Italian police are very good whistlers. I could hear this one across the rocks and sea from about 100 yards, and I was pretty sure he was trying to get my attention. I looked up and he waved me toward him. “Oh good,” I thought, “the blasting is over and I can approach the ship.” I walked over, but it turned out he was telling me to get farther away, not closer. A small defeat, but I had already won the war.
I had arrived that morning on Isola del Giglio with a mission: to get as close to the Costa Concordia as possible, in her shadow if possible. The site of her funnel almost hanging over the rocks drew me toward her, from London, from the mainland Italian port of Santo Stefano where I had found a hotel room, from the Giglio harbor where the ferry brought me. I kept coming closer to see this broken giant at her resting place.