After successfully relaunching ‘Aperture’ at Liberty Harbor, we got right back to business.
CNN put a TV crew on board to get exclusive footage of the devastation Hurricane Sandy caused to Coney Island, the Rockaways and Staten Island. Maneuvering through the floating debris was challenging despite having stationed a spotter at the bow, dodging telephone poles, trees, logs, even partial docks that were making their way down the Hudson. Norton Point was hit hard. The ocean literally came into peoples living rooms and many houses were simply gone. The Rockaways were still smoldering from the extensive fires; Old Orchard Lighthouse knocked down, and many half-sunken boats adrift in the Lower Bay, and washed ashore at Staten Island and Sandy Hook.
Atlantic Highlands Marina didn’t fare well. We observed dive teams from as far away as Texas working around the clock raising sunken vessels with lift bags, and clearing paths for the commuter ferries to resume service. USCG cutters and NAVY ships were stationed just offshore, providing security and other support functions to the hard-hit communities. The port condition was set at YANKEE – restricting all recreational boats and only permitting commercial vessels to transit.
Great Kills Harbor was a sad sight as well. It seemed like a total loss of the marina. While some boats turtled and sunk at their moorings, most were piled on top of each other at the western side of the basin — many impaled by pilings as the water from the 13.8 foot storm surge receded. Other TV crews and still photographers also came aboard that week following Sandy’s landfall and we were able to document the destruction before NYPD stationed a patrol boat at the entrance closing the marina.
We put down hundreds of nautical miles surveying the shorelines, and whenever we came across floating debris dangerous to navigation we reported it’s position to the Coast Guard’s VTS.
This sure was an epic storm.