When COVID struck in 2020, closing international borders, Below Deck Down Under’s Captain Jason Chambers found himself separated from his then six-year-old daughter Saskia, who was in the Philippines.
It forced the 50-year-old to prioritise what was important in his life.
“I’ve realised I’d rather try to take temporary jobs, which are harder to find, more sporadic and have definitely affected my savings the past two years,” he tells TV WEEK.
“However I’m seeing my daughter more, so that’s all that matters.”
This is Jason’s second time at the helm of Below Deck Down Under, which chronicles the lives of the crew members aboard superyacht Northern Sun during a charter season in far north Queensland.
The sailor says he’s still coming to terms with his transition from yacht skipper to reality TV star.
“It’s just another thing I’m jumping off the deep end and learning to do, like everything I’ve done in my life,” Jason says. “I’ve been on The Kyle & Jackie O Show and done live TV on Today. I’ve learned so much and I can’t enough get of it.”
In this time on the show, the man dubbed “Captain Cutie” has had to field advances from guests and crew.
“It makes me a bit uncomfortable, because I don’t see it [having sex appeal],” he says. “I don’t feel that way – I’m just me.”
Jason, from Wagga Wagga in country NSW, says the guests were the biggest challenge this season.
“A lot of dramatic and daunting stuff happens,” he says.
In addition to the usual drama that surrounds Below Deck, alleged misconduct by two crew members signals troubled waters ahead.
“There are dismissals,” Jason says. “We were left with more hurdles to jump, with new crew coming in and a pretty big event to get over. As a new crew, it was difficult to move on from that.”