Dawn Wood's

solo atlantic challenge 2019

DAY 4 (24)

A Beer at Sunset

6th February 2019

Quite an eventful day really, which has led to me writing this blog whilst having a beer! Yes, that’s right, a beer. To find out how the day has ended like this keep reading.

Firstly my daily plastic spot which was a blue unidentifiable piece in some floating seaweed and what looked like the lid from a large paint pot. I am usually too late spotting anything to get a chance to grab it, I am determined to get hold of something in a bid to find out where it has come from and how many miles it’s travelled. 

I have seen another sunrise at last!!! This is the first day in ages I have not been rained on and the sun has been out all day. Blooming marvellous! Once the speaker was charged the tunes were on and the singing was loud. The wind is still pretty moderate but with a bit of welly I am knocking off more miles. The current forecast is for less wind at the weekend (boo!) but then it picks right up from Monday (hurray!) However, all the wind is going the right way so I am definitely not complaining, there is just more chance of higher mileage the more windy it is.

There were no fish in my pond this morning, but I did have a close encounter with a fish this morning. A massive wave took me by surprise from my left hand side. It literally swamped me and the whole boat. As the boat levelled and the water cleared I was left with a fish in my lap. This is absolutely a true story. I have made it sound like a massive tuna landed on me. Actually the fish was about 2cm long, but it was still a fish.

Later in the afternoon, I spotted a sailing vessel coming up behind me, I double checked its course via AIS and was happy that it would pass at least 2 miles clear of me. Then I noticed it seemed to be changing course.

“True Blue this is LOLA on channel 16, over”

“LOLA this is True Blue receiving you, over”

“True Blue, we have just changed course to come over and see you. Are you a rowing boat?”

“Yes, I am a solo female ocean rower on my way to Barbados”

“Wow, this is amazing, can we come over and take a photo? Can we bring you some fresh fruit?”

“I am not sure how we would get it over, but fresh fruit would be very welcome, see you shortly” 

A few minutes later I was joined by the wonderful crew of LOLA which was a very beautiful Yacht. I am guessing about 55ft, but I am a very small 21ft so I may have misjudged that. The crew were a lady who I was talking to on the radio and two guys who I am guessing were father and son (again I was not too close, so could have got that wrong.) 

Now, my crossing is solo and unsupported. This means I can not have any kind of organised support. For example if I run out of food and arrange for a boat to drop me some off that would make my record attempt void – however if by chance encounter you are offered something you are permitted to accept.

So the plan was arranged via the radio that Lola would put some fruit into a dry bag with a rope and small buoy attached, this would be thrown in up wind and I would retrieve it from the water.

Attempt one did not come close enough, attempt two I did not grab in time, but attempt three was a direct hit – the bag came right along side. I was so very grateful, and the thought of fresh fruit was just brilliant.

We wished each other a safe passage and may even catch up in Barbados if they stop there, it was very strange to interact with people – such a brilliant encounter.

As they reset their sails and went back on their original course I opened the bag. Oh My God!!!! Oranges (perfect) apples (lovely) cheese (just wow) chocolate (not just any chocolate, Dairy Milk!!) and two beers!!!!!

Beer!! It’s like someone actually heard me and delivered my shopping list!!

So that’s how I come to be drinking a beer whilst writing this blog. I am having one now as a slightly late half way celebration and I think I will have the other one at sunset on my last night on board. 

So a very happy Aurora is signing off for another night. 

Sweet dreams,


  1. SheilaC on February 7, 2019 at 7:12 am

    What a fabulous read! I’d join you in a beer, but as it’s only 7:10 am it may be a little early. Wonderful to hear that conditions are changing in your favour and read about all those fish that are keeping an eye on you. A deserved treat from fellow Sea dogs too….lucky you got chocolate as you’ve probably eaten all the Jaffa cakes by now ! Enjoy the voyage….Cheers Dawnie Wood, go, go, go.

  2. Paul Fisk on February 7, 2019 at 7:16 am

    Nice of Lola’s crew Dawny. You’re still making headway on ‘Kikos’ little grey boat’, keep it going, don’t drink all that beer at once, I know what you’re like !! 😂 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼

  3. Jon haslip on February 7, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Dawn you are amazing. Such bravery and confidence reverberates through your blogs.. You are deserving of everything good that comes your way after this amazing adventure
    All my love

  4. Teresa on February 7, 2019 at 10:16 am

    This was an amazing read what a lovely thing to do. I love reading all your posts they are humbling to read. Your amazing my friend. Can’t wait for your next blog xxx

  5. Colin Baker on February 7, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Brilliant, just brilliant . Could you ask them to post photos of you ??? 😃.

    Keep up the great work and blogs.

