It is has been 11 months since our windmill sails blew down in a storm. Earlier his month we had the news that the sails were going to be installed and, quite coincidentally, the insurer finally improved their offer to settle our claim, which we accepted. So, last week, Santiago and his crew arrived with the new sails.
The first part of the job was to raise and attach the hub which was going to hold the four sails.The hub, like the sails, is made from mulberry wood which is strong yet flexible. There is a thick steel plate attached to the back of it and this bolts onto the axle.
A truck with a Hiab crane was on site to lift the sails while Santiago was standing in a cherry-picker to guide them into place. Quite dangerous and risky and yet, in good Spanish style, there wasn´t a hard hat in sight!
Each sail had to be guided into the slot on the hub to then be secured with two large steel bolts. This bit was quite hair raising, especially as the wind was starting to come up, and it took ages to align the sail just right for it to fall into the slot.
Once the sail was secured then the hub could be turned and the other three sails fitted in turn.
We had decided that the sails would not rotate, which meant that they could have steel cables attached back on to the windmill wall and down to the ground to prevent a recurrence of them breaking in strong winds.
We are really pleased with the final result. They look just like the traditional sails that are seen on the old windmills. Santiago did a cracking job.
You might guess from that last picture that the weather might be a bit dodgy. In which case you would be right. We have had very high winds, lots of rain, unusually low temperatures (8C), hail in the north of the island, snow is covering Mount Teide in Tenerife, and there was even a water spout off the coast of La Palma.
Meanwhile our second hand of bananas matured. We couldn´t eat them all so Pongo was drafted in to assist. He was more than happy to oblige!