Dawn Wood's

solo atlantic challenge 2019

DAY 4 (31)

Chasing Rainbows

12th February 2019
I feel like I have spent this crossing trying to find the end of a rainbow! There always seems to be that elusive windy day that never quite comes.

This time last week I was in a ‘good’ bit of wind, enough to start racking the miles up but not enough to get the really big miles, then the news of light winds over the weekend with the promise of great winds from Monday (yesterday) so I dragged the boat through it to find that yesterday was not a lot better and today was ok but dropped right off again this afternoon.

I am absolutely not moaning, I could be going backwards or sat on para anchor again or in the UK freezing cold!! so this is great to be moving forward.

It’s just trying to explain how each day comes and goes with expectation of the following day’s weather, but you still don’t really know what it will be like till the day comes.

There is a line from the film Good Morning Vietnam they ask for the weather and he replies “Got a window? Open it!!” That’s pretty much what you have to do, take each day as it comes and deal with what you find. 

Today there has not been a cloud in the sky and I have loved every minute. Rowing the minimum 12hrs is getting tougher, but no matter what, I will see it out till the end. I have not done all this to start cutting corners now. 

During the lead up to my row I attended quite a few open days and events to meet people and spread the word about what I am doing. You would not believe that some people actually seemed to come up to me just to tell me their negative opinion on it all.

I get that some people won’t think much of what I am doing, but those people should walk on and keep their opinions to themselves. I had one guy who wanted me to tell him exactly how many miles I would be rowing and how many I would be ‘drifting’ because in his opinion it was easy – you just get in the boat and eventually end up at the other side. I wish I could magic him here for a day on his own. He would not last five minutes!

I have earned every inch of this crossing and have worked so hard to get where I am, nobody can take that from me. I would have some choice words if I saw him again! 

My day was brightened up even more by the amazing discovery of an 80’s album on one of my iPods! Ha ha, just brilliant!! I rowed into the sunset this evening to the sounds of ‘Tiffany’ I think we’re alone now! That was a very good find.

Well that’s me signing off for another day, as always hoping for more wind tomorrow! But also as always I will play with whatever cards are dealt to me and give it my best effort. 

Oh nearly forgot, today’s plastic spot was a bottle top.

Goodnight from 852nm short of Barbados!! Nearly there.

  1. Sonia Harding on February 13, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    This is beginning to be the high light of our day Dawn, just love your blogs – Keep rowing not long now Love Sonia & Clive x

  2. Eileen on February 13, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    Dawn there is a lot of shallow people out there, most of them sit on there brains you normally find the mouthy ones can’t find there way out of a paper bag. You are an inspiration to the human race ,well most of us. I am still praying for the wind and hope it comes soon, but what you are doing is brave and courageous and there should be more people like you in this world . Keep going Dawn you are amazing.

    • Jaime, Sheila, Zoe, Gary & Baz (Row Aurora HQ Essex UK) on February 13, 2019 at 6:00 pm

      Hi Eileen (is that our Eileen?)
      On behalf of Dawn, thank you so much for your very profound comments. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
      Kind regards from
      Row Aurora HQ Essex UK

  3. Lesley on February 13, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Nearly home sweet home. You are doing it and giving it your best. Keep going stay strong. Look forward to seeing you soon Mrs W. I’m sure Jamie as we all can’t wait!! Row hard your a winner whatever. 😘😘🤗

  4. Colin baker on February 13, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    Ha ha – brilliant Dawn.

    You are riding the waves of human stupidity and egos just as well as the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

    There is a new era DAWNing and it takes humans like yourself to spread this to our youth and the new more responsible enjoyable era will rise in the mornings you hope for if our youth change our ways.

    Those who snipe at your efforts has probably just dropped a plastic bottle somewhere as well 🤔.

    Enjoy that Barbados party with all your family and friends and see if all your BBC, ITV and Sky contacts will cover your arrival.

