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Chief stew Kate Chastain from Below Deck walked off the boat, announcing she was going to quit midseason, but eventually returned to finish the season.

Chastain only left for a few hours but was pushed to the point of frustration when she was continuously attacked by some crew members for receiving preferential treatment from Captain Lee Rosbach. Crew members also dogged Chastain this season about how she did her job, plus bosun Ashton Pienaar appeared to hold a grudge against Chastain well into the season.

Courtney Skippon, Kate Chastain
Courtney Skippon, Kate Chastain | Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Even though crew members quitting the show isn’t always shocking, this departure surprised fans. Chastain is a major figure on the show and she’s never reacted in this manner. The reunion previews already tease at an explosive exchange, with Rosbach actually walking off the set. So was the toxicity on the boat so bad that other crew members wanted to quit?

These crew members wanted to follow Chastain off the boat too

Of course, viewers recall that deckhand Abbi Murphy quit earlier in the season when she didn’t like the job. Captain Lee Rosbach shared that crew members shouldn’t sign up for the task if they don’t intend to be there for the duration.

Chastain explained why she left. “I quit that night because I just needed to get off the boat and away from the situation,” Chastain shared in a Bravo digital original. “But of course I came back because I’d never leave my crew or Captain Lee without a chief stew for the rest of the season.”

Deckhand Rhylee Gerber, who also received a significant amount of negativity from the deck team said she wanted to quit. “It’s one of the one jobs that I’ve ever felt like I wanted to leave the boat and that’s simply because I dealt with a lot of a**holes. And I was over it. I don’t enjoy working with pricks and that’s all we have on deck.”

Stew Simone Mashile said she too thought about quitting. She and Chastain didn’t see eye to eye about Mashile’s position. “The thought crossed my mind like I just want to get off this boat,” she said. “But at the same time, I’m not a quitter.”

Even some guys wanted off the boat

While deckhand Brian de Saint Pern insisted he never wanted to quit, Tanner Sterback said the thought crossed his mind many times. “Absolutely,” Sterback said. “Ash took me aside numerous times because I was losing interest in it. Because you just get over it. You work, you’re trying to have fun in Thailand. It just becomes too much.”

Also, chef Kevin Dobson, who became Chastain’s nemesis was done too. “Yeah, after charter two, after the meeting with Captain Lee and stuff,” Dobson recalled. “I was kind of done at that point. I don’t like quitting, you know? Finishing things is important to do.” Rosbach admonished Dobson for a weak culinary showing during the second charter and Dobson wasn’t interested in hearing the criticism.

While stew Courtney Skippon said she did want to quit, she may have been kidding. Sort of. “Just every day,” she deadpanned. “No, it’s fine. It sucks but you just get through it. There are harder things,” she laughed.