Dawn Wood's

solo atlantic challenge 2019

DAY 4 (28)

Five Weeks In

9th February 2019
5 weeks today since I left Gran Canaria, I really can’t believe it. This has been such an amazing adventure with my passion which is the Ocean. Now I am getting closer to land I am starting to wonder some things….

1. Will I be able to walk when I get off the boat? It struck me today that although I stand up everyday to look over the bow and have a good stretch, I have not actually walked anywhere for five whole weeks. My calf muscles seem to have become smaller and when I flex them they don’t seem as powerful. I will be doing a few leg days in the gym when I get back.

2. Will real life seem overwhelming? I have really enjoyed my own company with the odd message here and there to friends and family, apart from that I have had no calls or emails or pressure from anything that normal life brings. My days consist of making sure I have made enough water, make sure I have enough food, look after myself, look after the boat and row like a crazy rowing woman day and night hour after hour! Apart from the odd bit of music or audio books that is my simple life right now and I love it. I hope I can manage all the piled up work that will be waiting for me when I get back.

3. What next? I will answer that one when I have had time to recover and reflect! 

It’s been a beautiful sunny day, so that always puts me on a night. But the wind has gradually eased off over the course of the day. There is now not much more than a light breeze so overnight will be tough going with little mileage to show for it. I have learnt that there is nothing I can do about the weather so I will just get as many miles as I can and enjoy the calmer conditions whilst I have them. It is quite nice to be able to sit on deck typing this, watching the stars appearing as it gets darker, without constantly being bombarded with waves and washouts. The lighter wind days also make spotting wildlife easier, which leads me to my next part of today’s story.

About 4pm the sun was now round almost behind me, so if there is anything in the water, the sun will reflect off it. Suddenly I can see something large and blue following directly behind the boat about a foot away. At first I wondered if it was a baby whale? Then I thought it may be a large dolphin as it moved in the same kind of way, but it was not breathing on the surface as all the others I have seen have done.

Then as it came along side I could see its massive long beak…. a Marlin!! Wow!! I grabbed my go pro camera and stuck it in the water, I managed to get a glimpse of it on camera and also got a reasonable still from it. I will try and attach it to this blog but the quality gets compressed via satellite. It quickly shot off after that and did not see it again for the rest of the day. 

My favourite part of Saturday is now my weekly letter from Molly and Rosie. I yet again was not disappointed. This week was telling me to never give up and dream big. Very very wise words, ones of which I will defiantly stick to. I also got a little mascot who now sits with my other good luck charms. I want to send pictures of everything but I just don’t have the data to be able to. I will send what I can then share the rest when I get back.

Thank you again for reading,
I hope you enjoy getting them as much as I enjoy writing them.
Dream big, and never give up.

  1. Sue Edwards on February 10, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Dawn you are one amazing, brave lady trying to make the oceans better for future generations. Love reading your blog keep going on your fabulous journey and arrive safely in Barbados XX

  2. Jacqui Howard on February 10, 2019 at 10:28 am

    You are doing amazing Dawn , keep going we are all behind you l, we love reading your blogs keep them coming x x x

  3. Fisky on February 10, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Keep on pushing Dawny, on the down slope now, letโ€™s smash that record ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ YOU can do it!!!!!!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

  4. Eileen on February 10, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Dawn you make me smile most times when I read your blogs, I will try and send you some of our winds we have had in Essex,in fact I will have a word with Malcolm he is brilliant with wind.๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Dream big Dawn and they will happen. But your journey does not end in Barbados, you now have to think about writing that book. To see a Marlin wow what a wonderful experience, hope you spot your whale before your journeys end , just not too close are an amazing woman Dawn I hope people take heed at what you are doing this for ,why are human beings ruining this planet ,keep going girl hope you achieve your goal best wishes Eileen , Helen and Malcolm’s friend

  5. Janet Taylor on February 10, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Well done Dawn , you are an inspiration and credit to all !! Keep up the good work and hope you get a good wind to help you to the finish line x

  6. Nicholas on February 10, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    It’s been such a pleasure to read about your exploits & the gritty determination to see your challenge, as well as your being in the moment, whatever that might be bringing you.
    I’ll be interested to find out your next move!
    Thanks for your inspiration.

