Isla Giglio, Italy

Einstein said “Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. .. and I’m not sure about the universe”. We can only guess about the universe, but after today we’re pretty sure he’s right about the stupid human part. That’s because we’re at the surreal site of the Costa Concordia shipwreck; itself the result of perhaps one of man’s most incredible examples of mind-bending idiocy, where Captain Schiatto drove a 300 meter cruise ship with 8 meters of draft into a rocky Italian bay about 1 meter deep. Why? So he could wave to a friend. The 300 meter half-submerged ship carcass sitting at the mouth of the Giglio harbor’s entrance may be compelling evidence that Einstein’s theory of human stupidity is as accurate as his others.

But the big story for us in the past 24 hours hasn’t been the shipwreck but rather the weather. After sending our blog post yesterday afternoon the weather forecast went from wrong to…. ya, you guessed it…. more wrong. As we entered the second half of the 85 mile passage from Corsica to Giglio, the wind kept building to 28 knots as a massive storm cell burst above us. Just as the lightning, torrential rain, and wind were all at a peak, a critical pin that holds the autopilot control arm onto the rudder snapped, causing the boat to lose its autopilot functions and forcing us back out on the deck to take shifts at the helm (steering wheel) for the rest of the passage. We landed safely last night, but because there are no services in Giglio, we spent the afternoon today fabricating a new pin in our mini workshop in the engine room.

The benefit in all this foul weather nonsense is that the photo opportunities are amazing. If anybody ever asks me for advice on how to take photos it would be this: look for nice big clouds, then find something to put in the foreground (doesn’t really matter so much what it is).

We got a late start to Isla d”Elba thanks to our autopilot repair, but we’re now underway with Giglio fading into an incredible sunset behind us and both sails full in very fast conditions. We’re trying to race around another storm system about three miles off our port side and so far we’re on track to…. well I better not say anything just yet.