"El Faro," photo courtesy of Tote Maritime/Reuters.
“El Faro,” photo courtesy of Tote Maritime/Reuters.

While lobstering this week, sadness lingered
On dark waters off Isle au Haut, in memory of
“El Faro,” captain and crew lost in Category 3
Hurricane, 130 mph winds, steerage gone, no
Head-way made off Crooked Island, life-boat
Breaking 40-foot waves, sea-scattered debris,
No survivors or rotating lighthouse beams.

As lobstermen, we grew up with hard accounts
Of tragedy on Gulf of Maine, bow freezing spray,
Gauze-thick fog, thunderstorms and gales, ice
Covered fishing bays, yet nothing prepared us
For death of four Mainers, graduates of Maritime
Academy at Castine, driving the cargo ship
“El Faro” towards a tropical storm, building seas.

During late lobster season, we say silent prayers
For Crew of “El Faro,” that her bridge, tall on
White, appears on horizon’s edge, her crew
Weathered the storm, was blown off course,
Foundering in Atlantic waves, but we know it
Did not happen, because lobster fishing families
Feel loss and tragedy deep within our hearts.

By light of dawn, we leave Stonington, diesels
Churning towards Maine islands, isolated sea
Life of pitching waves. Winches turning, lines
Straining, we haul heavy lobster traps from cold
Waters. Despite daily risks, young women and
Men turn seaward for careers. Life on the ocean
Continues, sea-calling we cannot deny.
Farewell to the crew of “El Faro.”

This poem is written in memory of 33 crew members of the “El Faro,”
including the ship’s captain, Michael Davidson, 53, along with crew
members Dylan Meklin, 23, Danielle Randolph, 34, and Michael Holland, 25.
All four were residents of Maine and graduates of Maine Maritime Academy
in Castine.  For more information see Portland Hearld Press and follow
hashtags #ElFaro and #safetyatsea.

Social profiles