  7. Rosie on February 10, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    You are utterly inspirational. Have been watching your progress in awe. Keep going you’re totally amazing, so many people with you in spirit xx

  8. Liz Morgan on February 10, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    I’ve read and enjoyed every episodeDawn and relish reading the next one. So proud and in awe. You are living life xxxxxx

  9. Maxine Brice Whatson on February 10, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    You are doing amazingly Iโ€™ve loved following your updates
    As hard as you have found some days you have kept your spirits up and kept going
    Well done babe ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’•

  10. Karen Smith on February 10, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    Keep going my darling we are all so proud and amazed at your determination to carry on with some of the difficulties you have faced x just think of all the oranges and beer you can have when you get home !!! That will give you a spur on lol ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ luff ya xxx

  11. Mr Spoons on February 10, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Wow, another amazing Blog
    how exciting you’ve met a Marlin. Hope he sends his mates along and join the party.
    Incredible what you have done and still doing
    Your are a real star and proves you can do anything if you put your mind to it
    Keep going Dawny, you are the Dengie Warrior XXX

  12. Colin Baker on February 10, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    All your blogs are great but this is one of my favourites. I am sure that the majority of people would be far happier with simple lives and amazing how simple you are living and under crazy conditions.

    And yes , donโ€™t sweat the small stuff.

    Keep rowing girl. Amazing effort and all your followers are immensely proud of your effort.

    Keep safe and the finish line is in minds grasp . x

  13. Baddow Bees WI on February 10, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    You are an inspiration to all women , we are tracking your progress and with you in spirit all the way

  14. Debbie kimber and martin day on February 10, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    Wow – just love reading your blogs every day – got so many other people hooked too – your adventure is fantastic and you are definitely a cup half full sort of person ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ

  15. Susan Clark on February 10, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Dawn,
    I’m one of your mum’s neighbours, and I’ve been following your amazing journey from the beginning!
    Your mum is so proud of you Dawn, and I can tell that you love what you’re doing.
    I would love to see the sights you’ve seen. And hope you’ll let your mum have some of the photos
    you’ve taken to show us all in Windward Way!
    Well done!!

    Looking forward to your next blog.

    • Sheila (SWF Essex UK) on February 11, 2019 at 8:54 pm

      Hi Sue,
      Thank you so much for your lovely comments โ€“ they are very much appreciated.
      Dawn will read every message but, in the meantime, we are responding where we can.
      Dawn has now rowed over 2,158 statute (land) miles since leaving Gran Canara and is in the final phase of the Challenge. Yes, we are very proud of our โ€˜Little Girlโ€™ and what she is achieving.
      Thank you again for your continuing support for Dawn and her cause to stop plastic pollution.
      Our best regards to you & Geoff
      From Jaime, Sheila, Zoe, Gary & Barry (Row Aurora HQ SWF Essex UK)

  16. Diana on February 10, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Dawn you are the best! And in your blogs you create such vivid descriptions of your adventure that everyone who reads them is completely amazed i am sure. Keep going and keep safe!

  17. Dan on February 10, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    Goooooooooooooooo Dawn!!!
    We are sitting inside looking out at the snow capped mountains of Colorado. We have binge read the blog today and marveled at you, this amazing person. I wrote this several years ago and thought you might like it…
    Tides race in then are gone
    Shadows are seduced by light
    Lightning roars across the sky….vanishes
    My dreams leave me at dawn.
    The sweet nectar of life runs down my face and clings for a moment to my chin
    I greedily gobble it upโ€ฆso sweet
    Each precious moment delivers me to the next
    Each moment like a dream, a joy
    Each moment with my family and friends
    Each moment breathing the mountain air
    Each moment I fly above the earth
    My dreams and my life
    Dance together like the wind pushing and twisting leaves in autumn
    My life is now and I am present
    With gratitude and grace

    • Barry (Essex UK) on February 11, 2019 at 9:20 pm

      Hi Dan, on behalf of Dawn, may I thank you most sincerely for taking the trouble to send a message to our โ€˜Little Girlโ€™. We do appreciate people indicating where they are located and your view sounds idyllic.
      We are hoping to set up an INTERNATIONAL HANDSHAKE with Rotary Clubs in the UK and overseas. The Rotary Club of Barbados has been extremely helpful in providing publicity and will be on hand to welcome Dawn when she arrives in Port St Charles, Barbados. We don’t as yet, have any Rotary Clubs in the USA!!! We’re very grateful to you for supporting Dawn and her Challenge to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans.
      Go Dawny row to Barbados
      Kind regards from Jaime, Sheila , Zoe, Gary & Barry (Row Aurora HQ. ‘Cold & damp’ Essex UK)

  18. Matt Clark on February 12, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Smiffy, you are awesome. Keep going mate and before you know it it will be time to start the row back!!!

    Take care.

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