row-aurora-2019

Dawn Wood's

solo atlantic challenge 2019

row-aurora-2019
DAY 4 (11)

Rowlocks and airlocks

21st January
I think it’s Monday morning? I wonder what everyone at home is doing on this – you guessed it – wet, cold and cloudy day?

I have still been putting sun cream on my face as I know the cheeky blighter has a way of getting through the clouds and reflecting off the water. I am going to get back with very brown hands and face, and that’s it!! 

The day did not continue too well either. Firstly the water maker has some sort of airlock, so I only managed to get about 300ml out of it before I had to stop to let the batteries recharge. I just need to run it a bit with the valve open to bleed the air out. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow. 

Later on a massive wave caught me from the side. I let go of the oar to grab the rail, when the oar got stuck the wrong way, straight up and trapped by the current. With all my might I managed to free it, but in the process it has bent the plate that the row lock is attached to.

It still works, but I can feel the oar is not entering the water properly now. I tried hammering it back into place, but it’s just not shifting.

In the end I had visions of smashing my hand instead of the hammer on the plate, missing and chucking the hammer in the ocean by mistake, or smashing a hole somewhere I don’t want a hole.

So I decided that I would just have to put up with it for the rest of the way.

Oh just to add insult, I have rowed nearly 1000 miles with no blister…. I now have a blister from all the hammering! Doh!! 

The sun made an appearance here and there during the afternoon and into the evening so I did manage to dry out a bit. 

My mileage is totting up, which is great, but again I always expect just a bit more from myself. I will keep plodding on regardless.

All of your messages of support are getting through and they really do keep me going, I can’t thank you all enough. 

Dawn 

  1. Sheila & Mary-Ann on January 22, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Hello Dawny…You are human you know !! Despite being super human of course. You’re doing an amazing thing. It would have been impossible to envisage the ups and downs you have faced…..but you’ve faced them and you’re still there doing an incredible job…
    You sounded a little low in your latest blog….that’s allowed too…, but you know each day changes and I’m sure the best is yet to come. I’m thinking of bringing Mary-Ann out to Bermuda as a surprise for her…and a shock for you ! All your supporters are with you all the way, everyday…wish we could help with all the hard work of rowing, or hammering the rowlock back down and getting blisters (hope you’ve got blister plasters in the first aid box?).
    So, my young friend, just know how often we are all thinking and talking about you and ‘to you’. Jaime is missing you and I’ve offered to cook him a meal, but he hasn’t mentioned anything so I guess he’s heard about my cooking skills ! Although I think they are slightly better than the RBYC !
    Take care and , as the, now well known saying goes……”Go Dawny Go”……Love from xUS

    • Baz Smith South Woodham Ferrers England on January 23, 2019 at 11:46 am

      Hi Sheila & Mary-Ann Thank you so much on Dawn’s behalf, for your fantastic comments. You mentioned Bermuda …Dawn’s finish point is Port St Charles, Barbados – she would be delighted to see you. You also mentioned she appeared a bit low – we hope what happen last night (22/1/19) would have cheered her up a bit . Kiko Matthews (the current world record holder) got in touch to explain she had a similar oar problem and gave us information on how to rectify it. We thanked Kiko very much for her invaluable assistance and passed the info to Dawn. We thought it was such a wonderful gesture – even her competition is helping her to get through this safely! Go …Dawny…Go
      From Jaime, Sheila, Gary Zoe & Baz. (Frosty Essex England)

  2. Sue Heaton on January 22, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Your doing great Dawn I’m arriving in Barbados in 23rd Feb hope too catch up with u xx I am a retired Essex Officer but not sure I’ve met u before xx

    • Baz Smith South Woodham Ferrers UK on January 23, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Sue, Many thanks for your support for Dawn it is very much appreciated! Arrangements have been made by the Essex Police Marine Unit with their counterparts in Barbados to meet Dawn and her boat (True Blue) and escort her into Port St Charles, Barbados. We hope to provide more information relating to Dawn’s arrival nearer the target date to ensure everyone who wishes to attend is included.
      Go …Dawny..…Go
      From Jaime, Sheila, Gary Zoe & Baz. (Essex. England)

      • Nigel on January 23, 2019 at 5:39 pm

        So that’s why Albert is on the hard at Burnham: preparing for an Atlantic crossing?

  3. Paul Fisk on January 22, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Keep it going Dawny. You’ve got ‘Weapons Training’ Standards to maintain luv ??????????

