When we sought out a photograph to help us illustrate our front page story about Hurricane Sandy in the December 2012 issue, we wanted one that said more than “flooding.” Our reporting revealed that large yachts, and the professional crew who run them, survived the storm and subsequent water surges just fine.
So we found this photograph of M/Y Georgiana docked inside at Dennis Connor’s North Cove Marina in lower Manhattan as the storm came ashore in New Jersey on Oct. 29. As white water completely covers the face dock, the 92-foot yacht rode out the storm with simple line adjustments.
“We were absolutely fine,” said Capt. Hamish Chilvers, who was doing a handover and was onboard for the storm. “I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the Jersey shore, but at North Cove, it was fine. It was calmer in there at the height of the storm than it is midday with all the ferries going past.”
Had the winds been coming from any other direction than northeast, east or southeast, he said, “we would have been in real trouble, but with all the buildings in Manhattan, it’s a hurricane hole.”
The yacht was tied to the ground, with a stern line on the massive bollards ashore. Capt. Chilvers uses Commanders’ Weather out of New Hampshire for his weather updates and credited the company with keeping him safe.
“You think about running out of Florida for hurricane season, but you get a lot of storms up there, too,” he said. “It’s rare for them to touch down up there, but you do get the weather. Being up in New England is just as dangerous as being down here [in Florida]. You can get hit just as easily in Nantucket Sound as you can around here.”