Dawn comes late to the east coast of Andalusia. Here in Carboneras, we are almost 2 degrees west of Greenwich (1.53 degrees, to be precise), but the clocks of all of Spain (except the Canary Islands) are set to the same hour as Paris, which is 2.2 degrees east of Greenwich. At seven in the morning the sky and sea are black. (In Greenwich, it is only 6 a.m.) Then, without warning, a glimmer of bright pink marks the line where sea meets sky, just a few minutes before eight. The glimmer grows wider and diffuses, soft layers of light above and ripples of pink and orange below, where the light from the sky flashes against the broken sea. The fishing boats have not yet extinguished their deck lights, but the sky is now light enough for us to see the silhouette of a small sloop, a black shape like a saucer on the water, its black mast bare and its stays slack. Softer grows the light, and wider. More little boats become evident through the disappearing gloom, even now a a tiny low craft with human lumps, like a motorized log or maybe a kayak, and a more serious working boat, just large enough for three men to work the nets and pulley, and with a box-like cabin in which maybe two of those thin and knotted men could crouch to fetch or store their gear. And now at last it is day, inspiring the raucous hilarity of the gulls.

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