallove,” Rosbach shared along with a video of his dog excitedly awaiting his return. Rosbach’s wife Mary Anne’s voice is heard in the video asking Oscar if he’s ready to see his dog dad.

The series finally returns to the Caribbean

The series shifted to Tahiti and then Thailand after a devastating hurricane in the Caribbean destroyed a good amount of the landscape in 2017. Hurricane Irma also impacted many of the cast members as Rosbach and chief stew Kate Chastain both lived in Florida at the time. “Evacuated to a hotel in Orlando waiting for #HurricaineIrma Can’t believe the damage I’m seeing in so many of my favorite Caribbean places,” Chastain tweeted.

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Rosbach rode the storm out at home and didn’t have power. “We have, in addition to no power now lost internet. Had to get in my car to get this out on my phone. Not sure if I can tweet tonite or not,” Rosbach tweeted.

He shared his experience with the storm. “Irma was one pissed off lady,” Rosbach said in a Bravo digital original. “I mean, she was hot! If you took a thing of pickup sticks. That’s what the boats looked like down there. Stacked everywhere. Just on the road and people’s houses and underneath the houses. It’s horrendous and we only got Category 1 winds where I live.” He recalls going without power for 10 days too.

Hurricane Irma slammed the Caribbean as a Category 4 hurricane. Yacht Harbor shared photos of some of the yachts that were destroyed in the Caribbean as a result. A Below Deck production boat sunk during filming in February too. No one was injured.