Captain Sandy From ‘Below Deck Med’ Was the Main Reason Why Malia White Stayed in Yachting

Malia White said she was ready to be “one and done” after her first season of Below Deck Mediterranean, but it was Captain Sandy Yawn’s encouragement that inspired her to pursue a career in yachting.

White was a green deckhand when she joined Below Deck Med Season 2. Her experience in boating was working on dive boats so the world of super yachting was new. After a tumultuous season, but also being promoted to lead deckhand, White wasn’t entirely sure yachting was for her.

Captain Sandy inspired Malia White to stay in yachting

White is now working on getting her captain’s license. But at the time she wasn’t sure she wanted to continue in the industry. “I wasn’t in yachting when I got cast for the show,” she said on her Total Ship Show podcast. “I got cast as a total green crew member. And by green, I mean I had never stepped foot on a yacht before.”

Malia White 'Below Deck Med' cast photo and Captain Sandy Yawn makes a call from bridge
Malia White and Captain Sandy Yawn |Virginia Sherwood/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images/Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“I knew how to tie a line. And I knew what a cleat was, but I had never ever … I hadn’t even seen a yacht!” she said. “So my very first boat was the one I filmed on my first season. And from there I gave being a deckhand a try, and I remember telling Captain Sandy, I’m probably gonna just go back to teaching scuba diving. And she was like, ‘No. You’ve got this.'”

Having a female captain on ‘Below Deck Med’ changed Malia’s life

“And I was like, you know what? I may give it a go,” she said. “And that was my intro into yachting. I’ve said this before. I don’t know if I would have stayed in yachting had I not had a female captain to begin with. So I was very lucky that my intro into yachting was definitely not the norm.”

She added that she and Yawn are still friends and keep in touch. Last season White returned as Yawn’s bosun and they had some tension over an injury that wasn’t reported. Fans wondered if the argument they had last season damaged their friendship.

White addressed her relationship with Yawn in an Instagram story last season. “Yes, of course!” she replied about her friendship with Yawn in an Instagram story Q&A. We can disagree but I still have the utmost respect for her as both a captain and friend.”

White also told Showbiz Cheat Sheet that she and Yawn had drama during the last season of the show. “There is a lot of drama that’s already happened,” she said. “But there is a lot more to come. And I think you see clips with Captain Sandy and myself this season. You’ll see a different side to our relationship. Yeah, definitely, just when you think all the fighting is over.”

How did Malia get into yachting?

White applied to be on Below Deck before Below Deck Med Season 2. It didn’t work out the first season, but she was cast for the second season the rest is history, she said on the Hollywood Raw podcast.

She recalled when Below Deck producers told her she made the final rounds. “They called me and were like hey we put you through again and you’ve actually made it,” she said. “If you wanna go you gotta like pack your bags and leave in like a week. Below Deck was my very first yacht that I worked on. And I worked on dive boats, but it’s not comparable at all. So I remember like the day before like the week before, I was like Googling like ‘what is the bow?’ and ‘the stern?’”

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