Dawn Wood's

solo atlantic challenge 2019

DAY 4 (29)

Yet More Plastic

10th February 2019
Today unfortunately brings more plastic. There was some kind of white thing floating about 100m away from me. I am not sure what it was but it was quite big, maybe a discarded fender? Also another plastic water bottle floating on the surface followed by some seaweed with what looked like thin rope and bits of plastic all wrapped in it.

Unfortunately I can’t collect any of it (I think my boat would be full by now if I could) as I am facing backwards and I don’t ever see these things until they are past me. As you have seen from a few weeks ago, when I had to drop para anchor and ended up going backwards, rowing into a headwind is not feasible, which is what I would have to do to turn round and go back for things.

The winds have continued to drop from yesterday and there is now hardly a breath of wind. This has made it very hard going today and is extremely frustrating. I am rowing as hard as my body will allow and the hours go into the night, but the mileage tally does not reflect the effort. I am praying to the wind gods that it will start to pick up again tomorrow. Other than the wind, it’s been another great day on the Ocean; nice bit of sun with broken cloud so I don’t totally frazzle and regular visits from sea birds all day. 

As it’s hopefully my last calm day, I decided to give the bottom one last clean. I am actually pretty ok with getting in now. As long as I have my goggles on and can see round me I am pretty comfortable in the water. I use to do a lot of scuba diving and it’s the same with that, once you are under and can see what’s going on there are no surprises to worry about. I should have taken a photo of myself tho as I must look pretty odd.

Picture the scene, go pro on my head, goggles on, scraper in hand, and peg on my nose!!! For some reason, maybe I have bigger nostrils than everyone else, I can not go underwater without water getting up it. I either have to hold my nose or put a nose clip on. I did not bring a nose clip, but I did bring standard clothes pegs, so that is what I have been doing when scraping the bottom.

It’s amazing how many barnacles have grown since its last clean. With my new found confidence in the water I managed to get right under and scrape off every last one. So True Blue is now smooth bottomed again ready for some super fast speeds during the week (fingers crossed!)

The sunset this evening was beautiful, there was still a fair bit of cloud dotted around the sky. As the sun set every single one shone bright red. This then reflected off the water, and for a few minutes it was like looking through a red filter. Truly amazing.

Well, before I sign off I just want to say thank you all again for your support. I have heard there are so many of you following my journey, I am very humbled thank you.

May your dreams come true,

  1. Eileen on February 11, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Hi Dawn 👋 you still sound upbeat , I was hoping the wind from Malcolm would have reached you by now .So it’s not as strong as we all thought 😁 . I will also pray to the wind gods for you ,l love reading your blogs , good luck Dawn .

    • Barry Smith Essex UK on February 11, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Eileen, Thank you so much for continuing support for Dawn and your prayers – they are very much appreciated. Zoë has managed to locate the sailing vessel LOLA, that stopped to see Dawn in mid-Atlantic and provided her with fresh fruit and chocolate. We have thanked the family crew most sincerely for their very kind gesture. Dawn mention it was not any chocolate but Dairy Milk – so, we contacted Cadbury explaining the circumstances but got the standard ‘thank you for enjoying our product’ response!! Dawn has now amazingly rowed over two thousand statute (land) miles which means she is on the final approach to Barbados!!!!
      Regards from Jaime, Sheila, Zoe, Gary & Baz (Row Aurora HQ Essex UK)

  2. Clare on February 11, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Nobody could be working harder or have more determination & spirit than you – you absolutely rock! Hope that wind picks up soon for you! X

    • Barry Smith SWF Essex UK on February 11, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Clare,
      We couldn’t agree with you more – she is, as you say, an absolute rock.
      Thank you most sincerely for your hope that the wind picks up – she can do with all the help she can get at the moment.
      She is now on the last stage of the row and hopefully, she may have fair winds and a following sea!
      Regards, Jaime, Sheila, Zoe, Gary & Baz (Row Aurora HQ SWF Essex UK)

  3. Dan Fanning on February 11, 2019 at 2:03 pm


    We are hooked on your blogs! It was our very first activity this morning to check if there was a new blog post! We were very excited that there was!!! I hope you will consider a Rotary International sponsored world tour to tell your story! If you’re not sure how to get the rolling I can help!
    Anxiously awaiting the next adventure filled post!!
    Blow wind blow!
    Dan & Kelly

    • Barry Smith, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex UK. on February 11, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Dan & Kelly,
      On behalf of Dawn, may I thank you so much for your kind words about her Blogs – we can’t wait for the next instalment either!!!
      We’re currently speaking to several Rotary Clubs in the UK and internationally to establish an INTERNATIONAL HANDSHAKE in support of Dawn’s mission. The Rotary Club of Barbados assistance has been incredible, they are spreading the word on the Island and are also using Dawn’s Challenge to launch their own environmental initiative. Additionally, they propose to meet Dawn on her arrival at Port St Charles marina.
      If you’re involved with Rotary, we would be exceptionally grateful if you could spread the ‘word’ and promote Dawn’s mission. As well as Barbados, Rotary Clubs in South Woodham Ferrers, Burnham on Crouch & Suffolk, are already supporting our ‘Little Girl’. Many thanks for any assistance you may be able to offer.
      Kind regards Jaime, Sheila, Zoë, Gary & Barry (Row Aurora HQ Essex UK)

      • Dan Fanning on February 12, 2019 at 10:07 pm

        You’ll never beat the Rotary for support for a good cause. I was President of my little group for a few years. Please email me and I’ll connect some dots for you.

