14th July 2008 - Alicante to El Rinconet (Happy Birthday Nat)

Bali Hai
Neal Stow
Mon 14 Jul 2008 18:13
Well, Yvonne really lived to regret that bottle of Rioja. 
The weather forecast has been showing that the Mistral has been blowing for the last day and would be continuing today, the gale force winds are all going from Provence, down the east side of the Balearics and though the Straits of Gibraltar but we were still experiencing some effect in Alicante with a forecast of Force 4-5 winds.  However, the sea was supposed to be smooth and so we did not expect much trouble, other than for the fact that wind was going to be on our nose.
Unfortunately the forecast was as unreliable as ever.  The wind was actually gusting up to Force 7, which would have been okay if it was not for the fact that the sea was moderate to rough and we were heading directly into the waves.  It was also raining.  As we headed out, at about 11:30, it reminded me of sailing along the French coast last summer as we were fully equipped with lifejackets, harnesses and foul weather gear.  Waves crashed over the boat, and anyone not cowering behind the sprayhood was soon soaked.
It took only minutes before Yvonne succumbed to seasickness and spent the entire day curled up in the cockpit clutching a yellow bucket (which she made use of on several occasions).  Jane was also not feeling great but that may have been the effect of the seasickness pills and Andy overcame his queasiness by taking the helm (a well know distraction from the effects of seasickness)
After rounding the first cape the wind died a bit as we sailed for about an hour but we were making little headway against the wind and current and when the wind increased to 30 knots as we approached Benidorm we dropped the sails and motored the rest of the way.
We arrived at El Rinconet at 6:15 in the evening, unfortunately rather late due to the late start,  It was a shame as the bay is beautiful and well sheltered from the wind, although it is still a bit rolly.  Now we were flat Yvonne as perked up but claims that she will not be drinking until we reach Barcelona (watch this space!)
Tonight is going to be a barbeque and so yet again we have someone on deck confident that he is going to be able to catch us our supper.