Dawn Wood's

solo atlantic challenge 2019

Dawn's first day in Barbados

First Day on Dry Land

26th February 2019 (the day after arrival)

I got a good 5 hours last night but I was awake quite early and could not get back to sleep. Everything feels quite strange, laying on a bed that’s not moving for a start is pretty weird. It was nice to not have to worry about checking systems or emptying fish out of the footwell, I just lay there awake for an hour or so trying to take it all in. 

My first job of the day was an interview with the BBC via FaceTime. It is due to go out later today on local news but I understand it also made national news. I really want to get onto the morning slot of my local radio station at home Heart SX, but as I am 4hrs behind we keep missing each other. I am sure we will catch up when I get back but in the meantime I have sent some voice clips for the news.

I have not logged in to social media or emails yet as I want to give it my full attention and I have so much here yet to do. I have been passed a lot of it from Jaime and Zoë though, I just can not comprehend the level of support you have all shown me. It’s really emotional and made the whole thing a million times more important to me. That’s why I want to sit for a couple of days and read it all properly rather than just flicking through. 

Next task down to the boat and give it a good scrub out. If it gets packed into the shipping container with anything that’s damp or likely to go mouldy that will be a disgusting job cleaning up back in the Uk.

It was great going back to the yacht club in the daylight, I could now appreciate what a beautiful place this was. It took a good few hours to take everything off and get it in order. About 4pm we packed the car with some things to take back to the villa to dry out or put in the washing machine, with the plan of getting it all sorted and back to the boat before sunset, leaving tomorrow daytime free  to explore the island. That was not to be….

We pulled into a petrol station to fill up. They have attendants here, so she asked how much we wanted and started filling up for us. All done she came back to the window and said “it was petrol you wanted?” “Erm, no, this is a diesel car.”

We now had a tank of premium unleaded in our lovely diesel hire car!!!!! As Jaime is a mechanic he knows full well that many people do this to their own cars, let alone someone else’s, so this was just a mistake and no point getting annoyed about. The garage called the local mechanic who came out and drained the tank getting us back on the road. Whilst the mechanic was working, I was chatting to the (I am guessing manager or supervisor) lady making the calls. She asked if we were on holiday, and when I told her I had rowed here she was really excited and said she had read all about me in the newspaper. I am quite the local celebrity now! It’s just so surreal! 

By the time we got back to our villa it was 7pm, so I got washed and cleaned what I needed, and would have to return to the boat tomorrow to finish the job.

An early night for another day of not yet relaxing tomorrow. 

Just to update you on how I am coping being on land, I am amazed at how good I feel. A bit of a back ache in the morning but other than that I have no land sickness or aches and pains. I can walk fine and feel great. My calf muscles need building back up, but they are not painful at all. Angus says it’s because I looked after myself so well at sea that it is paying off now. 


  1. Gayla Trice on March 1, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Loving the blogs, my dear. The excitement of hearing what you and others you have inspired are doing is amazing. So proud of my adopted UK girl. 😉 🥰

  2. Belinda on March 1, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Enjoy your time on the island, The Caribbean is a beautiful place to explore.
    Hope you manage to sweet talk the marine unit out there into having an exchange programme so you can join them 😂 xx

  3. Amanda on March 2, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    So awesome to watch your crossing. Congrats! What did you do to take care of yourself at sea? Looking to do a crossing in the future and would love to learn more.

  4. Ruth Allistone on March 4, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    I’ve been following your blog. What an achievement! Huge congratulations on your success. Enjoy the aftermath.

  5. Chris and Brian Evans on March 9, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Congratulations Dawn. An epic journey. We are friends of Kiko’s parents and were on the island, so very excitedly got up at 6.00 to hopefully welcome you in with the high commissioner but when we got to the yacht club couldn’t find out anything, so had a very nice breakfast and stare. At 9.30, we were told you’d come in in the dark and high commission had come then and you’d been and gone, so finally gave up! However, we were very pleased you made it in such good time and do admire you. Well done. Hope tour campaign for the ocean is very successful. It needs a friend.
    Love Chris and Brian Evans

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