    Going to be a great re-union with you and Jamie and parents when you arrive. Trust you have a Caribbean party planned ahead !

    Take care – be safe – happy sunshine and winds . X

  6. Clare Miller on February 7, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    Well how civilised is that?! A well deserved treat! Keep chasing! x

  7. Piia Lehtinen on February 7, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Cheers 🍻 keep it going! Greetings from my two boys Joshua and Ewan, they think you’re a REAL Superhero👍🏻

  8. Sarah Mason on February 7, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Happy days Dawn! Fab read as always. Roll on windy Monday. x

  9. Bill Stock on February 7, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Another fabulous chapter for the book you must write about this epic adventure. Also, the tracker has shown how you are fighting like crazy to close the gap on the time set last year by world record holder Kiko Matthew. You are gaining on her every day. Today at noon you had 1157 nm to the finish. One the same day last year Kiko had 1023 nm to go. This is more exciting that a FI Grand Prix! Go, go Awesome Aurora!

  10. Angie on February 7, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Brilliant!!! That has made me smile today.
    You are closing in now, so pleased… Row Dawny Row. XX

  11. RobTrigg on February 7, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Wow Dawn what a great story to add to your already incredible venture. Now I always thought the whole trip would be your biggest challenge however I now feel that it has been eclipsed by the massive challenge you now have of not opening that second bottle until your last night!!!!!!
    Keep up the hard work,strong rowing and can’t wait to read the next blog x

  12. jon on February 7, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Dawn your doing incrediblely well. Very proud of you.

  13. Pamela on February 7, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    I so enjoy reading the updates, from someone who does not have sealegs and a slight swell makes me sick, you have my total respect Dawn.

  14. Maxwell Wasson on February 7, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Nice one LOLA!!!

    Little things like this must make your efforts a little more bearable! Keep going Dawn! the reward isn’t that far away and only getting closer from here on in!!!

  15. Keith Simpson on February 7, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    That’s brilliant, what a fantastic report. Your first contact with a human for sometime in the middle of the Atlantic. I can see a book coming here.
    Stay safe mate. See you on your return.x

  16. Paul Goddard (Blackwater) on February 7, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    Fantastic – what are the chances of coming across another relatively small vessel?! I bet that beer tasted good. Keep up the good work! All the best. “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream……”

  17. Katherine Kilgour on February 7, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Brought tears to my eyes Smiffy. Beer does that. Go you! x

  18. Trevor Pullum on February 7, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Brilliant, love the blog as always and the fact you got a take out in the middle of the ocean 🙂 Keep up the fantastic work and of course enjoy the adventure x

  19. James Francis on February 7, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Amazing Dawn, the beer and dairy milk delivery really made me chuckle, what are the chances. Keep the blogs coming, always look forward reading them to see your remarkable progress. Keep smashing it and singing those songs!!

  20. Nikki on February 7, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Wow, wonder if you can get those photos they told somehow? Amazing effort Dawn, keep going hun x

  21. Lin Ollett on February 7, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    Happy day Dawn, you deserve it. Enjoy 🤗xx

  22. Phil on February 7, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    Good Luck you are amazing beer o’clock everyday.

  23. Gerry on February 7, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Top story Dawn…. love reading these each day and just amazed at your efforts. Keep it up, you got this in the bag now !

  24. Donna kelleher on February 7, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Oh fantastic dawn, you deserve that beer and all the goodies you received as a treat, how kind!. Your doing doing so well, keep at it and keep blogging, I love reading xx xxx

  25. Nicki (Menton, France) on February 7, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    I truly loved reading this post, not only did it make me smile, it made me laugh and also gave me tears of joy. Being able to make me appreciate the taste and texture of your well deserved goody bag was amazing, and reminded me of just how much we take things for granted. I hope that we do get to see the photos and I trust that you were decent😜 having mentioned before the weather being nice enough to work on your tan.
    From your earlier post about your adapted trainers, you might even be able to help design the perfect rowing shoe and patent it!

  26. Dave heyhoe on February 7, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Lola is the name of our horse I’m glad in some way that name is looking out for you. Now head down girl and row row row … By the way your ace xx

  27. Nigel on February 7, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    How wonderful Lola found you in the middle of the Atlantic, a little kindness and encouragement will have lifted you a lot too. Enjoy the moment.
    We are all watching you and encouraging you despite being unable to help in the same way.

  28. Linda Coom on February 8, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Well done Lola – it’s really lovely to read how you persevered to delivery the bounty, you’re so kind.
    Enjoy your goodies, Dawn, bottoms up!
    I’m so happy to hear about the wind being helpful, and having some sunshine, and hope it all stays good for you.
    Enjoy your amazing adventure and stay safe! :)) x

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