Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Everything was going so well...
We haven't posted since we anchored at the amazing Tortuga bay on the island of culebrita. Surrounded by turquoise waters and the occasional head of a sea turtle. White sands and all, this was truly what we came here for..
The kids were having the best time and so were we. When we first got there we didn't even bother to launch the dinghy and all of us just jumped off the boat and swam to shore and back.  An amazing feeling of freedom ! When we finally realized we were way past our lunch time I simply swam back to the boat, made sandwiches for everyone , stuck then in a dry bag and swam back to shore. Good times!
The next morning we've decided to launch the dinghy to get to shore. To our surprise the engine didnt start and Oren spent the entire day fixing it while I was on shore with the gang. Fixing the dinghy׳s motor (aka the outboard motor ) would have deserved a seperate post if it weren't for what was still to come....
On our third day there we hiked for a couple of hours and then got ready to leave the bay. 
Winds and currents were strong and within seconds after leaving our mooring we were drifted over the rocks. Trying to turn the boat away from the rocks didn't work and within a minute we heard the roaring sound of the boat tearing. 
We have lost control over the vessel. 
A few seconds later, a dinghy from a Neighbour catamaran whom we've met earlier came over and tried to assist, the two man, later to be known as our guardian angels, tryed to tag us off the rocks but to no avail. I kept checking the bildge (bottom side of the boat ) for water and was happy to see there were none. Which was quite surprising considering the loud noises of cracking and the pieces of fiberglass that started floating around us. The kids were already in their life jaqets but now I also had them wear their water shoes thinking we might have to evacuate soon. At some point I went to check the bilge once more to find it still dry but opened the bathroom door .... This was like a scene from the titanic.. As I opened the bathroom door I was washed by a wave of water coming in from
The engine compartment. At this point I've changed my radio call to mayday... 
Coast guard responded and asked for our location and status. All that time Oren was throwing lines (ropes) to that dinghy and a larger boat who tried to assist trying to get us off the rocks. 
At that point I ran downstairs, grabed a dry bag, and stuck our passports, phones wallets and birth control pills into it. Yes. That. 
Kids stayed calm but alert and when our neighbors suggested taking the kids I handed them one by one to the dinghy and climed on after them. Bill and Don, our soon to be best friends, took us to their catamaran, where their wives, Andrea and Becky, awaited us with open arms, a hug, a ton of empathy and 4 yo Max who opened his boat, games, snacks and what not to our kids. 
Bill and Don, together with Don's 14 yo son Ben, went back to our boat and worked with Oren, trying to save the vessel. As soon as the kids felt comfortable I got back to the boat and tried to salvage as much as I could. By then, the whole starboard (right) side was under water. The propeller (yep, that famous one from previous posts) hit the rock and tore the whole boat open. 
On a few trips I made back and forth to our boat I saw valuables float and disappear under water. 
We tryed to save as much as we could. 
All that time the port side of the boat stayed completely dry! The batteries were still working and power was still on. 
It took about 3 hours for the tow boat to arrive, and about 5 more hours for them to get our boat off the cliff and close to shore. 
The incredible people who helped us, cleared a room for me to sleep in with the kids, fed us, and provided us all the phisical and emotional support possible. 
The next morning, Bill and Oren went back to the site and Oren scuba dived to rescue what ever he could find from he bottom of the see. 
Then we left Oren to wait for the salvation crew to return and try to patch the boat in order to transfer it back to fajardo, PR, where only a few days ago our journey has begun.
We were so lucky to have met these amazing people ! 
Bill, Andrea, Max, Don , Becky and Ben, words can not describe our gratitude to you for all your help!!! We love Y'all!!!!!

When we got back to marina Puerto del Ray, the owner, Brooks Proutyy, and his crew did and are doing, everything they can to assist. 

The boat is still out there. They have managed to float it to the island of Culebra and hopefully tomorrow, bring it back to Fajardo. Will we get to sail her again? It is too early to say... At this point we're taking it one day at a time...

I have an amazing husband, great kids, and now great great friends, who helped make this nightmare into another page in the adventures of the (not so) floating Eliases. 

May 2014 bring happiness and unfold new adventures ,

Happy new year! 


  1. Women, children, and birth control pills first!

  2. I guess when they say "you'll have something to tell your grand kids" this would be a perfect example... I trust your everlasting optimistic attitude towards life will ensure a continued safe journey and one full with adventures. Have a terrific 2014 :-)

  3. wowwww!!!! what a story! I'm so happy that it ends on the good side and that all of you safe and sound!!!! the line between nightmare and adventure is really thin.take care! ♥

  4. Shlom Daria
    Your story is even beter then ours about the Katusha missile distroing my home. Love you all. Hapy you are all o.k. and hape 2014.

  5. Darya - damn!!!!! just after setting off when everything seemed so perfect, including the water. The calm of your children throughout says a lot for the way you and Oren handled the situation - you obviously didn't panic and gave them the feeling that all was under control when clearly it was not. I guess that is because all you were thinking about was sex. :) Happy New Year to you and Oren. Nothing like a bit of adventure to start it off. Augurs well for the year ahead. Much love!!!!!!!.

  6. OMG OMG OMG. Thank god you are all OK. I can only guess how you all feel and my heart goes out to you. I hope repairs will be quick and that you can continue you journey as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Gili sends her love and empathy too. Please DO NOT Do This AGAIN .Good luck and Godspeed

  7. הי חמודים!
    העיקר שאתם בריאים ושלמים. הים הוא מקום מלא הפתעות, לא תמיד חביבות....תשמרו על עצמכם והשמיעו קול, נועה

  8. Oren and Darya, wow, what a dramatic turn of events. Sounds really frightening. It is a blessing all of you are alright. I hope you'll get to sail your boat again.