Merchant Mariner Strong

 My friend Kaitlin held a vigil with 33 candles on a beach in Florida for the crew of the El Faro.

My friend Kaitlin held a vigil with 33 candles on a beach in Florida for the crew of the El Faro.

This past week, the Maritime Community, has come together in heart wrenching hopefulness as we watch the El Faro incident unfold.  It's filled me with feelings I didn't even know I could have simultaneously.  It's very hard to imagine your friends, your fellow mariners, your family in distress.  

The Maritime Community is a Family.  There are very few people who really get me.  Who can empathize with me, who can encourage me, boost my confidence, give me a wise word of caution.  It's very hard to articulate that we are the El Faro.  That the crew of the El Faro is us.   

I recently read an essay and happened upon a couple of quotes. 

We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.

It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are your team.
— Marina Keegan

Watching my classmates, previous shipmates, fellow mariners, family and friends band together to provide support, hope, and love has been the opposite of loneliness.  It's been more than love and more than community.  


I've been asked frequently what my thoughts are on the situation from those who aren't associated with the maritime industry.  

As you begin to form opinions and ask questions I'd like you to remember that we weren't there - we don't know.  We can speculate, we can judge, we can feel anger but, we weren't there - we don't know.  What do we know?  That these were Professional Mariners, some with years of experience, with a highly esteemed Captain in command.

Instead I encourage you to HOPE.

I hope.


I hope the families and loved ones of the El Faro Crew can feel the love the Maritime Community has for their Mariner.  

I hope their families have found strength in each other as they wait for news.

I hope those who have passed have found peace.

I hope the Crew of the El Faro feels the opposite of loneliness.

I hope with every sunset, that like the CG Captain said in the press conference, the will to live will trump all odds.

I hope for miracles.


Hope anchors the soul.  Hebrews 6:19