    • Baz Smith South Woodham Ferrers, UK on January 23, 2019 at 12:18 pm

      Hi Paul,
      On Dawn’s behalf, we thank you most sincerely for taking the trouble to post your comment – it is so very much appreciated. We did send a message to the Essex Chief Constable referring to Dawn’s true grit: –
      She was BORN IN LONDON……but MADE in the ESSEX POLICE SERVICE!!!!
      Go… Dawny…GO
      From Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Baz. (Essex. England)

  4. S Heckles on January 22, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Keep it going Dawn you’re a star x

    • Barry Smith Essex England on January 23, 2019 at 12:49 pm

      Hi S. Heckles,
      Thank you on behalf of Dawn for your comment. As you can appreciate Dawn has her hands full at the moment but she will read every single message !!! You’re a star for posting the message it does help Dawn to know that there is so many people supporting her.
      Go…Dawny…Go.
      From Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Barry. (Essex. England)

  5. Robert Osborne on January 22, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Hi Dawn
    We don’t know each other. A mutual friend mentioned your challenge and I’ve been following your blog throughout as a consequence. I am really full of admiration at your indomitable spirit and courage and wish I had 50% of your bravery to face such a journey. In social media I observe and never comment but your effort and strength has really touched me to type.
    I hope this helps spur you on and keep you going. Your blog has been raw and emotional and truly great. Keep up the great work, keep on going.
    Best wishes

    • Barry Smith Essex on January 23, 2019 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Robert, On behalf of Dawn, may I thank you most sincerely for your very poignant and thoughtful comments. I can assure you Dawn will read every message. Please keep following Dawn and let’s hope her mission to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans is fulfilled. The Barbados Rotary Club has notified me that they are using Dawn’s Challenge to promote their own environmental initiative to clear plastic in and around the Island. I think Dawn most take after her mother!!!!! Many thanks.
      Go…Dawny….Go!
      From Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Barry. (Essex. England)

  6. Nigel kinseth on January 22, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    Hello Dawn
    We are following your journey on Facebook and willing you on to achieve your goal.
    We know you have the courage to carry on.
    We saw Jaime on Sunday, and all your friends at the club and they are all with you in spirit.
    We are so proud of our brave daughter in law.
    Go DAWNY Go
    Lots of love from Ann Nigel and diva dog

    • Baz Smith South Woodham Ferrers UK on January 23, 2019 at 1:31 pm

      Hi Ann, Nigel & Diva,
      On behalf of Dawn, may I thank you so much for your lovely words – they are very much appreciated. Dawn will read every message, but in the meantime thank you so much with reference to your daughter-in -law …. we think she is a bit special too! I think she must take after her mother!!!!
      Thanks again for the phone call, we are so grateful for your very appreciative comments
      Go…Dawny…Go
      From Sheila & Barry. (Essex. England)

  7. Alison G on January 22, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    Hi Dawn. I wanted to let you know I think you are not only doing an incredible thing and showing how truly strong you are – but also you’ve got huge courage and passion – you are awesome!!! Keep going, you can do this. Think of all the amazing ocean life you are helping to preserve – thank you, you are making a difference.

    • Barry Smith Essex on January 23, 2019 at 1:59 pm

      Hi Alison, Many thanks on behalf of Dawn for your comments and your wonderful support. We are also concentrating on what she hopes to achieve ….a cleaner ocean for us and marine life. At one point in her row she saw more pieces of plastic in the ocean than marine creatures, that is a terrible situation!! We sincerely appreciate your support for Dawn’s mission, let’s hope through your comments, word will spread.
      Thank you
      From Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Baz. (Essex. England)

  8. Myriam Grech on January 23, 2019 at 6:01 am

    Hi Dawn, great achievement…..hope you got enough water by now…….
    Now you know by experience what a hammer can do ….hehe….trusting your blister has healed…..
    Keep rowing and sending us your commentary, so look forward to keep track….And any animal sightings….good luck….

    • Barry Smith Essex on January 23, 2019 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Myriam, On Dawn’s behalf, I would like to thank you most sincerely for your comments and support – which is very much appreciated. Your reference to hammer relates to a problem with Dawn’s rowlock plate. We had a message late last night from Kiko Matthews (current record holder) who had experienced a similar problem. She gave us information to transmit to Dawn to rectify the issue should it happen again. We thought that was excellent cooperation among mariners. We were very impressed.
      Thank you for the good luck message
      Keeeeep tracking!
      Kind regards from Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Barry. (Essex. England)

  9. Dave Heyhoe on January 23, 2019 at 6:08 am

    The power of the the ocean is a beast ? Put a determined woman on that ocean and the beast will be tamed. Head down dawny and tame that beast xx

    • Barry Smith Essex on January 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Dave, many thanks for your encouraging remarks, you obviously know Dawn very well!!!
      She certainly has the determination to achieve her objective. Thank so much for supporting Dawn, it is very much appreciated
      Many tanks
      Kind regards from Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Barry. (Essex. England)

  10. Denise house on January 23, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Hi Dawn I’m
    Still waking each day and checking on you! Keep going girlie you’re doing amazing! I painted the other side of your bag today so will sort out delivering it to family for you! You are a true inspiration lady and I hope the winds get behind you soon! Safe rowing ?? and keep going xx

    • Barry Smith Essex on January 23, 2019 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Denise, I’m replying on behalf of Dawn, thank you so much for checking in on her each day. Although, this is a solo mission she definitely,knows with people like your good she is not alone! We appreciate your very supportive, comments which we consider heart warming, and emotional not only for Dawn but for her family as well. But please keep them coming your support is very, very, much appreciated.
      Keeeep tracking!

      Kind regards from Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Barry. (Essex. England)

  11. Colin Baker on January 23, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    As usual Dawn, a great update of your daily struggles and achievements. This update has probably made us all feel your frustrations and I can picture you and that hammer .

