Let's give a hand for the deckhand: Colin Macy-O'Toole, of Sayville, is one of just three yacht crewmembers invited back from last season of "Below Deck Mediterranean" for season 4 of the Bravo reality show, premiering Monday at 9 p.m.
"Captain Sandy made her final decision on who she wants on her boat and let production know and they let me know," Macy-O'Toole, who turns 32 on Tuesday, says of charter-yacht captain Sandra Yawn. The skipper of last year's 177-foot Talisman Maiton, now back on this season's 154-foot Sirocco, commands Macy-O'Toole and fellow returnees Hannah Ferrier and João Franco plus five new "yachties" as they cater to the super-rich along the French Riviera. "She really saw my work ethic and I'm kind of the bubbly one in the group. And with all that happens on the boat," he says of the upstairs-downstairs dramatics, "I guess it's nice to have comic relief every once in a while."
"Colin's a joy," says Yawn, 54, in an online featurette for the show. "I love his attitude. He's always helpful, whatever you need — he has the right attitude. Colin's amazing."
Macy-O'Toole — who started as a deckhand at age 15 for Sayville Ferry Service and years ago earned his 100-ton master's license, allowing him to captain for the company — learned he was returning just two days before he had to leave for production last fall. "I was at one of my best friends' weddings the day before," he remembers. "I woke up the next day [and heard from producers that] 'Sandy wants you. You mind coming out to the South of France?' " Did he mind? "It was a little hectic but I made it work," he says.
He was back at Sayville Ferry at the time but works there no longer. "I pop in once in a while to say hello" and pilot the occasional "boat here or there. They're big supporters of me and the show." But the 2005 Sayville High grad, who went on to a bachelor's degree in music education from Shenandoah University in Virginia, is now concentrating on a music career.
"I love boating but I've always considered it a hobby and not a career for me," he says, and has been attempting a music career "since college. It's hard," concedes the piano and saxophone player, whose parents Robin Macy and Robert O'Toole are retired music teachers who worked in the Sachem School District. "I wouldn't mind teaching," says Macy-O'Toole. "If I can keep music in my life and teach it, then I'd love to do that."
His parents have appeared on the series, surprising their son by showing up in a season 3 episode. Their tearful reunion was not, he says, a producer's stunt. "It was my parents' idea, honestly. They reached out to Captain Sandy and she loved the idea. They came down to the dock — it was one of the best surprises I've ever had."
And barring a surprise, we won't be seeing fellow Long Islander Kacey Cohen, of Oceanside, who served as third stew last season. Macy-O'Toole and Cohen stay in touch, he says, but there were never any sparks. Indeed, "I'm still single. I had tried to have a little thing with [second stew] Brooke [Laughton] last year, but she ended up dating [bosun] João," who became his close friend off-camera. "The whole dating scene is so weird. I'm in no rush." And hey, you know the song: For now his life, his lover, his lady is the sea.