Olender described an overwhelming scene that left him feeling pretty anxiety-ridden prior to that the first charter. Compounding the problem was the boat’s size. At 60 meters, St. David is the largest yacht in the franchise. Olender and the interior team were seen running up and down endless flights of stairs, which made wrangling an out-of-control situation even harder.
Fraser said the ‘Below Deck’ superyacht was trashed
Olender described the first day aboard St. David as being pretty hectic. “The boat was absolutely trashed. The work that needed to be done to get it ready for the guests was overwhelming,” he recalled to Decider.
“There was so much to consider before they arrived,” he added. “We had to totally provision the larder, we had to get the boat habitable, we needed flowers, etc. I needed to get into the deep details in every single cabin and on every deck.”
Olender admitted there was too much to wrap his head around. “There was almost too much to think about knowing that the next morning there would be guests coming down the gangway,” he said.
Fraser worried he might fail as ‘Below Deck’ chief stew
Olender had to remind himself to just roll with it when he became overwhelmed with worry that he could fail in the job. “At that point, I told myself: ‘Just roll with the punches. We’ve done the best we can,'” he recalled. “However, I can’t tell you how anxious I was because I am so hard on myself. I want to succeed and to make other people happy. It was crushing to think that I might fail. I was my own worst enemy, but I got through it somehow.”
Olender first appeared on Below Deck as a second stew in season 9. He was promoted to chief stew this season, after having experiences as a chief stew off the show. Even though he had been a chief stew before, he was still overwhelmed.
“I was truly thrown in at the deep end,” he said. “I’d only been a chief stew for a few months before I joined the St. David. Not only is it the biggest boat in Below Deck history, it is the biggest boat I have ever worked on. My heart sank walking up to the boat, and I asked myself, ‘Am I really able to do this?’ But we’re here, alive, to tell the tale, so I did something right.”
Having Captain Lee in his corner helped too
Having Captain Lee Rosbach in his corner helped Olender get past any anxiety he experienced, especially during those first few overwhelming days.
Rosbach really cares, Olender said. “He has so much experience,” he said about Rosbach. “He focuses on keeping us sane, and you feel that on every level with him.”
Olender also admires Rosbach and his work ethic. “I feel lucky to call him a friend and a colleague,” he said. “I feel lucky to have him in my life.”
He added, “I wouldn’t really ever work with any other captain if I had the choice.”