        Keep up the good works!!

  4. Pamela on February 11, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    I too look forward to the blog updates, what you are doing Dawn is my worst nightmare, I get so seasick. It is awful how so much if our foodstuff is packaged in plastic, but by ditching plastic bags at least it is a start. Perhaps plastic bags should be £1 each, that will make people think.
    Happy rowing and hope you get strong winds in the right direction.

    • Barry Smith SWF on February 11, 2019 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Pamela, Is that our Pammy?
      We agree, why can the USA issue ‘paper bags’ for shopping purposes and we still use plastic bags??
      Dawn’s mum (eco warrior) was in Asda recently and very diplomatically spoke to a lady who was about to put bananas into a plastic bag – both the lady & her husband agreed it was totally unnecessary. They thanked our eco warrior and said they would certainly think about reducing the use of plastic bags in future. Well Done our Eco Warrior and Dawn the Dengie Warrior!!
      Regards Jaime, Sheila, Zoë,, Gary & Baz (Row Aurora HQ Essex UK)

  5. Deborah Allum on February 11, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Wow Dawn, you are doing fabulously. I am currently doing a wind dance for you. Don’t confuse this with a Mr Spoons wind dance though! You are amazing and I’m enjoying reading your blogs. Hurry along and hopefully I will see you at one of your many PR visits when you come back. Xxx

    • Barry Smith SWF on February 11, 2019 at 7:40 pm

      Hi Deborah,
      On behalf of Dawn, may I thank you so much for doing a wind dance. It does seem to be working please keep it up!!! We also want our ‘Little Girl’ to hurry along home we do miss her. Many thanks for supporting Dawn it is very much appreciated.
      Kind regards Jaime, Sheila, Zoë, Gary & Barry (Row Aurora HQ Essex UK)

  6. Nigel on February 11, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Dawn, your efforts are mammoth, your strength unending. You put us all to shame. Keep safe and let’s all hope the winds pick up in your favour.

    • Barry Smith SWF on February 11, 2019 at 8:25 pm

      Hi Nigel, (is that our Nigel?)
      We agree with your view of Dawn, it is very appropriate. Dawn has now rowed 2,158 statute miles and should be nearing the final phase of her Challenge.
      Your comments are very much appreciated please keep supporting our Dengie Warrior.
      Go Dawny Row to Barbados.
      Regards Jaime, Sheila, Zoë, Gary & Barry (Row Aurora HQ Essex UK)

  7. Karen Smith on February 11, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    I’ve never prayed for wind more than now !! Living with Martin I’ve never had to !!😁 But I am certainly praying for some good winds to reach you my darling x your evening sounded amazing little red lights in the ocean how beautiful x stay safe my friend luff ya xxx

  8. Eileen Harber on February 11, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    You are doing so well Dawn. Well done .

  9. Mr Spoons on February 11, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    Right, that’s it,

    I’m now going to get in on the act and summon enough wind of my own and dance my pants off 🤗

    Come on team Aurora, you’ve got this!!!!!

    Love you Dawny XX

  10. Louise Turmaine on February 12, 2019 at 10:33 am

    It’s amazing to be watching the little yellow dot move along the ocean knowing that it’s by pure determination, willpower, lots of singing and some help from mother nature. Go Dawn your an inspiration. Xx

  11. Becs on February 12, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Just wanted to say I’m loving the blog posts, reading them religiously every day to keep up and watching the little boat move along the route. The support from the community, friends, family and followers is phenomenal. I tell my patients about you when I get the chance, show them your page and ask them to follow, encourage and learn about why you’re doing this.
    You’ve always been a force to be reckoned with, such determination and grit with a big heart too- keep going and stay safe Dawn!

  12. Eileen on February 12, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Dawn still sounding positive, I guess Malcolm’s strong wind has not quite reached you yet , I did have a word with Hermes parcel delivery company about delivering some chocolates and cheese , unfortunately they have not got your post code so sorry Dawn I did try .I love reading your blogs you may be a bit weary now after all your hard work but once you get to Barbados you will have a new lease of life for a while ,then you can sleep for England . Good luck Dawn look forward to your next blog

  13. Owen on February 12, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Great to hear you’re now over half way, love reading the blog and hearing the great wildlife you’ve seen and unfortunately all the plastic too.
    You’re a credit to the force and I hope you receive the welcome home you deserve when you finish this epic journey. Just keep thinking of Dory….”just keep rowing, just keep rowing”. All the best from a desk in Grays CID.

  14. Sonia Harding on February 13, 2019 at 9:51 am

    We are so enjoying your blog Dawn – you are just one amazing lady Love Sonia & Clive x

Leave a Comment