Claudene Christian's interest in the Bounty began after she toured a replica of Christopher Columbus' ship Nina last year, her family said.
She wasn't a sailor by trade, but she had a personal connection to the original Bounty's mutineer. A former Miss Teen Alaska, Christian often boasted of being a descendant of Fletcher Christian, the 18th-century sailor who led the infamous mutiny on the real HMS Bounty.
"I'm sure my ancestor would be proud," she wrote on her Facebook page. "However, this time there will be no mutiny on this Bounty -- at least not at the hands of me, a new generation of Christian Family Sailors!"
Built for "Mutiny on the Bounty," the 1962 film starring Marlon Brando, the famed ship also had been used in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films. More recently, it sailed from various ports serving as a museum to tourists.
At the helm was Capt. Robin Waldridge, a veteran of the high seas who had commanded the ship for more than 20 years. He predicted the Bounty and Sandy would pass each other late Sunday or early Monday on different paths.
"Bounty's current voyage is a calculated decision ... NOT AT ALL ... irresponsible or with a lack of foresight as some have suggested," a message posted on the ship's Facebook page said at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 27. "The fact of the matter is ... A SHIP IS SAFER AT SEA THAN IN PORT!"
The ship bobbed in the sea, churned by the hurricane.
By late Sunday, October 28, Sandy was winning the man vs. nature bout. The Bounty lost power and began taking on water.
At 2:53 a.m. Monday, a desperate message was posted on the ship's Facebook page: "Your Prayers are needed."
Luz Martinez couldn't find a ride to the hospital on Monday morning. Winds were picking up on the streets of New York. None of her relatives wanted to risk the journey.
A Section 8 case manager for the city, Martinez had not worked since September 21, the day she was first admitted to the hospital because of vaginal bleeding. She had been bedridden until Emma's birth on October 6 at 12:01 a.m. Memories of that day were never far from her mind.
She'd endured a C-section and the trauma of witnessing her baby struggle for life, the umbilical cord wrapped three times around Emma's neck.
Martinez didn't want to miss a day by her baby's side. But, as the storm approached the city, she had no choice. She stayed in touch by phone with the nurses. They reassured her: "Everything is going smooth."
Tom Duffy and his family were experiencing a different kind of separation -- from the home that provided a lifetime of memories. The bungalow on Breezy Point was the only place the Duffy girls had ever lived.
Tom had grown up in Breezy Point. His parents first bought a house there in 1969. It was a quaint community -- close enough to the city but far enough away to relax.
Tom and Deidre bought their home on Ocean Avenue in 1989; it was a perfect spot to raise their budding family. Their first daughter had just been born.
As Sandy's outer bands lashed New York, the Duffys fixated on the storm reports on TV. Both Tom and Deidre were structural engineers, but they didn't need an advanced degree to know that their home would sustain water and wind damage.
Swept into the sea
In the early hours Monday, a high seas rescue was in motion.
A Coast Guard C-130 aircraft, then a helicopter, braved the elements to locate the Bounty, about 90 miles off the North Carolina coast. Radio contact had been lost.
The captain had ordered that the ship be abandoned. Its crew members, wearing orange survival suits with strobe lights -- intended to keep them afloat, warm and visible at sea -- attempted to board two lifeboats.
A giant wave swept three into the sea, including the captain. One crew member was able to climb back into the lifeboat. The Coast Guard rescued 14. They recovered the body of another: Claudene Christian.
The captain has not been found.
Christian was the first U.S. fatality of the storm.