Saturday was a much warmer day with fluffy clouds and blue skies, thank goodness. We set out early to the shop with just the backpack as we had just bread and wine to bring back. The three ladies were all dressed in their Saturday best, with hair done ready for early closing. We headed down to the wines and I recognised one we had liked before, so John took two bottles to the till as I stood holding a packet of dog chews pondering whether or not to buy some emergency food for Scamp. John came back to see what I was doing, followed by the dark haired assistant, who opened a cardboard box of red wine and took out a bottle assuring us this was very good. “We’ll have two of those instead then.” “Uno?” ‘Due!” At the till all four bottles awaited us. John shrugged, we loaded up the backpack with wine and dog food and I carried the bread. On unpacking our supplies I noticed the recommended wine was also fizzy. She must have remembered that we had taken the last two bottles yesterday and rushed to assure us there were more, just the same. We now had three unopened bottles and a slightly sampled chilled one in the fridge.

The girls arrived first in a taxi. John saw it draw up just before midday, said “They’re here” and promptly set off along the pontoon, leaving me trotting in his wake, but soon all four of them were pouring back towards me and it was hugs all round. News from Johnsey was that he had set off at the crack of dawn, but did not expect to arrive till around four thirty, so after celebrating the girls’ arrival with a small glass of fizzy red wine we headed off to the marina bar for lunch. We sat outside, but it was so breezy we moved to a table in the lee of the building and watched the surf still crashing onto the shore opposite. Even with the weather less than ideal it was such joy at having all three girls here.

Back on Lyra we sorted out where they were all going to sleep. Despite the chill Katie was keen to try her hammock, but it is forecast to rain again tonight, so she and Lara are set to bed down in the main cabin with Emma, Johnsey and Scamp in the front. News from Johnsey was that the toll system in Italy was an adventure in its own right and he might be slightly delayed. Finally at around five John spotted The Mustard Bus approaching along the quay and we all set out and met him at the car park. Scamp was very excited to see Emma after nearly five days and seemed to take the rest of us being in this strange place too in his stride. Work on the van had moved on a lot from the last time we saw it, with a fitted bed settee and swivelling table, very cosy. Johnsey had brought some equipment for John and the rare necessities of life – peanut butter, Marmite, Heinz beans and Henderson’s relish, to swell the ship’s supplies. We all helped ferry stuff on board. Scamp looked very unsure at the prospect of jumping up from the jetty over the water. I had felt the same way when I started. Emma lifted him aboard and after a bit of hesitation he worked out the companionway steps, taking them at a rush and seemed very happy to be onboard. We ate gluten free pasta bake with Priory eggs for tea washed down with lashings and lashings of non-fizzy wine and beer of the best.

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