A water loving police officer has hit the halfway mark on her epic 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

PC Dawn Wood, of Essex Police’s marine unit, crossed the mid-point on her solo world record attempt to row from Gran Canaria to Bridgetown, in Barbados, in just 49 days.

Dawn, who hopes to beat the women’s world record held by Kiko Matthews, will be only the seventh female to ever complete the distance.

After reaching halfway on Monday, Dawn, from Burnham said: “I am absolutely in my element out here.

“The flying fish are coming past thick and fast now.

“It’s not going to be long before I am hit by one I am sure.

“My blue friend has now also been joined by a big green fish.

“I wish I had brought some sort of I-spy book of birds and fish so I could identify some of the wildlife I am seeing.”

As the journey wears on, Dawn has continued to keep herself busy, listening to audiobooks from a host of famous stars and novelists.

The latest was Vicar of Dibley herself, Dawn French, who the rower describes as a “brilliant lady”.

Despite spending 15 hours a day rowing, Dawn is still seeing new things every day and having experiences she did not expect.

She added: “I had a flying fish go past my face about a foot away!

“If I had been at the catch rather than the end of the drive, I would have been knees bent, slid forward, and the thing would have smacked me clean in the side of the head!

“It’s also a good job it had some height or it would currently be decorating the side of the boat.”

After 30 days at sea, Dawn is growing more confident and the sea is helping her to make progress.

She said: “I really do feel comfortable and at ease out here – I love the sounds, the sights and how each day brings something new.

“The sea state at the moment is pretty moderate, so not the exciting surf waves that I love, but it does make for better living conditions.

“I have been much less likely to get drenched by a wave or try and move round the boat without getting washed off your feet.

“It does mean slower going than I would like but I am just taking each day as it comes and working the conditions as best I can.”