Why Did Kate Chastain Leave Below Deck?

Why Did Kate Chastain Leave Below Deck?
Season 8 of Below Deck is getting ready to set sail on Bravo on November 2nd, and it’s sure to be a rocky season with the show returning to the Caribbean and bringing back some familiar faces.

Before fans get too excited, though, there is one person followers of the beloved franchise will be sad to see not appear on their screens this season: long-time Chief Stew Kate Chastain. As the boss of whatever motor yacht she worked on (below Captain Lee, of course), Kate announced in February 2020 that she would be retiring from yachting, choosing to pursue a life onshore. Unfortunately, this also meant she would be departing from her hard-earned position as a fan favorite on the hit franchise.

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, I have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new land based role,” she announced to her Instagram followers. “I intend to step back as a senior member of the Below Deck Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support His Majesty Andy Cohen.”

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While the announcement initially shocked many die-hard fans of the franchise (including Captain Lee himself), as Kate later told Cohen on an August 3rd episode of Watch What Happens Live, the choice to step away from her well-established career actually makes a lot of sense for her. “I just feel like I’m 37 and a half,” she joked. “I don’t think a girl should be wearing a skort at 38.”

Sure, age might’ve played a big factor in leaving the series, but after fans saw Kate conclude a rather contentious seventh season in Thailand, it’s likely that might’ve been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

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But before fans freak out entirely over the loss of a beloved cast member, do not fear. Kate is still working with Bravo, providing commentary on the latest season of Below Deck Med and appearing on a virtual talk show alongside other Bravolebrities. Let’s hope this is only the start for our favorite deckie.

Adrianna Freedman is the editorial fellow for Men’s Health, where she focuses on entertainment, music, health and fitness.

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