Roberto was coming to fit the new mainsail and he starts work at eight, so we rose early. It seemed very early, as Spain is an hour ahead of England and we have yet to aclimatise. The morning was chilly for here, but beautifully still. We sat on deck in fleeces with our cups of tea, wondering whether Roberto would arrive on foot or by boat, consequently looking round at noises from all directions. Fish jumped, small boats puttered about and there was a bit of activity up and down the pontoon. In the event Roberto, his assistant and the sail maker strolled up at half past and then had to head back to the marina office for the new battens. I left John to it and headed off to the laundry, to wrestle coins into the machines and wait for our loads to finish in the library, making use of the wi-fi. As I headed down the pontoons I saw the old sail unfurling steadily from the mast for the last time.
Lyra’s old sails are beautiful. They are laminates and the tracery of their stitching gives them a gossamer, veined look, like the wings of a giant moth. With age the for-sail was becoming frayed and unstitched in places and John wondered if the main sail was sagging, so decided to replace them both. The new sails are as close a replacement as we could find, shipped out over winter by Sanders, who had made the originals. John tells me the new ones have a slightly different design, but are still lovely. No doubt it will not be too long before I see for myself.