When a Ship Goes Missing : Remember El Faro

I wrote a version of this post two years ago during the Hurricane Joaquin, which, as it turns out in hindsight, was also the date of my own personal unnatural disaster.

It’s still one of the most tragic and AVOIDABLE disasters in maritime history.

We now know that everyone was lost at sea.

The El Faro was on a regular run from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico.

From ABC News:

“A stricken cargo ship with 28 Americans on board that vanished during Hurricane Joaquin remained missing early Saturday.

Officials said there was still no sign of the El Faro, which was last heard from around 7:20 a.m. Thursday when a distress call indicated it had lost power and was taking on water.

The 735-foot vessel was bound for San Juan in Puerto Rico from Jacksonville, Florida, at the time. It was carrying 28 Americans and five Polish nationals.

Image: Cargo ship El Faro missing in Hurricane Joaquin
The container ship El Faro. TOTE MARITIME via EPA

Around 850 square nautical miles were searched on Friday and the effort resumed at dawn Saturday.

When the El Faro left Jacksonville on Tuesday Joaquin was just a tropical storm. It quickly grew in intensity and was declared a Category 4 storm Thursday as it approached the Bahamas carrying winds of 130 mph.”

It could be 1815 or 1915, but in 2015, ships still go missing and are at the mercy of the elements.

Even with advanced communications technology and state-of-the-art equipment, Mother Nature reigns supreme.

The terror of being lost at sea is all too real and always somewhere in the back of our minds.

Our hearts go out to the crew and their families.




#1 Thing NOT to do with your husband if you want to stay married

I’m talking about taking him to Michael’s Crafts. After going to the gym this morning, I needed wanted to go to Michael’s to look at picture frames (that’s just what I told him, I really wanted to look at everything, and I do mean everything) for a print he brought back from Puerto Rico of an antique map of all the islands. I had the pic with me (as my prop) and he decided he didn’t want to just sit in the car because for some reason or another he believed that I spoke the truth when I said that I just wanted to look AT ONE THING AND ONE THING ONLY. He actually thought that I planned to walk in a craft store and aim for the frames, get the proper size, and depart. Is he living on another planet? Hasn’t being married to me for almost twenty years taught him anything?

First I said,

“Oh, I’m not sure exactly where the picture frames are.”


“How about we look down here?” “That’s obviously not it, but aren’t those Hello Kitty playing cards totes adorbs?”

“Hmm, maybe we should try over there, that looks like it might be…wow, Chirstmas decorations already?”

Shiny objects tend to have an almost hypnotic effect on me.

“What were we in here for again?”

“Right, picture frames…here we go.”

“Oops, sorry, we seem to be in the scrapbooking area, let’s try that other aisle.”

“Oops again, now we’re stuck in the bead area.

OMG, look at that turquoise. Look at the rhinestones.”

“Hey, where d’ja go?”

“No, I had no idea the frames were on the opposite side of the store.”

“What did you say?”

“Do I plan to go up and down every single damn blank blank aisle in this blank blank store?”

“Welllll…to be perfectly honest, YES!!! You can’t really expect me not to; it’s intoxicating in here.”

“I. Am. Not. Your. Girlfriend.”


“Geez, don’t have a cow.”

I quickly (and by that I mean leisurely) looked up and down each frame aisle, TWICE, and did not find the one that made me happy, so we left.

Hee hee.

WTF! Welcome to my world… guess who’s gone again!

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Hey, who wants to go to the airport again? Not me, but there I was at 5:30 a.m. this morning, once again driving El Capitan to the airport to hop a plane to board a boat to go to Puerto Rico for a week or so.

The dreaded call came in late yesterday afternoon; we had just gotten home from a lovely and romantic trip to the dump with our trailer full of yard debris. BTW, the dump was very crowded for a Thursday afternoon, who knew that was such a popular destination? I always go along for moral support; I’m kind of useless with a shovel but I provide good conversation and companionship. And because it seems like I hardly ever see him, a date is a date, even if it’s to the dump!

The captain was asked to relieve or replace (not sure which scenario) someone, and he accepted the assignment. I know he was supposed to be home for a long time this time, but duty called. Literally.

Last night was a swirl of rushing around to go to the ATM for travelling cash, gas up the car, do a load of laundry, make dinner (salmon burgers, which were delicious), have a glass of wine, pack up a couple of suitcases, and go to bed!

We were awakened at 4:15 a.m. by a couple of chattering raccoons somewhere in the yard, which gave us just enough time to go back to sleep for 45 minutes, until all of our alarms started chirping. He’s a multiple alarm kind of guy–his phone, my phone, the clock radio–he does not like to be late, and can’t be late for a flight, especially since we live so far from the airport.

For me, the rest of the day includes cleaning the house which looks like it was hit by a cyclone, figuring out how to complete my Etsy store so I can have a grand opening and a Facebook contest (I’m going to give away one of our awesome marlinspike rope work bracelets), and think of other projects to fill up the hours and days until my wandering captain comes home again.