Moving on. Season 8 of Below Deck airs Monday, November 2, and it’s the first time fans will see Captain Lee Rosbach without his chief steward, Kate Chastain, since season 1. The 70-year-old admitted exclusively to In Touch that he was a bit nervous going into the new season.

“[I was] a little anxious because I hadn’t met my new chief stew yet,” he said. “You just don’t know what you’re going to get. And with Kate, I knew what I had and I knew I could count on her. She was my right hand that’s [now] gone. So you’re a little apprehensive, a little anxious.”

The 37-year-old announced her departure from the hit Bravo show back in February, saying she was opting for a “land-based role.” She’s now a cohost on the new series Bravo’s Chat Room along with Gizelle Bryant, Porsha Williams and Hannah Berner.

In addition to the new chief stew, Francesca Rubi, Captain Lee is greeted with an entirely new crew. The only familiar face belongs to bosun Eddie Lucas, who fans may remember from season 3.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve walked in where just everybody was brand new,” Captain Lee said. “Even Eddie [Lucas] was brand new to a certain degree because he and I hadn’t worked together in five years.”

Captain Lee Below Deck
Laurent Basset/Bravo / Bravo TV

As for his chef? Last season’s Kevin Dobson is out, and Rachel Hargrove is in. As it turns out, Kate worked with Rachel previously, and though she wasn’t on board this season to welcome the new chef, she left her a glowing review. “She is so intelligent,” she said via Instagram Live in October. “You guys are gonna love her. She’s hilarious, extremely talented.”

Captain Lee agrees and loves her sense of humor. “She’s funny, in a spontaneous sort of way,” he told In Touch. “You just never know what kind of a mad person is lurking in your galley.”

Check out the video above to see the full interview with Captain Lee and don’t forget to tune into the season 8 premiere of Below Deck on Monday, November 2, at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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