Bravo’s popular seafaring drama cruise Below Deck sets sail for a third season on Tuesday, August 25. The new season brings new faces: five new crew members board the 160′ meg yacht ‘Eros’ for a summer full of sun, fun, and adventure. Third stew Raquel “Rocky” Dakota Bartlow is no stranger to either fun, sun, or adventure; she’s got a resumé of life experiences to draw upon, including time as a competitive diver, a surfer, a ski instructor, cook, and a veteran of multiple competition reality shows. And did I mention her mother is a world-famous championship surfer?
Before we go any farther, though, let’s meet Raquel:
“I’m Raquel Dakota and I’m 26 years old,” Rocky says, at the beginning of the clip. “Everyone calls me Rocky. I have two older brothers and three younger sisters, and we’re all named after Raquel Welch, Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, and Ava Gardner. I’m the stew/sous chef on the Eros. I got into this industry because I wanted to travel.”
Here’s Raquel’s brief Bravo bio:
Raquel, 26, was raised in a Californian aquatic circus. Daughter of two Eco-activists, her dad is a surgeon, and her mom is a pioneer and world champion surfer. Following in her parents wake, Rocky is an accomplished water woman, surfer, and a competitive national diver. She earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Hawaii, and graduated with a BA in U.S. History. This American girl has traveled to all over the world, living life to the fullest, pursuing her authentic beliefs—all encompassing the outdoors. She’s a modern day original gypsy, flipping, and twisting from mountain, sea, to city. She’s a certified ski instructor, surf guide, aquabat, angler, yogi, and cook. Her drive and passion for life experience led her to culinary school in the Big Apple. After her wild ride in NYC, Rocky’s deep love for the ocean drew her to the yacht scene. One thing’s for sure, whatever is left to explore she will find it.
And here’s another Below Deck Season 3 preview clip in which Rocky shows off her adventurous side. (Her fellow crew members would probably use a slightly less positive adjective than “adventurous.”)
Raquel comes by her love of adventure and the spotlight naturally. Her mother is Jericho Poppler, who was a hugely popular championship pro surfer in the 1960s and 1970s before she turned to ecological activism.
Jericho was a regular in the United States Surfing Championships’ Top 10, and finished number one overall in 1970. From EncyclopediaOfSurfing.com:
The original media-savvy female surfer, Poppler presenting herself as a confident and well-muscled athlete (“I’m dynamic,” she said in a 1980 interview, “I mean, look at me, I look great!”); as a sexy ingenue (lounging in a bubble bath with a bottle of champagne for a Surfer magazine portrait); and as a part-time feminist who said that men look to “conquer” waves while woman prefer to “dance, and just be part of this kingdom.” Along with top surfers of the ’60s and ’70s, Poppler said she was influenced by Marc Chagall, Rudolf Nureyev, Clara Bow, and Cyd Charisse.
Check out this brief documentary about Jericho from 1979:
And, just in case that video and the above facts doesn’t impress you, this photo surely will:
But I suppose I should put aside my #MomCrushMonday and get back to Raquel…
As I mentioned above, Raquel is no stranger to reality television. She has made previous appearances on Wipeout, where she tied for fourth place (Season 5, episode 22, “Rats!“), and on Spike’s Frankenfood last year, when she attempted “to reel in the judges with a calamari cookie [she had] cooked up:”
A profile post wouldn’t be complete without at least one throwback photo, and this Rocky Dakota throwback pic is a doozy!
Below Deck Season 3 airs Wednesday nights at 9/8c on Bravo. Meanwhile, you can keep up with Rocky with these social media links:
Rocky Rakota on Twitter: @raqueldakota
Rocky Dakota on Instagram: @raqueldakota
I’ll leave you with a very dangerous “Caption This” photo of Rocky from her Instagram account: