Dawn Wood's

solo atlantic challenge 2019

DAY 4 (10)

Getting back up to speed

17th January

Getting some good speeds back up today, it’s a real knack to timing the oars with the waves but when I get it right I can really see the speed going up.

A couple of the waves have caught me side on soaking me, which resulted in me shouting at the sky then laughing at myself! 

I don’t feel like time is dragging too much. What I have done already seems to have flown by, still not felt lonely or scared. I just know I have a job I need to get on with so that’s what I do each day. 

Life onboard is pretty simple and I am getting to appreciate it, no social media, no demands (apart from the ones I put on myself.) It just really boils down to making sure I eat and drink enough, get as many hours as possible on the oars to keep the speed going, making sure I do take some breaks, and keeping up with maintenance on board.

My biggest worry are my batteries. When it’s nice and sunny they are easy as they charge up no problems and I can run everything I need. Tomorrow looks like it will be cloudy, so I just hope enough sun gets through to charge my batteries.

If I had to switch everything off it would not be a problem I could still manage, but it’s nice to know I can charge electronics when I need to. So whatever higher being you believe in, if you can ask them to send me some sun I would be very grateful.

I have been doing some sums and as long as I don’t get another patch of bad winds I reckon I am still in the running for the world record. Keep on tracking me, I reckon if enough people will me along it’s got to make a difference! 

As the night draws in the sky is still pretty bright as we are heading towards a full moon, it’s incredible how much light it gives off! 

  1. Sam G on January 18, 2019 at 11:13 am

    I LOVE reading your updates! Go girl! Your true grit and determination is amazing!
    I’m a City cop now after transferring from Essex, my parents live in Burnham and my grandad volunteers for the National Coastwatch at Shoebury. He spent some time talking to you at the burnham open day.
    So….for this reason you are a weekly topic of conversation over the Sunday dinner table and we all message commenting on your progress during the week! So from 4 generations, yes, my 7yr old is fascinated at what you’re doing and why you’re doing it to raise awareness about the plastics…..KEEP GOING AND GOOD LUCK!

    • Barry Smith England on January 19, 2019 at 5:48 pm

      To Sam G : Thank you so much for your families support for Dawn – it is very much appreciated! I was also with Dawn at the RNLI Day and met your grandad who explained how the N.C. operates – please say hello. It’s really fantastic to know how much support Dawn has here in the UK and abroad. I want you to know how essential your comments are to Dawn and her family. We are being told that people are changing their attitudes regarding single use plastic and plastic disposal as a direct result of what Dawn is doing for the environment . We have been informed that people are now collecting discarded plastic material on their own or in family groups in the name of Dawn. Once again our grateful thanks to you and all her amazing friends…..’Keeeep tracking’
      Kind regards Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoe & Barry. (Dawn’s family)

    • Eileen Kingston on January 20, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      Dawn you are an inspiration to the human race, keep at it girl you have the mind , strength, and determination to do what you believe in, I know your mum is stressing lol, but you are making her and your entire family so proud ,doing something you really believe in, and trying to save our planet. I am praying for the sunshine every day for you ,and also praying for you ,go girl. From a friend of the family.

      • Sheila Smith on January 21, 2019 at 10:22 pm

        To Eileen . Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and words of encouragement along with your prayers, all very much appreciated. From Aurora HQ. Kind regards Jaime, Barry, Gary, Zoe & Sheila (Dawn’s family).

  2. Sheila hatton on January 18, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    How amazing are you girl!!! Go girl go x

  3. Marlene on January 18, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    So nice to ready you all the Time ? keep going !!!????‍♀️??????‍♀️ You are amaizing !!! XXxx love
    Marlène and family

  4. Loraine on January 18, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    Attended a talk today by James Cracknell and he showed slides of when him and Ben Fogle did this trip. Looked amazing but you are even more amazing doing this on your own. You are an inspiration.

  5. Keren on January 18, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    There are so many people willing you on Dawn. Just reading your blogs really helps us feel a little bit involved. Keep going – just think of Mick Rosier’s Falklands training – digging in deep. All those years ago helped you where you are today ? xx

  6. Pam on January 18, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Enjoying your blog Dawn, you are one brave/mad lady. Hope the sun shines for you

  7. Sue Trott on January 18, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Great blog Dawn, and superb effort. May your shoulders stay strong and your clouds be few.

  8. Michelle Smith on January 19, 2019 at 6:41 am

    Hi Dawn, you’re doing an amazing job!! It’s Michelle here, your mum’s hairdresser. It’s been inspirational hearing all about your incredible challenge, and has been a real talking point for me and my clients, many of which have seen or heard about you already!! We’re all willing you on and sending you lots of luck (and sun!!!). Your mission will really make a difference. The changes that I’ve already made in what I buy and use, plastic wise (and I’m just one person) probably wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the awareness brought about by people like you!!!
    Wishing you the very best of luck, Michelle xxx

    • Barry Smith England on January 19, 2019 at 4:41 pm

      Hi Michelle (Silhouettes. SWF), Thank you so much for supporting our daughter, we’re immensely grateful. Dawn set-up this Challenge to primarily change peoples attitudes to single-use plastics and to reduce the amount of discarded plastic in our oceans. At one point in her row she recorded seeing more pieces of plastic than marine wildlife – that’s a terrible situation. We thank everyone at Silhouettes (staff & customers) on behalf of Dawn (who is a little bit busy at the moment!!!!) for ‘coming on board’ with this initiative and spreading the word about reducing the use of single-use plastic. What you’re doing is exactly what Dawn is trying to achieve – many thanks. ……….Keeeeep tracking
      Sheila (eco warrior) & Baz
      Aurora HQ (dinning room)

  9. Penny Tunbridge on January 19, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Great job Dawn. Keep going, there are plenty of people willing you on!

  10. Zoe Cornish on January 19, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Well done Dawnie, knew you could keep at it and still laughing all the time. We are all thinking of you in Essex and cant wait til you’ve finished and smashed it. Ill try and sort the sun out for you, sure i’ve got a mate who can keep the rays up and batteries fully charged!!
    Looking forward to the next stage of your crazy adventure……..
    Much love, Mr SPOONS xxxxx and sister Zoe

  11. Bill S on January 19, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Just checked the tracker and Dawn is very close to the 2000-miles-to-go mark. Amazing the way she is averaging 60 miles a day! What an oar-some superstar she is!

    • Bill S on January 19, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      Should have mentioned that Dawn is passing the 2000-nautical-miles-to-go mark and is averaging 60 nautical miles a day. A nautical mile is slightly longer so 60nm is the same as 69 standard miles. So it is even more oar-some to do 69 miles in a day. The total distance from Gran Canaria to Bridgetown, Barbados is about 3008 standard miles and 2614 nautical miles. Go, go Dawn!

  12. wayne davey on January 19, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Keep going dawn, everyone is reading every day. Wishing you a very safe journey. Must be amazing seeing the stars and the wild life.

  13. Andy B on January 19, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Doing fantastic Dawn. Kathryn and I both check on your progress every day and wonder how you are. Great to read the blog and to know you are in such great spirits. X

  14. Louise Turmaine on January 19, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Just caught up with the blogs, fantastic reading. Well done Dawn, great to see your still totally killing it.

  15. Barry Smith England on January 19, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    Thank you most sincerely for your amazing comments and continuing support for Dawn in her epic Challenge to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans and to encourage people to reduce and recycle their single-use plastics. Your messages of encouragement to Dawn are exceptional and very much appreciated.
    ‘Keeeeeep Tracking’
    From Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Bazza (Dawn’s family)

  16. Debs Speechley on January 19, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    You are amazing what you are doing- so enjoy reading your blogs!keep it going! Row row row Friend of Carolyn at wdf school ! Debs

  17. Pat Fayers on January 19, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Enjoy reading your blog and keeping up with your progress on your epic challenge.
    Well done keep it up stay safe and know so many people are willing you on.

  18. Babs on January 20, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    Babs here, well done for getting so far already! Hope your having a lovely time with the dolphins, the rowing club are getting sozzled on birthday cake at the RB love babs and Rachel

  19. Kevin Stubbs on January 20, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Yep, you can take the lead if you keep at it Dawn
    If you keep going as well as your BOCCRC team back home team did on their home event today, you’ll be there before you know it!
    (They seem to have had a good coach and caught your ‘can do’ bug!)

    From all at Marconi SC

  20. Angie and Marshall Dale on January 21, 2019 at 11:05 am

    You are truly amazing Dawn. Met you at A Level Presentation Evening at Willy De where we heard your inspirational talk. This week we are actually staying on the south end of Tenerife looking out onto the ocean across which you are rowing. It looks pretty black and lonely to me at night. You must be one courageous lady. Praying for the sunshine for you and trying hard not to use single plastic!! Keep going. It was a pleasure to meet you xxx

  21. Linda Coom on January 22, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Keep it up Dawn, enjoy the solitude and wildlife – I hope the birds stay with you just as all our thoughts and warm wishes are. I’ve said my prayers for sunshine for you, you can gladly have my share! I have a full compliment of shopping bags now, none are plastic – I’ve even got the small cotton bags to put my individual fruit and veggies in, so I don’t have to use the small plastic ones, and I use a local farm shop now that has paper bags (remember them??? Maybe you’re too young to!). I’ve been using a bamboo toothbrush (believe it or not!) for a while but had got lazy…you’ve shamed me, quite rightly!! Stay happy, stay safe, an amazing amount of people are thinking of you, speaking of you and following you! :)) x

  22. Hasey on January 23, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Dawn the family and I are following you and enjoying the blog, apart from the shark bit ??
    Keep smiling loads, we’re looking forward to the book!!
    Take care

  23. daniel speller on January 26, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Good luck! hope you break the record

Leave a Comment