After 10 seasons starring on Bravo’s biggest show, Below Deck, Captain Lee Rosbach sailed his way into viewer’s hearts, becoming a beloved fan favorite and household name with more than 1.2 Million followers. While the “stud of the sea’” never even saw the ocean until he moved to Turks & Caicos at the age of 35, he’s spent the past three decades circling the globe as a mega-yacht captain known for his witty one-liners and no-nonsense attitude. Whether he’s appearing before Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live or lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Captain Lee always brings his signature swagger.
And here’s your chance to win your own terrific trip. All too familiar with the problems that sea-sickness can cause on a super-yacht vacation, Captain Lee has partnered with Dramamine, the #1 pharmacist-recommended brand for motion sickness, to keep summer travel adventurous and drama-free with the ‘Ditch the Drama’ Sweepstakes. Starting May 23, Americans can enter and three winners will receive the chance to experience their dream vacation anywhere in the world, courtesy of Dramamine and the travel experts at Travelocity who will assist in coordinating everything from airfare to accommodations and activities for the winners so they can officially ditch the drama of traveling. U.S. residents 18 years and older can visit www.DramamineDitchtheDrama.com and fill out the brief from May 23 through September 4, 2023.
Captain Lee spoke to me at length by phone, from his home, in what was a very animated and entertaining interview. No surprise there!
Where in the world are you right now?
I’m in Fort Lauderdale – the yachting capital of the world. I live here. I’m sitting in my office.
How many years have you been a captain?
Going on 40 years.
Do you cruise on your off time, for vacation?
Oddly enough we have never been on a cruise ship. We are thinking of trying it – me on a cruise ship would be alike a mailman going for a walk on his vacation – except I wouldn’t have to drive.
How many months a year are you at sea?
That varies – it depends on how much I work and how much I devote to the show. When I did charter work full time I spent winter months in the Caribbean and summer in New England/The Hamptons/Sag Harbor.
What do you like best about being a Captain of a ship?
I just love being out on the water – you’re in control and responsible for everything and everything. There’s something about having total control of a 200-foot vessel.
In your free time on ship, what is your favorite thing to do?
Send the kids off – the crew — and let them go play and have the boat to myself. With guests on board there is no free time, off time or down time. You stay up until the last person in the entourage goes to bed, and if someone gets up at 6:30 and wants breakfast you’re up at 4:30AM. I’m usually up at 6:30 every morning.
Do you ever get seasick?
How do you keep the pounds off with all that good food around?
You really have to limit yourself to your portions. I found out a long time ago – I have to send back my plate with food still on it. You need some discipline. The St. David has a gym and I use it absolutely. I love going to the gym.
What is your favorite travel destination?
Top Two are Tahiti, and Thailand. We stay on the outskirts of Papeete – I’m working. All the glorious scenic spots on the show – I never get to experience that. The crew does because they set up.
Where do you vacation?
I’m ready to plan a vacation now – my wife Mary Anne doesn’t like to travel long distances.
Where did you honeymoon?
We actually didn’t. We didn’t have time – I was 25 so we’ve been together 49 years and married 48. I had just gotten laid off the day before our wedding. I had worked at a foundry. Went out looking for work on Monday morning. I never saw the ocean until I was 35. The ocean was foreign. I had a restaurant in Turks and Caicos – we had a couple of restaurants and I had worked in hospitality. Away we went looking for adventure. We lost the restaurant, I saw an ad in a dive shop looking for a mate to help deliver a boat – no experience necessary. I got that part down! So away I went in the middle of hurricane season. We had $51 in the bank. I decided I wanted to make my living on the sea.
What was your best vacation ever?
At one of our restaurants here in Florida – I had surprised Mary Anne with a visit to the Turks and Caicos – I made all the arrangements – I had a guy come in with a singing telegram that she had to go home and pack. She thought we were going to Provo – We went to Turks and Caicos and stayed in a cottage on Grace Bay.
What is the best thing you ever ate?
I’m definitely a carnivore – I like my tomahawk rib-eyes. One of our chefs makes French toast that is out of this world. I have no idea what makes it so good, it’s made by Rachel Hargrove on St. David. When you have it, you just can’t believe it. It’s so good it ought to be illegal. Google it – Chef Rachel’s French Toast. If I hadn’t already been married I think I would have proposed.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world, and why.
There’s a place in the Bahamas called Pete’s Grill in Marsh Harbor, in Abaco. It has a sand floor – it’s just a bar. They serve the best trigger-fish sandwiches I ever had anywhere.
What brand of luggage is your favorite?
We just got some London Fog.
What is always in your carryon suitcase?
I always check all my bags – I always pack my wife, for sure.
If you were stranded on an island what is the one luxury item you would bring with you?
A satellite phone. And all of my guests should bring Dramamine with them – we always have an ample supply on the ship – always — as many don’t know they are susceptible to motion sickness. We give them the non-drowsy formula. People forget to bring it and I don’t know why.
For more about my Wanderlust and Wellness travels, please Follow me on Instagram at @DebbiKickham.