Hurricane Sandy Leaves the Half Moon Unscathed
EAST HARTFORD – For the crew of the Half Moon, Hurricane Sandy left no choice but to quite literally batten down the hatches and prepare for a storm.
While docked at Goodwin College, crew members began prepping for Hurricane Sandy well ahead of the storm’s advance up the East Coast. That preparation paid off, as Monday’s hurricane left the replica museum ship unscathed, despite high winds and rising waters on the Connecticut River.
Captain William “Chip” Reynolds had his crew preparing the ship even as the public came over the weekend for tours of the ship, a sailing replica of Henry Hudson’s Halve Maen used during a 17th Century voyage to the New World. Sails were tied tight, masts were lowered, and by the time the storm hit, the Half Moon was ready.
“There were some tense moments, but nothing critical,“ said Reynolds, who remained on the ship for the duration of the storm.
The Half Moon is visiting Goodwin College for the fifth consecutive year, continuing a partnership that has brought thousands of people to campus to view the ship. Additionally, dozens of Connecticut River Academy students have taken part on various Voyages of Discovery, opportunities to help navigate the ship from its home port in upstate New York to the Goodwin College River Campus.
Goodwin College was as safe a place as any to wait out the storm. Reynolds said the deep-water dock – a throwback to the days when Riverside Drive was an industrial site with large oil drums – were essential to allowing the Half Moon to visit, let alone survive a hurricane.
Hurricane Sandy might have left a path of damage in its wake, but the Half Moon was not affected. Now, the challenge becomes the rising waters of the Connecticut River and the loads of debris that floats on the river. Wood and trees are bashing against the ship’s hull, a similar situation to when the river flooded during a Half Moon visit to Goodwin College in 2010.
“We rode very well through the hurricane and we’ll run very well through the flood,” Reynolds said.
The Half Moon will remain at Goodwin until Monday, Nov. 5, when it makes its last voyage of the season to Verplanck, N.Y. Volunteers are still being sought to help crew the ship. If you are interested, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.