Am sitting here in Gijon, Spain after what was a little bit of a disappointing first leg. I had planned to stick fairly close to the rhumb line but when the wind freed slightly the first night I was a little too eager to hoist the spinnaker and when the lift never came, I ended up south of the rhumb line and paid dearly for the error.
There was a huge amount of animal life on the leg. Dolphins the first 24 hours, a little shore bird stopped off for a few hours rest on the second night. I managed to snap a picture but have not yet pulled it off my camera. On the second day there were lots of flies and bees which was quite surprising being over 30 miles offshore. Also, lots of small Portugese Man of War jellyfish, I had one get washed onto my foredeck which I had to be careful of.
On a positive note, the boat is plenty quick even in the light off the start. The new pic at the top of the page was taken shortly after the start while getting out of the bay at La Rochelle. Also I had no appreciable damage on the leg, which made things very simple here in Spain.
Leg two starts tomorrow. Right now the weather looks a bit light and unsettled for the first 100 or so miles. The planned course right now is to a light just north of Belle Isle and then to a buoy near Penmarch, south to a buoy off of the mouth of the Gironde River and then back to La Rochelle. The distance is 520 miles so more than double the first leg.
The event blog site should be updated regularily during the leg and each boat has a GPS tracker which appears to poll every hour.