Unraveling the Tension: Why Below Deck’s Captain Sandy and Fraser Olender Clash


“Below Deck” Season 10 didn’t shy away from showcasing the tense dynamics on board. Chief stew Fraser Olender and Captain Sandy Yawn had their fair share of conflicts. While they eventually managed to find common ground, it wasn’t without its challenges.

Captain Sandy Yawn, known for her role in “Below Deck Mediterranean,” temporarily took the reins in Season 10 of the original series due to Captain Lee Rosbach’s health concerns. This shift brought about a notable change in leadership style aboard the St. David, leaving Olender, who had grown accustomed to Rosbach’s expectations, feeling out of place.

One major point of contention arose from Yawn’s disapproval of Olender’s efforts to foster a friendly atmosphere within the interior team. This disagreement led to several clashes between the captain and chief stew. In one instance, Yawn criticized Olender’s management approach, even silencing him as he tried to respond. Olender later confessed to feeling upset after the encounter, setting the stage for further disagreements.


The tension escalated when Olender confided in second stew Alissa Humber about feeling undervalued by Yawn. He expressed frustration, going as far as stating that he wouldn’t mind if Yawn decided to let him go. Although Humber doubted Yawn would take such action, the captain’s subsequent warning to the crew about thin walls suggested she was aware of Olender’s complaints. In an interview with Us Weekly, Yawn admitted that she had contemplated letting Olender go due to his complaints. She believed he should have approached her directly to foster a more respectful work environment.

Things took a more heated turn when Yawn confronted Olender about the situation, using strong language. She pointed out that much of the boat’s tension was a result of his participation in gossip with the interior crew, likening it to a “cancer” on the St. David. Understandably, Olender was taken aback by her choice of words.

Despite their rocky start, Captain Sandy Yawn and Fraser Olender eventually found a better understanding of each other. Yawn acknowledged that some of the issues with Olender stemmed from his relative newness to the chief stew role. She emphasized the importance of maintaining a professional distance, a lesson she believed Olender would grasp with time.

Olender also recognized the value of Yawn’s criticisms, noting how they helped him navigate situations he hadn’t felt confident in handling before. When asked to compare Yawn’s leadership to that of Captain Lee Rosbach, he diplomatically noted their differences on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.”

Yawn took responsibility for her earlier comment likening the tension to a “cancer.” She expressed regret for her choice of words, acknowledging that a different phrasing would have been more appropriate. While their relationship has been tumultuous, for now, the waters seem to have calmed.