    Here’s hoping to better weather and fortune for your next 2,000 miles.

    Keep rocking on that boat !

    • Barry Smith Essex on January 23, 2019 at 4:13 pm

      Hi Colin, Your comments on Dawn’s update are very profound. She seems to be able to reach everyone with her writing, as you say, we can feel her frustration especially with the hammer (she ‘does’ take after her mother!!!) On behalf of Dawn, I would like to thank you most sincerely for your comments and your wishes for better weather ahead. Our grateful thanks for your support for Dawn, it is very much appreciated.

      Kind regards from Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Barry. (Essex. England)

  12. Nigel on January 23, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Following your progress daily. Your grit and character will keep you going.

    • Baz Smith Essex on January 23, 2019 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Nigel, We thank you so much on Dawn’s behalf, for following her daily progress, it is very much appreciated. Unfortunately, she has hit some bad weather tonight (23/1/19) which is again testing her resolve. Her grit and determination will be needed to get back on track.
      Thank again for your encouraging comments.
      Go …Dawny….Go
      Kind regards from Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Barry. (Essex. England)

  13. Anna and the triplets xxx on January 23, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    At school we are following your progress and you are inspiring us all. Go dawn, go.

    • Barry Smith. South Woodham Ferrers, UK. on January 23, 2019 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Ann & the triplets,
      On behalf of Dawn, we would like to thank you most sincerely for your lovely comments.
      Inspiring young people to get involved with environmental issues is part of Dawn’s mission so, it sounds like she is achieving her objective at your particular School – excellent!
      Keeeep tracking and Go ….Dawny…..Go

      Kind regards from Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Barry. (Essex. England)

  14. Fiona Hearn on January 23, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    Hey Dawny… We are following your progress and thinking of you. I’ve saved you a box of chocolate licquers for when you get home….. Safe to eat and drive.. LOL… KEEP GOING…. Love you.. Fifi and WIll xxxxxxxxxxx

    • Barry Smith Essex UK on January 26, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      Hi Fiona,
      On behalf of Dawn, thank you so much for following her and for your support. I’m sure when Dawn knows that there are chocolate lacquers waiting for her she will put a spurt on!!!
      Dawn will read every message when she is able, in the meantime I hope you will forgive me for replying on her behalf. Thank you again for your support Dawn is extremely grateful.
      Kind regards from Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Barry. (Essex. England)

  15. John Davey on January 23, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    Keep going dawn, I sat and caught up on your blog today. You can do this.

    Teas on me when you get and just so you know I’m keeping your chair warm in the office while your away.

    Love John x

  16. Sonia Harding on January 24, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Hi Dawn – wow what can we say – keep rowing – better weather there than here – snow – snow and more snow – that’s Bonnie Scotland for you, keep safe my dear S & C x

  17. Monty on January 25, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Keep strong Dawn. You are doing an amazing thing.

  18. Linda Coom on January 25, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Dawn – What a pain (with the row lock) I hope it doesn’t make things too difficult. I hope you managed to sort out the airlock in the water system too?
    I catch up on your blog every chance I get and look forward to reading more about your adventure, thank you so much for taking the trouble to write it.
    I think of you often, and the plastic waste, and silently wish you well each day. So many people are following you and speaking about your voyage, I hope you can feel the warm from everyone!
    I’m praying for you to have sunshine, a following wind and a helping current along with strength, joy and NO BLISTERS! We’re all thinking of you and cheering you on, I hope you get some good company (dolphins, or the swifts, would be good) and cover some good ground (should probably say ocean, there).
    Stay safe, stay strong, sending you a big smile :o))

    • Baz Smith Essex on January 26, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Linda, (on behalf of Dawn)
      Thank you so much for your very thoughtful comments – Dawn will be so grateful. She can do with all the good wishes she can get. The headwind is at 20 knots which means it is not physically possible to row against it. To compensate she has deployed a sea/para anchor to help stop her backward momentum, this does appear to be working. You asked about her drinking water maker – yes, Dawn has sorted it out and it’s now working OK. The rowlock situation, the plate is still bent which means the oar sits lower, so Dawn has to modify her rowing technique. The current record holder Kiko Matthews has been in touch giving some tips on how to rectify the oar problem should it happen again. Which we thought was an excellent gesture. Again, thank you very much for your comments they are a great comfort when we tell Dawn.
      Kind regards from Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Barry. (Essex. England)

  19. Barry Smith Essex on January 26, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    Hi Linda (on behalf of Dawn )
    Thank you so much for your very thoughtful comments. She can do with all the good wishes she can get at the moment. The headwind is at 20 knots which means it is not physically possible to row against it. To compensate she has deployed a sea/para anchor to help stop her backward momentum, this does appear to be working. You kindly asked about her drinking water maker – yes, Dawn has sorted it out and it’s now working OK – thank you. The rowlock situation, the plate is still bent which means the oar sits lower, so Dawn has to modify her rowing technique.
    Once again, our grateful thanks for your comments and big smile Dawn will appreciate that!!
    Kind regards from Jaime, Sheila, Gary, Zoë & Barry. (Essex. England

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