Not all islands are created equal. Long and Fire are both great — but Capri, off the Amalfi Coast of Italy? As both Kasey Cohen, of Oceanside, and Colin Macy-O’Toole, of Sayville, discovered as part of a yacht crew on Bravo’s “Below Deck Mediterranean,” some islands are eye-lands, with views like nowhere else on Earth. Season 3 of the reality series premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m.
“We did a lot of island hopping,” remembers Cohen, who served as third steward, the lowest rank, on the luxurious 177-foot Talisman Maiton during the six-week production last year. “Sticking out to me most was a chairlift you would take to get to the top of this mountain,” she says of the lift up Monte Solaro on Capri. At nearly 2,000 feet, the views of Mount Vesuvius, the Bay of Naples and the Amalfi Coast were “stunning, breathtaking,” the 25-year-old says.
“We were stationed at Naples,” recalls Macy-O’Toole, 30, a deckhand, “but we would go to Capri, Positano on the Amalfi Coast, and the island of Ischia. You get to enjoy the scenery, though you’re working your ass off almost every hour of the day. But that whole area is beautiful,” he says. “Even though I was working hard, I would take a minute or two, look around, enjoy where I was. I had one of the best experiences I’d ever had in my life.”
Those experiences included starting at the bottom. At 15 he had started as a deckhand for Sayville Ferry Service, which runs to Fire Island, but eventually earned his 100-ton master’s license and for years has served as a captain. On this luxury yacht with multiday charters, however, he was a deckhand once again. That meant a lot of mopping, wiping down surfaces and whatever other odd jobs needed done — “cleaning, setting up picnics for the guests.”
As for Cohen, “I was third stew, so my duties were laundry, cleaning and making and turning down beds. On occasion I would do either breakfast, lunch or dinner service when they needed me.” She also learned too late she was prone to seasickness.
Her parents are software-salesman, Jeff, and stay-home mom Gisselle, a native of Bogota, Colombia. Cohen attended Oceanside High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stony Brook University in 2015. During college she began working for a charter-yacht company she declines to name, explaining, “If I go back there, I don’t want people coming to see me” and gawk after her TV stint.
Macy-O’Toole, whose parents Robert and Robin are musicians and music teachers, graduated from Sayville High in 2005, then earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Shenandoah University, in Virginia. He’s now back at work at Sayville Ferry.
And the two Long Islanders did bond — though only as “really good friends on the boat,” says Macy-O’Toole. Ah, the dreaded friend zone. “In a good way!” he says, laughing.
“It was nice to have a little taste of home with me,” Cohen says of Macy-O’Toole. But you know how it is — “He’s Suffolk, and I’m Nassau.”