Sandy wouldn't relent to Walbridge's plan to hold off until daylight. When seawater began flooding the "tween" deck above the engine room around 4 a.m., the captain decided it was time to go.
Third mate Dan Cleveland and bosun Laura Groves helped each crew member climb up on the ship's top deck. Standing near the capstan, they directed shipmates to move carefully toward the back of the pitching boat. Hold on to each other, they commanded, stay low against the wind and rain.
Some lined up along the ship's rails. Many -- like Jessica Hewitt and Drew Salapatek -- were tied together by the climbing harnesses they used to go aloft. One crew member would recall that was Walbridge's idea -- to prevent shipmates from getting separated. Some sailors carried drinking water and emergency locator beacons. Faunt's survival kit included his teddy bear.
Claudene Christian found herself beside Josh Scornavacchi. True to form, she smiled. Then her smile transformed to a look of determination.
Nearby, Salapatek turned to Hewitt, tethered to him. She was practically asleep from exhaustion. It was clear the ship was about to go down. They were minutes away from inflating and boarding a life raft.
It's going, he told her. Hey kid -- we gotta get outta here.
About 80 hours after the decision to set sail toward Sandy, the crew awaited the captain's order to deploy the life rafts and abandon ship.
It didn't come soon enough.
Chapter 7: Chaos and escape
Before dawn, Monday, October 29
Somebody yelled: She's going under!
The 400-ton Bounty rolled nearly all the way over on its right side -- smacked down by a massive wave.
Dazed and exhausted from a grueling fight with Hurricane Sandy, the 15 crew members and their captain were on deck. Some braced themselves. Some jumped into the churning, chilly water.
Others simply fell.
Walbridge hit the water between the ship's rear mast and the navigation shack.
Christian and Sanders, the second mate, were thrown overboard together.
What do I do? What do I do? she asked.
Swirling water from the sinking vessel created a vortex that threatened to suck everything down with the wreck.
Sanders knew they had to swim away.
You have to go for it, he told her.
The last time he saw Christian she was swimming near the ship's rear mast.
Everybody was panicking. Sail rigging and red survival suits bobbed around the boat. The air was filled with shouting and the sound of the howling wind.
Then it got worse.
While the crew members struggled to keep their heads above the towering waves, the ship's mast and rigging threatened to beat them to death. The Bounty had turned into a kind of giant fly swatter, slamming down on the sailors again and again.
Prokosh, already suffering with broken ribs and a separated shoulder, got tagged by Bounty's main top yard -- a huge piece of wood that holds the main sail. It pounded him underwater.