Plastics are affecting our waterways, rivers and oceans.

Dawn Wood (aka Smiffy) a former resident of South Woodham & a student at William de Ferrers School, does care. She has taken on this initiative as her personal challenge to raise awareness of the problems affecting our oceans.

How is she doing this? …she plans to row solo across the Atlantic. The challenge primarily is to raise awareness about the amount of discarded plastics in our oceans and how this is affecting the marine ecosystem. Dawn is also talking to the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton to develop a way of filtering sea water during her Atlantic row to determine how micro-plastics are affecting our oceans.

Dawn will be training on the River Crouch throughout the coming months. If you see her in ‘True Blue’ her very distinctive small rowing boat, give her a wave and shout some encouragement!

We sincerely hope that school children and local communities along the Crouch will be able to witness for themselves a dream being put into reality by a local lass.

This young lady is no stranger to ‘salt’ water. Dawn is a yacht master and skipper with the Essex Police Marine Unit. She’s made several trips to China as part of a team to train Chinese students in preparation for their own Ocean row.

The Challenge will commence in January 2019 when ‘Smiffy’ will leave Gran Canaria, to row solo unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean to Barbados, a crossing of 3000 miles.

For more details on all aspects of this Solo Atlantic Challenge please visit

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