    Cheers from afar but so impressed x

    • Jaime, Sheila, Zoe, Gary & Baz Essex UK on February 14, 2019 at 10:08 am

      Hi Colin,
      May I thank you on behalf of Dawn, for your accurate assessment of the way ‘some’ people respond to deeply held beliefs that change can happen if we work together! We think your comment on sniping and discarded plastic is spot on. We have said to Dawn ‘Don’t worry what people say you’re proving them wrong every day!’
      “Illegitimi non carborundum”
      We have emailed details of Dawn’s Challenge to the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (Barbados) & Barbados Today TV, we’re awaiting a response. I’m sure we can record Dawn’s arrival and play it on her website. The only issue we may have, is that Dawn may arrive during the night !!
      Kind regards from Row Aurora HQ Essex UK

  5. Mario Cristiani on February 13, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    You are nearly there! Amazing!! The record is just a piece of paper. The experience you defined and then rowed into existence will forever change you.

    Keep at it, just one day at a time. And who cares what the naysayers have to say. You are right, they would have never been able to get as far as you.

    Hitting the warm sands of Barbados will be such an amazing feeling. All the planning and all the hard work will be behind you. Sitting there at sunset looking back where you just came from, with no more hardwork needed and with a soft warm bed you might start to wonder ‘now what’:)

    It may be hard sometimes, but it isn’t much longer now! Soon enough the whole thing will be over and you will be back in the mundane world, with all of us, thinking back on your epic voyage.

    Take care.

    • Jaime, Sheila, Zoe, Gary & Baz. Essex UK on February 14, 2019 at 10:32 am

      Hi Mario,
      your sincere comments are very much appreciated. Dawn can reflect on what she has achieved when the reality of reaching Barbados has sunk in and the ‘naysayers’ (I like that word) are a distant memory. Dawn should get a very warm welcome when she enters Barbados waters, her wonderful colleagues have organised an escort by the Royal Barbados Police Marine Section into the Port St Charles marina, which is the finishing point.
      Thank you again on Dawn’s behalf. Kind regards Row Aurora HQ Essex UK

  6. Nigel kinseth on February 13, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Just read your latest blog and we are so proud of you and what you are achieving to change the awareness of the plastic in the ocean.
    Be strong and brave we have faith in you to achieve your goal 💖
    We can’t wait to celebrate when your home again.
    Lots of love from Ann Nigel and Diva 🐕 xx
    Oh no she’s just chewed Ann’s shoe up !

    • Jaime, Sheila, Zoe, Gary & Baz (Essex UK) on February 14, 2019 at 11:05 am

      Hi Ann, Nigel & Diva,
      On behalf of Dawn, may we thank you so much for your comments – they are very much appreciated. The change in people’s attitudes to single use plastic and plastic pollution in our oceans is certainly changing for the better. It is very gratifying for Dawn to see what her mission is achieving. We are now counting down the miles:-
      752 nautical miles or if you prefer land miles 865 statute miles to reach Barbados(14/2/19 10:00).
      Go Dawny go to Barbados!!!
      From Row Aurora HQ Essex UK

  7. Conrad & Heather Barnard on February 14, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Wow! I would never have believed all those years ago when you used to sail with us that you would take on such an epic challenge. Well done, fantastic achievement. Nearly there now, I guess in a way you will miss it when you finally complete your journey. What next??

    • Jaime, Sheila, Zoe, Gary & Barry Essex UK on February 14, 2019 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Heather & Conrad,
      On behalf of Dawn, may I thank you for your comments – they’re very much appreciated. As you say who would have believed that our ‘little girl’ would take on such an epic challenge. After 41 days at sea, Dawn is now in count down mode ticking off the ‘nautical’ miles until she arrives in Port St Charles, Barbados. We have been instructed to learn the song “Woh, I’m Going to Barbados”!!!
      Thanks again for your comments, good to hear from you. Please give our regards to the family.
      Kind regards from Row Aurora HQ SWF Essex UK

  8. linda coom on February 18, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Well done, Dawn. You write so well, I love reading your blog.
    Forget the nay-sayers, the miserable people that want to drag everyone down with them. It made me laugh thinking of the bloke that thinks you can just drift across! A bit like that Blackadder episode where they left to discover a new land for QE1 and their captain ended up in a casserole – er, sorry, Dawn, don’t have nightmares! Thanks for the giggle!
    I hope you have a smile on your face and continue to enjoy the challenge, simplicity, peace and quiet. May the dolphins escort you safely home…woa, I’m going to Barbados! Woa, palm tree, palm tree….!
    Take care, stay safe, well done!!

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