The former British marine, with an amputated leg, will begin the challenge of becoming the first disabled man to row solo and unassisted across the Atlantic (from continental Europe to South America).
Last Tuesday, Lee left Gibraltar for Alcaidesa Marina in whose slipway his boat was hoisted onto the vehicle taking him to Portimao (Portugal) from where his adventure will really begin.
Lee Spencer, 49, planned to start the journey from Gibraltar as it is the southernmost British territory in Europe. However, adverse weather in the Strait of Gibraltar made him discard this option. Even so, he wanted to make the short journey between Gibraltar and Alcaidesa Marina in order to symbolically begin his journey.
Spencer was a Royal Marine for 24 years and completed three operational tours in Afghanistan. In his rowing boat called "Hope", he anticipates reaching French Guiana, a 5,600 kilometre journey, in less than 70 days.
His challenge has a dual purpose. Firstly, to be be the first disabled person to row cross the Atlantic, thereby surpassing the record achieved by the disabled Britain Stuart Boreham in 2004, who rowed for 109 days between the Spanish Canary Islands and Barbados in the Caribbean. Secondly, he would like to beat the current record of a non-disabled person achieved by the Norwegian Stein Hoff in 2002, who rowed from Portugal to Guyana in 96 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes.
After losing his right leg below the knee in 2014 while helping a victim of a traffic accident in the UK, Spencer now seeks to change the way in which the disabled are perceived. In addition, his trip will be used to raise funds for the Royal Marines Charity and the Endeavor Fund, which supports wounded or sick British soldiers.
With a leg prosthesis and a spare one, the former marine will row along the African coast to the islands of Cape Verde before crossing the Atlantic towards America, helped by the currents and trade winds.
He will do it in two-hour intervals, using his free time to eat, sleep or write in his blog.
The boat has a solar-powered plotter with which to navigate and a VHF radio to communicate with other ships. But once he leaves Portugal, he will not have external support.
For more details you can visit his website http://www.leespencer.co.uk/