Fort Salonga's Dr. Francis Martinis — yep, pronounced like two or more of the drinks — is a respected urologist with practices in Northport and Port Jefferson Station. So what was he doing on a frat-boyish bro' cruise on two episodes of Bravo's "Below Deck Sailing Yacht” airing 9 p.m. this Monday and next?
Chaperoning, basically. And helping with casting, he says. After Martinis twice appeared with wife Jessica on Bravo’s sister show "Below Deck Mediterranean," the producers "asked me to help put together a charter for the new spinoff," says the doctor, 51, who was born in Far Rockaway, Queens, raised in the Five Towns hamlet of Inwood, and attended Lawrence High School in Cedarhurst. "I chose to make it a party of six guys."
He started with his wife's cousin, Austin Allen, who runs the East Northport security company American Protection Bureau. "Through that business," says Martinis, "he knows Richie Hosein, who has nightclubs," including AM Southampton, and other businesses. Hosein in turn is friends with Tommy Macari, of Mattituck's Macari Vineyards. Rounding out the "Animal-House"-on-sea were Martinis' friends Lenny Michel, a Huntington-based personal trainer, and Melville's Marshall Kessler, grandson-heir to the founder of the nutritional-supplement giant Natural Organics.
The producers, says Martinis. arranged "a Skype interview with everyone, which is their routine, and they immediately gave us a spot" on a four-day, Greek islands charter aboard the Corfu-based superyacht Parsifal III. "So the producers were very happy with the Skype interviews and they knew they had a good bunch."
More like the wild bunch. Across two alcohol-soaked episodes we see much boorish behavior that prompts derisive comments from crew-members including chef Adam Glick, stewards Georgia Grobler, Jenna MacGillivray and Madison Stalker and even Captain Glenn Shephard.
"I know my guys were a tough bunch to handle, so the crew probably had some opinions," chuckles Martinis, who to his credit seems the adult among the bros — a term Bravo itself uses in a preview video aptly titled "These Long Island Bros Are Ready to Party." That promo, in fact, spotlights Michel lifting crew-member Stalker up and down without permission as she begs him not to.
"I've never been handled like that by a charter guest before," Stalker tells the camera afterward. "Like…," she begins, turning speechless with anger. "I have, like, no words."
"I was just having a good time, man," Michel tells Newsday, insisting he and Stalker are friends. "We're under the same clear understanding. Like, it just is what it was. It wasn't perceived [as inappropriate touching] on either side." Pointing to Stalker attending a viewing party Monday at Hosein's home in Melville, he asks, "If someone felt they were put in a position where they were completely uncomfortable with somebody, why would they fly out to a state where that person lives to come hang out with them?"
A Bravo spokeswoman said she believed Stalker had "addressed it a bit in the episode," and confirmed Stalker was planning to attend the party. A Newsday request to Bravo for a comment from Stalker did not receive a response.
However, says Martinis, Stalker and a couple other crew members are staying with him, his wife and their children — daughter Isabella, 19, and son, Luca, 17 — the weekend before the viewing party. "They're all looking forward to coming and seeing the guys and hanging out with them," he says. It's possible all is indeed forgiven — and that nine long months after the episode filmed, it's all water under the sail.